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School of History

HST6397 - The Bear Hug: Belarus and Ukraine in the Soviet Empire, 1917-1991


Module code: HST6397

Credits: 15
Semester: 1

Module Convenor: Dr Natalya Chernyshova

Ukraine and Belarus were two of the most important republics in the Soviet Union: its 'founding members', strategic bulwarks, flagships of Soviet 'progressive' nationalities policies, and powerhouses of the command economy. But they were also troublesome borderlands: internal colonial subjects where dangerous nationalist aspirations could erode their loyalty to Moscow. This module examines their evolution from Russia's imperial backwater to socialist republics and through to independence in 1991. What role did Moscow's 'embrace' play in this transformation? How did the seminal developments of the era - Stalinism and the Nazi invasion, the Cold War and Brezhnev-era stability, Chernobyl and the Soviet collapse - shape their national cultures, identities, and everyday life? And how did these two republics help shape the Soviet Union? These questions will lead us to explore the relationship between nationalism, socialism, and colonialism and see how the Soviet Union worked as an empire.

Assessment: Blog Post 30% Essay 70%
Level: 6

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