Ukraine is not about territory, it's about identity

Hegel’s politics of recognition explain the war

This war is not about territory, it is about identity. Putin has made no secret of the fact that he does not recognise Ukraine as an independent nation, with its own history and culture. The war against Ukraine is his attempt to prove that the country is simply part of a greater, unified Russia. Ukraine on the other hand is fighting to have its own identity recognised by Russia, and the world. It sees itself as a European, constitutional democracy, its future belonging to the EU rather than to a satellite of Russia. When it comes to understanding issues of identity, difference and the struggle for recognition, there’s one philosopher we need to turn to: Hegel, writes Paul Giladi.


There is perhaps nothing that defines our present moment in geopolitical history more than the brutal war waged on Ukraine by Vladimir Putin. This is not so much because the unlawful invasion of a sovereign, post-Soviet democratic constitutional state has inspired, particularly in

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