How I would write Ukrainian History?

This is a thought that occurred to me a long time ago…

Ukraine lacks a medieval statehood, unlike say the Czechs. For a Czech historian, the task of writing a history of his nation is much easier because the Czechs had a state of their own since the Early Middle Ages, even the Habsburgs were Kings of Bohemia. Hence, a Czech historian can create a linear history from the Middle Ages to the present day.

In contrast, Ukrainians attempt to create a linear history out of poorly linked episodes of statehood, from the Galician Kingdom to the Cossack Hetmanate. Sometimes they go as far back as the Scythians. And like this they end up with nine volumes about a fictitious hybrid entity called Ukraine-Rus. Things could be made easier if we consider the following statement:

The Ukrainian nation is a product of a creole culture that resulted from centuries of Polish rule over the south-western portion of Rus. The idea of Ukrainian nationhood was first conceived of by Ukrainian nationalists towards the latter part of the nineteenth century. Ukrainian national movement was able to achieve statehood. 

I would write the history in such a way to describe the development of this creole culture, which eventually crystallised into a national movement. I would start with the break up of Rus, and its eventual absorption by Lithuania and Poland. The primordial beginnings of the Ukrainians are here. One could talk about the Kings of Galicia-Volhynia and their relationship with the West, the Union of Lublin, which brought the Western and Central Ukraine into Poland, the difficult relationship of the Cossacks to the Rzeczpospolita, and the subsequent difficult relationship to the Russian Empire, and the resultant Ukrainian movement.

This conception gives Ukraine a common history with the Western World, and yet does not deny its link to Rus. It also does not lay any exclusive claims to the history of Rus because it is a purified story of the Ukrainian experience. Obviously, it could be attacked on the basis that my theory of creolisation needs justification. But that would not be that hard:



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