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After the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991, Ukraine's foreign policy evolved in the geopolitical sphere of Central and Eastern Europe. As a result, the new Ukrainian interests were built on a sense of national identity. They looked to Russia and Europe to find a sense of national identity. However, Ukraine's Eurasian and Central-European ancestry caused a distinct rift in society about national identity, which influenced the formulation of foreign policy. Those trying to co-exist with Russia find it difficult to develop a Ukrainian identity completely different from Russia, justifying the togetherness through the Pereyaslav agreement. On the contrary, the nationalist-minded Ukrainians, those who want to cultivate an identity distinct from the Russians and, more specifically, look for a Central-European identity, try to influence the course of the foreign policy formation of Ukraine by citing their historicity of Europeanness with the medieval princedom of Kiev and viewing the Pereyaslav memory as disastrous for Ukraine’s independent existence. Thus, national identity is one of the main causes of the Ukrainian-Russian conflict. This study aims to uncover significant events in Ukrainian foreign policy toward Russia that led to modern-day conflict.
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