National Memory and Mentality in Information Warfare

Keywords: information warfare, school «New Historians», historical memory, mentality, aggression, assimilation, Russification, psychological stimuli

Abstract

In the paper, the problem of armed aggression against Ukraine, openly launched in the Crimea and East of Ukraine in the Donetsk and Luhansk Regions (Oblasts) is deliberately ignored. The attention of the author of the paper is concentrated on the issues of Russian information aggression, which is an integral part of the newest type of modern wars, that is of the so-called hybrid war. Information warfare is always long-lasting and lasts throughout the whole period of unneighbourly coexistence. In the paper, the author, on the basis of dramatic examples, proves that the essence of the disagreements between Russia and Ukraine is not only in the intention of the Russian authorities to occupy the Ukrainian living space, which we refer to the material assets, but also in the aspiration to misappropriate many aspects of life that belong to the spiritual heritage of Ukrainians, such as the historical past. The paper shows Russia’s aspiration to spread Russian influence on the spiritual life of Ukrainians and religious beliefs. The danger from the aspirations of Russian state leadership is actualized by a completely downright and unequivocal and somewhat veiled desire of Russians to change the collective mentality of Ukrainians. Such conclusions are the result of an analysis of more than three hundred-year-old relations between Russia and Ukraine, which testifies that the material wealth of Ukraine for Russia is not of prime importance. Russia needs a history of Ukraine and its industrious population, which Russia could not have succeeded to russify to the state that would enable to cover the aggression against Ukraine, with the «defense of Russian-speaking population». The concrete examples illustrate the essence of Russia humanitarian policy regarding the sovereignty of Ukraine. If to speak in general terms, it should be mentioned that among the objectives of the paper is the revealing of the information warfare technology in the war that Russia wages against Ukraine.

Thus, on specific examples in the system of relations between Ukraine and Russia, the signs of Russia’s information warfare against Ukraine are stated. In the proposed paper the author shows the evolution of the development of Ukrainian historical studies and traces the path of gradual achieving of world-level science by Ukrainian historians. In particular, the importance and influence of the historical school «New Historians» (it is also called the «Annales School») on the development of the Ukrainian historical science are emphasized.

In the paper the author pays due attention to the role of historical memory and its influence on the formation of the collective mentality of the nation. The paper reflects the importance of historical memory knowledge and the ability to interpret it tactfully, without causing distress while touching «memory wounds», which can, with a thoughtless and inept interpretation, undermine the processes of establishing interethnic understanding and mutual forgiveness. The paper for the first time describes the multi-vector destructive technology of the influence on the collective psyche of Ukrainian society by means of the so-called system of «defendants». Thanks to the implementation of this system, the communist and Russian invaders quickly managed to suppress the rebel movement. At the same time, the Russians destroyed the traditions of peasant solidarity, village close relations, relations between godparents and the like. Instead, snitching was cultivated, and the fear to fall under suspicion of disloyalty to the policy of Russian-communist government influenced the people’s psyche. The extreme harm to the collective mentality of Ukrainians was caused by the policy of persecuting people who were friends or simply acquaintances of those who were repressed or were the relatives of the «declassed element».

While concluding, the author quotes Larysa Nagorna: «The policy of memory is the process of building up the images of the past compatible with the mood of the epoch (and certain political forces). Just in this information and symbolic sphere, the «battle for the past» takes place with the sharp collision of interests of various social strata and political players. Since in a certain way modelled past is a valuable symbolic resource and has its own mobilization potential, its interpretations in the polarized societies gain the power of ideological weapons».

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Published
30.12.2018
How to Cite
Chornomaz, B. (2018). National Memory and Mentality in Information Warfare. EMINAK: Scientific Quarterly Journal, 2(4 (24), 79-86. Retrieved from https://eminak.net.ua/index.php/eminak/article/view/65
Section
History of Ukraine