L. Lanovyuk The Soviet Myth of the Ukrainian Village: The Tools for Manipulating Historical Memory

DOI: 10.20535/2307-5244.46.2018.136739

National University of Life and Environmental Sciences of Ukraine, Kyiv, Ukraine

This article examines the role of Ukrainian village and its peasants in economic
and political processes of the Soviet Union. The Soviet period had significant
impact on the historical consciousness of post-Soviet population in forming a ne –
gative image of both the Ukrainian village and Ukrainian peasant.
Many scholars of different specialties have focused on aspects of Ukrainian
village and the role of peasants in history. Studying various aspects of this subject
resulted in a larger quantity of academic pieces than average in the Ukrainian
history research. The historiographic analysis determined various scientific
centers that produced knowledge most actively and thus influenced the perception
of the subject: Institute of History of Ukraine (Kyiv), the Research Institute
of the Peasantry (Cherkasy), agrarian historians from leading universities of Kyiv,
Kharkiv, Lviv, Vinnytsia, Dnipro, Zaporizhzhia, Mykolayiv, Kamyanets-Podilsky
and other.
Ukrainian peasantry created a distinct, unique and highly productive agriculture
through a vast and diverse experience. The Ukrainian village is a moral and
spiritual center of the regional society. Nevertheless, it has a historically permanent
feature – the tragic fate. Ukrainian village was the largest victim of absence of Ukrainian statehood. In the times of occupations Ukrainian peasants were robbed
and forced to unpaid work, aimed at feeding conquerors. The ongoing processes
of urbanization, that has been taking place globally, pooled the best people from
countryside, especially in Soviet times, but also nowadays. Statistical analysis of
dynamics in the number of villages and its population in the recent past is negative.
The paper argues that with the constant weakening of the village, Ukrainian
state is losing its authentic face.

Keywords: village, peasantry, countryside, experimental villages, history,


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