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.
This was a Ukraine in European Dialogue Solidarity Fellowship. These fellowships are offered by invitation for notable scholars, cultural figures, and public intellectuals from Ukraine.