Some commentators have called Russia’s Ukraine war a ‘war of obsession.’ Indeed, Russian President Vladimir Putin appears to be genuinely obsessed with Ukraine. The decision to attack Russia’s Slavic neighbour was influenced in large part by his belief in historical fantasies that have long circulated among Russian imperial-nationalists.
This event seeks to investigate three intertwined sets of problems: What lies at the core of the ‘Ukrainian question’ as seen by the Kremlin? What key elements does the Russian leadership’s idiosyncratic vision of the two countries’ entangled history consist of? What historical myths inform Russian political imagination?
About the speaker:
Professor Igor Torbakov is currently a visiting fellow at Stellenbosch Institute for Advanced Study pursuing a research project entitled ‘Deadly Illusions: The Ukraine War and Russian Historical Imagination.’ It develops several themes found in his recent book After Empire (2018).
This talk will focus on the dangers of historical myths and warped political imagination.
- 5pm – 5:30pm: SAIIA AGM
- 5:30pm – 6pm: Refreshments
- 6pm – 7pm: Talk by Professor Igor Torbakov
Entrance is free for SAIIA members. Visitors pay R80; students pay R20
We look forward to your attendance and participation.