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A Solidarity Narrative: The Soft Power of Ukrainian Wartime Poetry


This article undertakes an analytical reading of the new wave of contemporary Ukrainian poetry after the Russian full-scale invasion of Ukraine, in particular the poems written and published online and/or in print between 24 February 2022 and May 2023. This Ukrainian post-invasion poetry serves as a cultural response to the war, shaping the national narrative of the war by undertaking a factual and emotional witnessing of the wartime reality and creating an empathetic connection that engenders a solidarity of the international audience with the Ukrainian people. It therefore functions as a tool of soft power which promotes the foreign-policy goals of Ukraine, namely European and transatlantic political solidarity in countering the Russian aggression.


Ukraine, poetry, war, contemporary, solidarity, narrative

Research Article (PDF)

Author Biography

Yuliya Kazanova

Yuliya Kazanova holds a PhD in English from the University of Leeds and works at the English Language and Culture Department in the University of Groningen. She also teaches Ukrainian language proficiency and pursues research into contemporary Ukrainian literature. She is a Chartered Linguist (CIOL, Translation and Education), and translated into Ukrainian The Culture of Spontaneity: Improvisation and the Arts in Postwar America by Daniel Belgrad.