BRAND UKRAINE

RFE/RL: Image And Identity In Play As Ukraine Tries Cultural Diplomacy

Kyiv launches official country website that pitches Ukraine as “modern, dynamic, free, and diverse”

Mark Raczkiewycz
Saturday, 20 February 2021 01:35

To the many challenges facing Ukraine these days, from war and occupation to economic troubles exacerbated by COVID-19, add one more: how to improve its image.

The pandemic aside, it’s probably a tall order for any country seeking to attract investment, tourism, foreign students, and general goodwill. For Ukraine, whose image has been shaped by such unenviable events as the Chernobyl nuclear disaster 35 years ago and the only war currently being fought on the European continent, it may be a uniquely difficult endeavor.

This year, Kyiv has a new tool designed to take a swipe at the task: an official country website that pitches Ukraine as “modern, dynamic, free, and diverse.”

On the homepage, it trumpets the country of 44 million people as a destination for “cultural tourism, education, and business opportunities.”

Ukraine Now, as it’s called, is not the first effort to help build a brand for the country of 44 million by means of a website: It’s been tried a few times before over nearly 30 years of independence since the Soviet collapse. But their URL addresses have gone dormant as successive governments have failed to follow through with sustained reforms and strategies to capture the world’s attention when the spotlight shone on Ukraine.

 

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