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#21 UkraineMEMO: Hate language as a harbinger of violence


Can language give us signs of possible aggression? In this episode, we talk about the role of language in conflicts in general and try to analyse the causes of the Russian aggression against Ukraine from a cultural studies perspective.

Hate language is considered a harbinger of all violence, be it between people or states. In this episode, we look at the causes of Russia's invasion of Ukraine from the perspective of the history of concepts and ideas. In dialogue with Oleksandr Zabirko, a literary and cultural scholar at the University of Regensburg, we address the following questions:

  • Were there signs of aggression at the level of the Russian language even before the invasion of Ukraine?
  • What is the difference between Ukrainian and Russian hate language?
  • What is behind the term “brother nation”? Were there other ideological concepts that characterised relations between the two states? What role does the concept of “Ukrainian traitors” play here?

The moderator is Lyudmyla Melnyk, senior project manager and research associate at IEP, who will alternate with Nataliya Pryhornytska as podcast host.

Episode #21 of UkraineMEMO is also available here: 

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With its podcast “UkraineMEMO: Interviews, Analysis, Policy Advice”, IEP presents new perspectives on Ukraine. With guests from Germany and Ukraine, Ljudmyla Melnyk and Nataliya Pryhornytska discuss recent developments and long-term trends in the areas of Ukrainian politics, economy and society and thus provide an insight into events on the ground that are moving the country. Ukraine's relationship with Germany and the EU is always kept in mind.

The podcast is produced as part of the “UA Transformation Lab” project and is funded by the Federal Foreign Office.

Team & authors

About the Podcast UkraineMEMO project: Making expertise on Ukraine accessible is the aim of the UkraineMEMO podcast. With experts from civil society, politics and business, we analyse current events and long-term trends and promote better mutual understanding between Germany and Ukraine

Image copyright: IEP