Theses Master's

Social Media Images in the Time of War: Ukrainian Self-Determination and the Visual Framing of the 2022 Russian Invasion

Durtschi, Dallin

On February 24, 2022, Russian soldiers, tanks, and artillery crossed over the Ukrainian border and officially began their campaign of destruction and terror. The human rights implications are massive.

Part 1, Article 1.1 of The International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights states that: “All peoples have the right of self-determination. Under that right, they freely determine their political status and freely pursue their economic, social, and cultural development.” Today, the Russian Federation is attempting to eliminate this fundamental human right from Ukrainians by enacting their policies of “denazification” and "de-Ukrainianization.”

Social media platforms have been a critical space for national identity mobilization where Ukrainians have ardently declared their right to self-determination and identity as independent and unique from Russia. By analyzing images shared by Ukrainians during the war, one can see how social media platforms have become a space for the Ukrainian people to declare their desire for self-determination. This thesis will argue that social media platforms have the potential to function as an effective mechanism in upholding and promoting human rights.

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More About This Work

Academic Units
Institute for the Study of Human Rights
Thesis Advisors
Chasin, Noah B.
M.A., Columbia University
Published Here
March 8, 2023