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28 Sep 23

On the day Russia invaded Ukraine, Vladimir Putin said that Ukraine and its supporters “would kill innocent people, just as members of the punitive units of Ukrainian nationalists and Hitler’s accomplices did during the Great Patriotic War.” Ukraine’s nationalist collaboration with Nazi Germany during WWII, in Putin’s telling, had contaminated the trajectory of Ukrainian independence; it could never come clean. In this talk, Holly Case discusses the habit of tracing the source of presumed contamination—in matters ranging from national politics in Ukraine to cybernetics—back to the Second World War, and considers some of the background and effects of this tendency.

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