In statements about Russia's brutal subjugation offensive against the sovereign neighbouring country of Ukraine, it becomes apparent that knowledge about the latter is in inverse proportion to its size as the largest European country. In this seminar, as a prerequisite for a well-founded assessment of the current events, a solid foundation of knowledge will first be developed on questions such as: What is Ukraine – territo-rially, politically, culturally, socially? How did "Ukraina" (borderland) come to be used as a proper name for the territory of today's Ukraine and what did it imply? How did an understanding of the ethnic autonomy of Ukrainians develop? How should histori-cal myths (on both the Ukrainian and Russian sides) be assessed? How should we evaluate the sections of Ukrainian history that Russia uses to justify the annexation of Crimea and its war in “astern Ukraine? What was the situation of Ukraine "between Hitler and Stalin"?

Against this background, the recent history of Ukraine, independent since 1991 (and never really recognised as sovereign by many in Russia), will be covered with its op-portunities and failures, the development towards the citizens revolt on the Maidan (the “revolution of dignity”) and the escalation into the acute conflict between Ukraine and Russia with military action, annexation, economic boycott, sanctions, propagan-da war, military pressure build-up and eventually comprehensive invasion to destroy Ukrainian statehood and identity.

The topic also includes the goals of Russian geopolitics, the challenge to the Euro-pean security order and its agreed rules, and the response of the EU and NATO.  In addition, the seminar aims to contribute to recognising the Ukrainians' perspective on their country instead of perceiving it only in a Russocentric perspective.