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Russian, Ukrainian historians find historical consensus

December 25, 2013, 19:28 UTC+3 25
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MOSCOW, December 25 (Itar-Tass) - Russian and Ukrainian historians have found a consensus on ancient Rus’ foundation and role, the Director of the Institute of World History of the Russian academy of Sciences (RAS), co-chairman of the joint commission Alexander Chubaryan, told a press conference at Itar-Tass.

“We surely have some sore points left,” he said speaking of the last day of the meeting Kiev hosted recently. “On two of the issues we have reached a certain consensus, primarily the foundation of ancient Rus.” The historians have found a mutually acceptable formula - the state was a historical space where the three civilizations overlapped - future Russia, Ukraine and Belarus.

The historian added that long-term disagreements here were due to the fact “the Ukrainian colleagues considered Kievan Rus the cradle of the Ukrainian nation”. According to the accepted point of view, “the ancient Rus state had several centres: Kiev, Novgorod and Moscow”.

Another subject of heated debates smoothed away is the Pereyaslav Rada (assembly) of 1654 that heralded reunification of Russia and Ukraine. Different points of view persisted in this issue, Chubaryan said, but they were no longer as acute as ten years ago. One fact that helped ease the tension was the publication of Hetman Bohdan Khmelnytsky’s correspondence in Ukraine.

Accepting different points of view in joint work did not “obstruct cooperation”, Chubaryan said, adding more emphasis was now made on publishing documents and promoting historians’ work in both countries’ archives.

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