Ukrainian Identity in the Time of War


One important source of Ukrainian society's surprisingly strong resilience in the face of Russia's full-scale invasion has been a strong national identity, an overarching attachment to one's homeland above ethnolinguistic ties and regional differences which was, in turn, further strengthened by societal consolidation in response to the invasion. Volodymyr Kulyk discussed the impact of the war on the salience and content of Ukrainian national identity. Based on original data from a nationwide survey and a series of focus group discussions in different parts of the country, Kulyk demonstrated that not only has Ukrainian identity become more salient compared to other attachments, but it has also come to mean a stronger embrace of beliefs that have traditionally been associated with Ukrainian ethnic belonging. These beliefs, such as hostility toward Russia, adherence to the nationalist narrative of Ukrainian history, and support for the predominance of the Ukrainian language in all social domains, are now increasingly accepted by people of different ethnic backgrounds and language preferences, thus making the Ukrainian nation both more civic and more nationalist. Ayşe Çağlar welcomed the audience, and Mariia Shynkarenko introducded the speaker and moderated the ensuing Q&A.

Volodymyr Kulyk, Institute of Political and Ethnic Studies, National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine, and currently Visiting Fellow at the IWM

Ayşe Çağlar, IWM Permanent Fellow

Mariia Shynkarenko, Research Associate at the IWM Program: Ukraine in European Dialogue

A recording of the event is available below.