THE RUSSIAN WAR IN UKRAINE: THE ORIGIN, NARRATIVES AND POTENTIAL IMPACTS ON THE AFRICAN CONTINENT
Dzvinka Kachur, research fellow, Centre for Sustainability Transition, Stellenbosch University
Tuesday 17–Friday 20 January
COURSE FEES R440
The course will explore the origins of the Russian war in Ukraine, historical narratives, economic and military dependencies, and current impacts. It starts with the critical differences in the Ukrainian self-narrative and how Russia views Ukrainian history: from Kyivan Rus to Cossacks, through the Holodomor, World War II to the Soviet Union.
The collapse of the Soviet Union led to several challenges: the nuclear weapon, the military fleet, and economic and energy interconnectedness. In February 2022, Putin announced a ‘special military operation’ to denazify, demilitarise and prevent Ukraine from joining NATO. The key processes and geopolitical events that moved Ukraine from neutrality to pro-NATO and from a pro-Russian to a pro-EU country will be analysed.
The Russian aggression includes military intervention, cyber attacks, disinformation and energy blockades. The military intervention from 2014 to 2022 has transformed Ukrainian identity and made compromises on sovereignty and territorial integrity impossible. Thus, the full-scale invasion was seen as a necessary option to maintain control over Ukraine.
The prospects of a third world war, the potential use of nuclear weapons, the humanitarian crisis, and the unprecedented sanctions introduced by different governments raise significant challenges and opportunities to transform and decolonise the global governance and financial systems. What is the South African response? And what is the potential impact on global governance, food and energy security for the African continent?
1. Ukrainian-Russian history: the battle of narratives colonialism or brotherhood
2. The collapse of the Soviet Union and its challenges
3. The Russian-Ukrainian war: 2014–2022
4. The implication of the war on the African continent: food, energy and global security
Plokhy, S. 2017. The Gates of Europe: A History of Ukraine. New York: Basic Books.
Applebaum, A. 2017. Red Famine: Stalin’s War on Ukraine. London: Allen Lane.
Kostenko, Y. 2021. Ukraine’s Nuclear Disarmament: A History. Boston: Harvard University Press.
Snyder, T. 2022. The War in Ukraine Is a Colonial War. https://www.newyorker.com/news/essay/the-war-in-ukraine-is-a-colonial-war
Gumede, W. 2022. The Russia-Ukraine War: What has been the impact on South Africa and fellow BRICS members and on African economies. https://www.inclusivesociety.org.za/post/the-russia-ukraine-war-impact-on-south-africa-fellow-brics-members-and-africa