The European Neighbourhood Policy Chair at the College of Europe in Natolin and the Natolin Library had the pleasure to announce an event, organised in the framework of the "Meet the Authors" series, with Dr Ostap KUSHNIR (Lazarski University, Warsaw). The series aims at enabling students and other participants to meet important authors in various disciplines on a more informal basis, with enough time to freely discuss their findings.
Dr Ostap KUSHNIR presented and discussed his book Ukraine and Russian Neo-Imperialism: The Divergent Break (2018).
This book first proves that the rationale behind Russia's aggressive actions in its neighborhood resides in its goal of achieving certain geostrategic objectives which are largely predefined by the state's imperial traditions, memories, and fears that the Kremlin may irretrievably lose control over lands which were once Russian. In other words, Russia constantly remains an expansion-oriented and centralized state regardless of epochs and political regimes ruling over it. That is its geopolitical modus operandi successfully tested throughout history.
The book also scrutinizes Ukraine as a young post-colonial and post-communist state which, unlike Russia, is more prone to democratize and decentralize. To understand the logics of the ongoing Ukrainian transformation, its domestic and international developments are assessed in their connection to the Soviet political tradition and the medieval legacy of the Cossack statehood (15th–18th centuries). The author outlines differences between the political cultures of Ukrainian and Russian nations. This envisages scrutiny of historical experiences and their impacts on the Ukrainian and Russian state-building, institutional structures, national identity, religious issues, and other features of sovereignty. Based on these discoveries, a structure of symbolic thinking which predefines indigenous understandings of justice and order has been constructed for Ukrainians and Russians.