Copyright © 2024 Euromaidanpress.com

The work of Euromaidan Press is supported by the International Renaissance Foundation

When referencing our materials, please include an active hyperlink to the Euromaidan Press material and a maximum 500-character extract of the story. To reprint anything longer, written permission must be acquired from [email protected].

Privacy and Cookie Policies.

Ukrainian textbooks to remove “Great Patriotic War” designation for WWII

Ukrainian textbooks to remove “Great Patriotic War” designation for WWII
Translated by: Anna Mostovych

New textbooks in Ukraine will replace the Soviet term “Great Patriotic War” with the phrase Second World War, which is used worldwide, said Education Minister Serhiy Kvit, November 26, before a Cabinet meeting.

Kvit said he supports the position of the Institute of National Memory to restore the phrase Second World War as a replacement for the term Great Patriotic War, which was reintroduced in Ukraine during the Yanukovych government

Serhiy Kvit
Serhiy Kvit

“Personally I support it because the world treats it as a tragedy. It is World War II. The term ‘The Great Patriotic War’ was used from the perspective of the great Soviet state. This was not a ‘great patriotic war’ for Ukraine. Ukraine was the victim of the struggle between totalitarian states. One of these states has survived till now, and Putin is the reincarnation of Stalin, or if you prefer, Lenin,” Kvit said.

Kvit explained that the changes would be implemented in new textbooks.

“The textbooks such as they are will remain. We’re talking about new textbooks. And that is a matter for historians, of course, and not a question of what one official tells another official to avoid. We will have competitions and new textbooks,” he said.

Controversy around the terminology used to describe the history of World War II has raged in Ukraine for the past several years. During the reign of Viktor Yanukovych, the former Minister of Education, the widely reviled Dmytro Tabachnyk, insisted on using the term “Great Patriotic War” and actively promoted the sovietization of Ukrainian historiography. He also pursued plans with his Russian counterpart to issue a joint Russian-Ukrainian history text to be used in both countries.

USSR entered World War II on the side of Nazi Germany in 1939. According to Soviet historians, the “Great Patriotic War” began in 1941.

However, President Poroshenko in a speech marking Ukraine’s Independence Day, August 24,  suggested another use for the term “Patriotic War” — the events taking place this year.

“The events of recent months have become for us a real war, even if undeclared. Perhaps it will enter history books as the Patriotic War of 2014. A war against foreign aggression, for Ukraine, for her freedom, for honor and glory, for independence. It is a Patriotic War because all have risen up for the defense of the country: from children to the elderly. The war for freedom has become a national movement. I am convinced that the battle for Ukraine will end successfully for us thanks to the national solidarity multiplied by the courage and heroism of our soldiers,” he said.

Translated by: Anna Mostovych
You could close this page. Or you could join our community and help us produce more materials like this.  We keep our reporting open and accessible to everyone because we believe in the power of free information. This is why our small, cost-effective team depends on the support of readers like you to bring deliver timely news, quality analysis, and on-the-ground reports about Russia's war against Ukraine and Ukraine's struggle to build a democratic society. A little bit goes a long way: for as little as the cost of one cup of coffee a month, you can help build bridges between Ukraine and the rest of the world, plus become a co-creator and vote for topics we should cover next. Become a patron or see other ways to support. Become a Patron!

To suggest a correction or clarification, write to us here

You can also highlight the text and press Ctrl + Enter

Please leave your suggestions or corrections here


    Will the West continue to support Ukraine?
    • Know what moves the world.
    • Stay informed with Kompreno.
    • Get quality journalism from across Europe.
    Special discount
    for Euromaidan Press readers
    Euromaidan Press

    We are an independent media outlet that relies solely on advertising revenue to sustain itself. We do not endorse or promote any products or services for financial gain. Therefore, we kindly ask for your support by disabling your ad blocker. Your assistance helps us continue providing quality content. Thank you!

    Related Posts