The initiative “Ukrainian Research in Switzerland” organises workshops twice a year in order to encourage the exchange between ongoing Ukraine-related research projects that are currently underway at Swiss universities and international research on Ukraine, as well as between scholars, students and the public.

Have a look at the brief reports of our past workshops!


Fourth URIS workshop, 26 November 2018, Basel
We warmly invite everyone interested to attend the fourth public URIS workshop. It will be held in Basel on Monday, 26 November 2018 and will address the subject of “War and Revolution in Ukraine, 1914–1920”. The programme includes presentations by: Trevor Erlacher (Basel/Chapel Hill), Christopher Gilley (Durham), Borislav Chernev (Exeter), Eric Aunoble (Geneva), Olena Betlii (Kyiv/Lviv), Wolfram Dornik (Graz), Hanna Perekhoda (Lausanne), Dmitri Tolkatsch (Freiburg i. Br.) and Fabian Baumann (Basel).

Programme details.


Start: 9.30am
End: 6.30pm

Lecture Room 103, 1st Floor
University of Basel, Main Building “Kollegiengebäude”, Petersplatz 1, 4051 Basel

Download programme


On the occasion of the centenary of the withdrawal of the Central Powers from Ukraine and the subsequent overthrow of Hetman Skoropads’kyi in late 1918, this workshop will examine the history of war, occupation, revolution, diplomacy, and state-building in Ukraine during the First World War and the various upheavals and conflicts to which it gave rise. Despite the great timeliness of this topic, much of the Ukrainian revolutionary period remains terra incognita for historians. The workshop’s objective is to take stock of what has been done on the subject, to share works in progress, and to point the way forward for new research.

At the beginning of the First World War, the idea of Ukrainian autonomy, let alone independence, commanded few adherents in the Russian and Austro-Hungarian Empires. The mostly peasant Ukrainian population was, by and large, indifferent to national categories. But the massive dislocations of total war opened up new vistas of opportunity for Eastern European activists. Nation-states, nationalized armies, and socialist experiments appeared amid the carnage as the imperial juggernauts faltered and withdrew. Ukraine was no exception, but, unlike Poland, Lithuania, Hungary, and Finland, its leaders failed to make their nation’s political boundaries coincide with its imagined ethnographic territory. Following a brief period of nominal independence under various short-lived states, the Ukrainian lands were partitioned between the Soviet Union, the Second Polish Republic, Romania, and Czechoslovakia.  Nevertheless, the idea of a modern Ukrainian state was born and legitimized by these events.