“Russia is an imperial nation, still. The Soviet Union was just a new shape of the Russian empire. So in their thinking, Ukraine is not a real nation and they want to get it back home with the empire. There is no way of stopping this apart from military defeat.”
Today I’m joined by historian Nadia Dobrianska. Originally from Ukraine, Nadia arrived in Ireland following the invasion of Ukraine by Russian forces in February 2022. Nadia and her immediate family are now settled in East Cork, but this is not the first time Nadia has travelled to the island of Ireland, as she completed her history studies at Queen’s University in Belfast in 2018. Nadia has a keen interest in Irish culture and language, so I invited her on to the podcast to discuss her experiences living in Ireland now. I also wanted to chat with Nadia about the future of her native country and what, in her opinion, was the motivation behind the Russian invasion, so I hope you are sitting comfortably and happy to stay with us.
We started by chatting about Nadia’s interest in the Irish language (00:35) before moving on to Nadia’s childhood in Ukraine (02:12), and the mood in the country following independence from the Soviet Union (05:30). We then moved to Nadia’s reasons for coming to Ireland to study (19:20), day to day experience of living in Belfast (23:45), and returning to Ukraine (27:53). I asked Nadia if Ireland was her first choice to go to when the invasion started (29:28), what life is like now living in Cork (23:55), and if she feels that Irish communities are friendly environments (35:48). Towards the end of the chat, I asked Nadia what possesses people like Putin to do what he does (40:48), the social status in Russia (45:48), before finishing with Nadia telling me what she is reading and watching at the moment (47:02).
- Nadia on Twitter
- Article on Nadia in the Irish Examiner
- Interview with Nadia on The Irish Story podcast
- For more, hear my conversation with Dr. Fergal Lenehan and Dr. Jennifer Cassidy.