Andrii Portnov



Visiting Professor, Department of Slavic Studies, Humboldt University Berlin

Visiting Fellow, Ukraine in European Dialogue
(January – February 2017)


How War Breaks Out—The Case of Eastern Ukraine

In spring 2014, ‘eastern Ukraine’ as an imagined entity ceased to exist. The cities of Donetsk and Luhansk became areas of armed conflict. Two other major cities in the region, Kharkiv and Dnipropetrovsk, avoided this fate. Why did the cities of eastern Ukraine take such different trajectories? How did political conflict turn violent? Can ‘identity’ explain the war in the Donbas, and how can we accurately describe society’s moods in a situation where the state loses its monopoly on violence? What role did local and central elites as well as the Russian intervention play in various cities in the region?