Thirty years ago, on 1 December 1991, more than 90% of Ukrainian voters voted for the country’s independence, with turnout exceeding 80%. The referendum served as a democratic legitimation after Ukraine had declared its independence on 24 August 1991. The declaration of independence and its public approval were a watershed moment for Ukraine and Soviet history in the decisive year of 1991. Afterward it had become clear that the further existence of the USSR, without its second largest republic, had become unrealistic. To this day, the Ukrainian independence leaves a contested legacy. The memories of 1991 are intertwined with contested questions of national identity, sovereignty and territorial integrity. For this episode, Serhii Plokhii and Gwendolyn Sasse join our host Félix Krawatzek to discuss Ukrainian independence, its aftermath and what it means for Ukraine to this day.
Roundtable Osteuropa is a podcast by the Centre for East European and International Studies. Scholars of ZOiS and their guests discuss their research of Eastern Europe. We consider events in politics and society, while also trying to shed light on lesser-known issues – with insights from sociology, political science, geography, social anthropology, literary studies and theology.