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Empires of Lies? The Political Uses of Cultural Heritage in War

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submitted on 2024-02-08, 11:37 and posted on 2024-02-12, 05:51 authored by Nour A. Munawar, James Symonds

On the 24th of February 2022, Vladimir Putin addressed the Russian Federation in a televised speech announcing a ‘special military operation’ against Ukraine. Putin castigated the West as an ‘Empire of Lies’ and drew upon Russian history and cultural heritage to justify his invasion of Eastern Ukraine. This article investigates how cultural memory has been manipulated in the war in Ukraine, and in the previously occupied Crimea. We argue that cultural heritage, memory, and museum collections have been removed and/or repurposed to legitimise the current invasion by linking it to a grand narrative of Russian power and the recovery of ancestral lands. We present case studies from the annexation of Crimea (2014), the war in Ukraine (2022 -), and make a brief comparison with the armed conflict in Syria (2011 – 2022).

Other Information

Published in: The Historic Environment: Policy & Practice
License: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/
See article on publisher's website: https://dx.doi.org/10.1080/17567505.2023.2205193

Funding

Open Access funding provided by the Qatar National Library.

History

Language

  • English

Publisher

Routledge

Publication Year

  • 2023

License statement

This Item is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

Institution affiliated with

  • Doha Institute for Graduate Studies
  • Center for Conflict and Humanitarian Studies - DI

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