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Conflict in Eastern Ukraine: War, Displacement, and National Identity

Dodson, Mark

The War in Donbass is an ongoing conflict in the eastern oblasts of Ukraine. Since 2014, the war has displaced thousands of Ukrainians and the number of deaths has climbed to more than 13,000. This study focuses on Internally Displaced People (IDPs) in Ukraine, looking at how the impacts of war have impacted their ethnic identities. The findings suggest that although there is some evolution of ethnic identity in a post-conflict Ukraine, the IDPs perception of themselves ethnically is shaped mostly by how the aftermath of the war is being managed by governments. Moreover, the study shows that the population of Ukraine is fatigued as a result of the War in Donbass.  Careful of generalizing an entire population, the results suggest that Ukrainian society desires peace. Social stability reinforced by financial stability follow closely behind the desire for peace. As a result, it is likely that the Ukrainian population would like to partner with allies that will provide a stable political, social, and economic path. Despite the need for allies, results also indicate a general lack of trust for the Ukrainian government as well as outside actors that portray themselves as partners such as Europe and Russia. Finally, the study also shows that it is possible that as the war recedes in the memory of IDPs, other factors like the nature of displacement appear to shape identity.

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More About This Work

Academic Units
Institute for the Study of Human Rights
Thesis Advisors
Perlmutter, Steven
Degree
M.A., Columbia University
Published Here
August 24, 2020