Revolution Unfinished

Comparing Collective Memory in the Kyiv Post and RT

  • David Ilkiw MacEwan University


From November 2013 – February 2014, Ukraine’s Independence Square (or Maidan) became the site of revolution. The Maidan Revolution culminated in the deaths of over 100 protesters and law enforcement, and the removal of former President Viktor Yanukovych. Subsequently, several studies have observed how Maidan is being remembered (see Kozachenko, 2020; Nuzov, 2016; Shevel, 2016). I rely on the perspectives of Maurice Halbwachs (2011/1925) on collective memory, Robin Wagner-Pacifici (1996; 2010; 2017) on events, and various perspectives on media framing in journalism. This paper builds upon existing literature by exploring the formation of collective memory in 52 newspaper articles from the Kyiv Post and RT. From my findings I argue both news outlets accept Maidan as part of their taken for granted memory. Both outlets primarily frame Maidan using national memory narratives. Like Kozachenko (2020), I observed the presence of Ukrainophile and Sovietophile historical frames. Though both news outlets frame Maidan as a failed revolution, I argue Maidan is characterized differently by the Kyiv Post and RT. Whereas, the Kyiv Post frames Maidan as a tragic unfinished revolution, RT constructs a framing of Maidan as a coup which allows them to compare it to current events.

Presented in absentia on April 27, 2020 at "Student Research Day" at MacEwan University in Edmonton, Alberta. (Conference cancelled)

Faculty Mentor: Jeff Stepnisky 

Department: Sociology