Publication Date

March 31, 2022

Perspectives Section

From the Association

Post Type



  • Europe

The American Historical Association condemns in the strongest possible terms Russia’s recent invasion of Ukraine. This act of overt military aggression violates the sovereignty of an independent Ukraine, threatening stability in the broader region and across the world.

The Independence monument overlooking the city of Kyiv, a column with a figurine of a woman with a rose branch in her arms.

Gleb Albovsky/Unsplash

Russian President Vladimir Putin’s rhetorical premise for this brutal violation of Ukraine’s sovereignty is anchored by a set of outlandish historical claims, including an argument that Ukraine was entirely a Soviet creation. In fact, Ukraine’s distinct language and culture date back over many centuries. Ukraine has been a crossroads of the region, connected to countries and cultures to the west as well as Russia to its east.

Over time, Ukrainians have contested both Russification and Sovietization. President Putin grossly simplifies and distorts Ukraine’s history, essentially erasing its distinct past and rendering it indistinguishable from Russia.

The AHA emphatically opposes this unprovoked act of military aggression; that the war is based on such a distorted and tendentious misreading of history makes it all the more deplorable. We vigorously support the Ukrainian nation and its people in their resistance to Russian military aggression and the twisted mythology that President Putin has invented to justify his violation of international norms.

Approved by the AHA Council on February 28, 2022. See the full list of signatories here. For a list of AHA resources related to Ukraine, Russia, and the Cold War and Its Legacies, visit On March 4, the AHA hosted “Russia and Ukraine: History Behind the Headlines,” a webinar conversation among historians of Eastern Europe that can be viewed on the AHA’s YouTubechannel.

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