It is with shock and horror that we have witnessed the events unfolding in Ukraine, initiated by Russian President Vladimir Putin’s order to invade the country.
President Vladimir Putin is abusing history to justify this invasion and the armed attack on the sovereign state of Ukraine. He relies on a one-sided view of history that glorifies Russia and wrongly characterises the Ukrainian people and its democratically elected government. He abuses history to delegitimize the current borders of Ukraine.
Putin, his leadership, and state controlled media have promoted anti-Ukrainian sentiment by disseminating falsehoods centering around a narrative of “de-nazification” of the government. The equation of the current administration and the people of Ukraine with Nazis and Nazi-collaborators is ahistorical. The claims that Ukraine has no tradition of statehood are false.
EuroClio stands firmly against the abuse of history – the use of history with intent to deceive. The use of violence that we currently witness shows where this can lead to. We believe that it is imperative for historians and history educators to be vigilant and speak out against such abuses whenever possible, both inside and outside educational settings.
We stand in solidarity with the people of Ukraine, who have had their homes intruded and their safety jeopardised. We also stand with all people in Russia who are also in shock and are against the actions of their government and protest at their own expense.
In particular, our thoughts go to our colleagues in Ukraine, who are in danger and with whom we have worked for decades to promote mutual understanding through education. We hope to see them safe soon.
May we witness the end of this suffering at the earliest possible moment.