In lieu of an abstract, here is a brief excerpt of the content:

  • Putting One and One Together? "Ukraine," "Malorossiia," and "Russia"
  • Volodymyr Kravchenko (bio)
Sergei Beliakov, Ukrainskaia natsiia v epokhu Gogolia( The Ukrainian Nation in the Age of Gogol). 759 pp. Moscow: AST, 2016. ISBN-13 978-5170958290.
Serhii Plokhy, The Gates of Europe: A History of Ukraine. 395 pp. New York: Basic Books, 2015, 2017. ISBN-13 978-0465094868. $19.99.
Johannes Remy, Brothers or Enemies: The Ukrainian National Movement and Russia from the 1840s to the 1870s. 329 pp. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2016. ISBN-13 978-1487500467. $66.00.
Valerii Soldatenko, Rossiia—Krym—Ukraina: Opyt vzaimootnoshenii v gody revoliutsii i Grazhdanskoi voiny( Russia—Crimea—Ukraine: The Experience of Mutual Relations in the Years of Revolution and Civil War). 167 pp. Moscow: R osspen, 2018. ISBN-13 978-5824322125.

"What? … Another History of Malorossiia…? When will this end?" That is how the caustic intellectual, journalist, and editor Osip Senkovskii greeted the History of Malorossiiaby Mykola Markevych (Nikolai Markevich) in 1843. Markevych, deeply offended, fired back with an epigram "To the Enemy of Ukraine" ( sic). Quite unexpectedly, this exchange triggered a long reevaluation of mutual relations in the Russian-Polish-Ukrainian "triangle" involving Markevych's compatriots, Polish landlords, and Russian imperial elites. 1 [End Page 823]The episode typifies one of the many controversies pertaining to the modern nation-building process among Russians and Ukrainians, whose relations were crucial to the very existence of the multinational Russian Empire. The double Malorossian (Little Russian)/Ukrainian name of the country we now call "Ukraine" is only one of them.

The imperial legacy of "Russia" is the key to answering many questions about past and present issues of identity, historical alternatives, and national terminology. 2The modern "Ukrainian" and "Russian" national discourses developed in opposition to each other. For the last two centuries, consequently, both of these designations have remained highly ambivalent. There have been several "Ukraines" (Russian, Polish, Malorossian, Eastern, Western, etc.) and many "Rus´/Russias" (White, Red, Black, Great, Little, Northern, Southern, etc.). Most of these designations were used interchangeably until the ongoing Ukrainian-Russian competition for their shared historical and geographic legacy made such usage politically and nationally sensitive. 3The question is whether an imperially produced historical terminology and the debates concerning it reflect multiple processes of national identity formation or terminological imprecision.

As William Edgerton put it more than 40 years ago, the "Ukrainian question" is the most perplexing of the many controversies and conflicts among the Slavic peoples: "On this question, among scholars of Russian and Ukrainian background alike, and even among scholars who have no Slavic ethnic heritage at all, dispassionate objectivity is almost as scarce as hens' teeth. Almost, but not quite." 4Nowadays, with the world seemingly on the brink of a new Cold War, this somewhat sarcastic verdict is still relevant. Russia's annexation of Crimea in 2014 and the ongoing Russo-Ukrainian "hybrid war," accompanied by a fierce propaganda campaign, have deeply affected Ukrainian and Russian academic institutions, which have been involved in respective nation- and state-building processes since the dissolution of the Soviet Union [End Page 824]in 1991. 5How has the global community of Western scholars specializing in the Russian and Ukrainian fields reacted to changing political, geographic, and academic landscapes in the two largest states of the former Soviet space? 6

The Ukrainian question has an important place in imperial Russian studies, especially in subfields concerned with the issue of empire and nationalism. 7Since the publication of Andreas Kappeler's groundbreaking book, the Russian Empire has been perceived as a multinational state similar to the Soviet Union—an umbrella for different peoples, nations, and cultures rather than a Russian nation-state. 8Paradoxically enough, some historians have recently noted that Russia's imperial borderlands and various nationalisms have been attracting much more scholarly attention than the Russian "heartland" and the "Russian question." 9If this observation is accurate, then it indicates that the well-known distinction among national, imperial, and regional components of nation building among the Eastern Slavs of the Russian Empire requires further conceptualization. Establishing the meanings and mutual relations among "Russian," "Malorossian," 10and "Ukrainian" designations, in turn, necessitates new terminological debates...