The undeclared Russian-Ukrainian war in the Donetsk and Luhansk regions led both pro-Ukrainian militias and rebels from Donetsk and Luhansk to join in the fighting. Based on field work amongst paramilitaries in Donbas, this presentation will tackle the questions of why people voluntarily chose to participate in the war and how they articulate their own motivation; how they interpret the conflict’s escalation in Donbas; and what they expect their life to be like once the war has ended. The answers to these questions will lead us to an understanding of what steps will be necessary in order to establish peace in Ukraine.
Oksana Mikheieva is Professor of Sociology, holds a PhD in Historical Science and is the Head of the Department of Sociology at the Ukrainian Catholic University in Lviv. Currently she is a guest at the IWM.