The study

20th-century history of Ukraine in French school textbooks 




Yevhen Luniak

Series editor

Georgiy Kasianov

About the study

This research is part of the study of European school textbooks and manuals on the representation of key historical events related to Ukraine’s role in global processes, which was organised and commissioned by the Ukrainian Institute. 

The author analysed French textbooks and manuals on history (or mixed historical disciplines), which are used in French educational programs.  

The research reveals and analyses key narratives on the presentation of the 20th-century history of Ukraine and its interpretation in French school textbooks. 

Key points

Ukraine-related topics are covered in almost every relevant history textbook in France, albeit in fragmentary form. While studying the comprehensive subject “History/Geography”, French students will gain some knowledge of Ukraine. However, this knowledge will be very limited and partial. 

Mistakes and inaccuracies about Ukrainian history are common in French school textbooks. It reflects the lack of deep interest in Ukrainian history among most French authors and the narrow circle of experts on the subject in France. 

Ukraine is frequently associated with well-known tragic events in the West, such as the Holodomor, the Holocaust, and the Chernobyl disaster. The “war in Donbas” was recently added to this list.