Insight into Ukraine’s current reality

Insight into Ukraine’s current reality

Welcome to the RUCARR seminar with Ukrainian students  Mariia Vashchenko and Zoriana Tsiupak.
When: February 8, 15.00-16.30.
Where: Zoom link will be available here

Two Ukrainian students, staying in Malmö on a Swedish Institute scholarship, are going to hold a presentation about the situation in Ukraine in the context of the full scale russian invasion. They want to highlight some aspects of the current reality based on their personal experience and some statistical data found on the Internet. In their presentation they want to cover some challenges for Ukrainian citizens during the war time, including gender equality and social inclusion among other things. Moreover, the role of Lviv as a transit center of humanitarian aid and a refugees’ destination will be discussed. 

RUCARR Lunch Seminar January 24th: Understandings of democracy and “good citizenship” in Ukraine: utopia for the people, participation in politics not required

Understandings of democracy and “good citizenship” in Ukraine: utopia for the people, participation in politics not required by Dr. Joanna Szostek, Lecturer in Political Communication, University of Glasgow 

When: January 24th, 12:15-14:00 CET time

Where: Zoom-link: https://mau-se.zoom.us/j/63683894763

Description: This research presentation will explore how people in diverse peripheral regions of Ukraine understood democracy, their role as citizens in a democracy, and the meaning of “good citizenship” in 2021, the year before Russia’s full-scale invasion. Using thematic analysis of focus group discussions, the research demonstrates gaps and inconsistencies in the understandings of democracy articulated by participants. A utopian understanding of democracy was common, in which authorities are expected to “listen to the people” and keep them satisfied, but the need for government to manage conflicting interests is not recognized. Understandings of good citizenship are inclusive and pro-social, but mostly detached from institutional politics. Similarity was observed across regions in how democracy is understood in the abstract. However, the meaning ascribed to democracy often varied when discussion moved from the abstract to particular country examples – a finding relevant beyond the Ukrainian case, for survey-based research on public understandings of democracy more generally.

 

 

Seminar on Georgia and the Russian invasion of Ukraine with Prof. Alexandre Kukhianidze, Dec. 13

Georgia: history and memory in the conditions of the Russian invasion of Ukraine

Video from the seminar available here: https://youtu.be/I0vvrtdzSg4

 

RUCARR online seminar with visiting researcher Alexandre Kukhianidze, Professor of Political Science, Faculty of Social and Political Sciences,  Ivane Javakhishvili Tbilisi State University University (Georgia).

When: December 13, 15.15-17.00 CET (6.15-8.00 pm Tbilisi)
Where: Zoom link https://mau-se.zoom.us/s/62874227691

Abstract

The online seminar discusses how Russia’s attack on Ukraine in the early morning of February 24, 2022, led not only to a rethinking of international security and stability, of Russia’s entire policy towards its immediate neighbors, but also to international assessments of Russia’s invasion of Georgia in 2008. The war led to a complication in relations between the ruling “Georgian Dream” party and the Ukrainian leadership, influenced the relationship of the Georgian leadership with the political opposition and leading non-governmental organizations, as well as the relationship of the ruling party to the European Union and the United States. Against the backdrop of the war in Ukraine, the Georgian political opposition is increasingly accusing the political leadership of Georgia of pro-Russian orientation, rejection of European and Euro-Atlantic integration and insufficient assistance to Ukraine, attacks by individual representatives of the “Georgian Dream” on the ambassadors of the European Union, the United States and the leadership of Ukraine. Meanwhile, the scale of mass rallies held in Georgia in support of Ukraine and aimed at criticizing the Georgian leadership has sharply decreased by the autumn of 2022, which has an impact on the stability of the latter. Based on personal observations and analysis of the entire post-Soviet period in Georgia, the speaker explains the reasons for the behavior of the Georgian leadership and the public against the backdrop of Russia’s war in Ukraine.

 

 

Dr M Tyshcenko promoted to Honorary doctor at the Faculty of Culture and Society

Our warm congratulations to Dr. Mariia Tyshchenko (Kyiv National Economic University and NGO “PORUCH”), promoted today to Honorary Doctor of the Faculty of Culture and Society, Malmö University. From the motivation for her appointment: “… in every way an exemplary person whose work and commitment impresses, inspires and gives hope for a better, more just and more peaceful world”Promotor Prof Derek S. Hutcheson.
 

Seminar with Gregg Bucken-Knapp on the new book – Messages from Ukraine – Oct 25

Welcome to the joint GP, MIM and RUCARR seminar, where Prof. Gregg Bucken-Knapp, School of Public Administration at the University of Gothenburg, presents his new book “Messages from Ukraine”, co-authored with comic artist, illustrator, and graphic designer Joonas Sildre

When:  October 25, 3.15–5.00 CET 
Where: Zoom link https://mau-se.zoom.us/s/66628861480 

 About the book from the Toronto University Press: 

On February 24, 2022, Russia launched a full-scale invasion of Ukraine that dominated headlines around the world. Millions of Ukrainians would flee the country, and a third of the population would be displaced. In the days following the invasion, Swedish migration expert Gregg Bucken-Knapp sent text messages to his Ukrainian colleagues, offering support and assistance. These were their responses.  

 In a series of graphic vignettes, Messages from Ukraine takes the words of Ukrainian migration professionals and transforms them into snapshots of how war affects the lives of everyday people: those who are forced to flee home and seek safety elsewhere, those who choose to stay and volunteer or fight, those who witness events unfolding from afar, and those who find themselves trapped in cities under siege. Messages from Ukraine captures a moment in time to tell a timeless story about war, displacement, determination, and resilience. 

Russia’s War in Ukraine: Women, Security, Resilience: October 18th, 15:15-17:00 (hybrid)

Seminar with Svitlana Babenko, Project researcher at GPS and MIM and Mariia Tyschenko, Honorary Doctor of Malmö University

When: October 18th, 15:15-17:00

Where? Seminar room, 9th floor or on Zoom

Zoom-link: https://mau-se.zoom.us/j/64089273870

Description

Our presentation is based on the analysis of this year’s report on the implementation of UN Resolution 1325 “Women, Peace, Security” in Ukraine, and sociological research on the discussed issues under the full-scale Russian war in Ukraine.

russia’s war in Ukraine has been disproportionately affecting women from the beginning of the war in 2014. According to official statistics, the number of women predominates among internally displaced persons (IDPs), unemployed IDPs, victims of gender-based violence (GBV), and other vulnerable groups. Over 14,5 million people in Ukraine have been forced to leave their homes due to the russian full-scale invasion in 2022, among them, 7,5 million fleeing to Europe, and above 7 million are internally displaced in Ukraine, as well as an uncounted number of people are forcibly displaced to russia from temporary occupied Ukrainian territories. About 70% of the refugees are women. Displaced women and girls in Ukraine are three times more likely to experience GBV than those who are not displaced. Women are also struggling to get paid jobs. In 2019 among IDPs who have been actively seeking employment in Ukraine, 79% are women.

Moreover, due to existing discrimination, double burden, and gender stereotypes; women account for 90% of respondents who are engaged in housework, childcare, and other household activities. Thus, women not only have a greater dependence on social benefits but also fewer opportunities to participate in social and political life. Affected by russia’s war, women need more help and support on an individual level: security and displacement issues, humanitarian problems, psychological support, etc. But also, actions are required to deal with complex collective issues, such as an increase of GBV, sexual trafficking and exploitation, lack of access to life-saving sexual and reproductive healthcare, and fostering of traditional roles, and gender stereotypes.

The presentation is followed up with a roundtable discussion on the following questions:

1. How to localize the goals of UN Resolution 1325 to the regional and community level during the emergency phase of russia’s war in Ukraine?

2. How to support Ukrainian women under multiple challenges of war and refugeeing?

3. What can the University, RUCARR, Russian Studies and the academic community do for informational support of Ukraine to overcome widespread russian propaganda and myth-makingy?

Looking forward to your participation!

Svitlana Babenko PhD in Sociology, Docent, project researcher at GPS and MIM, Malmö University;  Head of MA Program Gender Studies with double degree with Lund University at Faculty of Sociology, Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv, Ukraine 

Mariia Tyschenko PhD in Political Science, Docent, Honorary Doctor of Malmö University, NGO “Poruch”, Ukraine  

Svitlana Babenko | Malmö universitetFörkämpe för mänskliga rättigheter blir hedersdoktor | Malmö universitet

Seminar on “Decommunisation and the Politics of Memory in Ukraine” with Dr. Maksym Kovalov, Sept 20

When Lenin Becomes Lennon: Decommunisation and the Politics of Memory in Ukraine

RUCARR Seminar with Dr. Maksym Kovalov, instructor of International Studies at the College of Charleston. Maksym’s research focuses on democratization, populism, politics of memory, and political institutions in post-communist states. His current research projects are on populism in Poland and on the impact of political outsiders on democracy in comparative perspective.

When: Tuesday 20th of September, 15:15-17:00

Where: Hybrid, Seminar room on 9th floor, Niagara

Or Zoom: https://mau-se.zoom.us/j/66119415789
 (no passcode required) (the presenter will attend online)

Abstract

In 2015 Ukraine’s parliament (Rada) passed a series of decommunization laws which set deadlines for clearing Soviet-era symbols from public spaces. Regional and municipal authorities were responsible for renaming the streets but Ukraine’s regions have shown highly uneven degrees of compliance with decommunization laws. How do we explain the differences in the scope of decommunization across Ukrainian regions? Why did some regions comply with the decommunization laws and rename all Soviet-era streets while others resisted and openly sabotaged the renaming process? I argue that political factors, or ‘politics of the present’, rather than structural factors, or ‘politics of the past’, explain the opposition to decommunisation since 2015. More specifically, two mutually necessary factors—the interaction among subnational veto players and the efforts of toponymic commissions—explain the opposition to the renaming of streets. Regions with a high number of subnational veto players and low engagement by toponymic commissions have shown a higher degree of resistance to the renaming of streets.

Ukraine-Russia Roundtable – February 11

RUCARR is happy to announce that on Friday the 11th of February at 1315 a roundtable discussion regarding the evolving Russia-Ukraine situation will be held. Three expert panelist will be involved giving their views on what is occurring and then taking questions from the audience.

The Panelists involved are Professor Derek Hutcheson, Dr. Sarah Whitmore, and Dr. Kateryna Zarembo. Chair: Nick Baigent, RUCARR.
The event will be held online and can be accessed on zoom at the following link:

https://mau-se.zoom.us/j/69380290094

Meeting ID: 693 8029 0094

Dr Sarah Whitmore is a reader in Political Science at Oxford Brookes University. Dr Whitmore’s research focuses upon post-Soviet politics and she is interested in the evolution of formal institutions, their significance in structuring and reproducing power in post-Soviet states, their relationship with informal practices and the implications this has for the political system. Her empirical focus is predominantly on Ukraine and Russia. Her current British Academy funded research project together with Professor Bettina Renz at the University of Nottingham is investigating the importance of the political and strategic context for military reform in Ukraine.

Kateryna Zarembo is a Kyiv-based policy analyst and university lecturer. Her area of expertise is foreign and security policy as well as civil society studies, with a focus on Ukraine. She is an associate fellow at the New Europe Center (Kyiv, Ukraine). She also teaches at the National University of “Kyiv-Mohyla Academy”.

Prof. Derek Hutcheson is a Professor of Political Science in the Department of Global Political Studies (GPS) and vice dean of the Faculty of Culture and Society (KS) at Malmö University, Sweden. He has an extensive background working on issues around Russian and post-Soviet politics, as well as comparative research on transnational citizenship, electoral rights, and local democracy.

 

 

 

 

 

 

RUCARR seminar – September 29

Welcome to a RUCARR seminar with Kristian Steiner & Khalil Mutallimzada on the topic:

Uncertainty and Extremism among Ukrainian Right-Wing Fighters

When: September 29, 15.15–17.00
Where: Zoom. Sign-up at rucarr@mau.se

Dicussant is Niklas Bernsand, European Studies, Lund University

Abstract

After the conflict between pro-Russian separatists and Ukraine broke out in 2014, thousands of Ukrainians voluntarily enrolled to various paramilitary battalions. Unlike the Right Sector’s Volunteer Ukrainian Corps (RS VUC), almost all battalions were incorporated into Ukrainian official defense structures. Applying uncertainty-identity theory and based on interviews, observations, and documents, this study investigates fighters’ motivations for joining and remaining in the RS VUC. The study finds that the fighters distrust the Ukrainian society and authorities. Membership in the RS VUC, with its unambiguous group prototypes and high entitativity, reduces the fighters’ self-uncertainty regarding their social identity in an uncertain environment.

Kristian Steiner, Associate professor in Peace and Conflict Studies, Malmö University,  has for a long time been researching how religion function as a meaning making tool, legitimating, justifying, and motivating hate, violence. In his ongoing research and writing, Steiner analyses the function of meaning making and ideology for setting and policing the borders of closed communities, for legitimating its ties with external groups, and for internal its group dynamics

Khalil Mutallimzada has a BA in Law from Baku State University, Azerbaijan and a BA in Peace and Conflict Studies from Malmö University, Sweden. Currently he is doing his MA in Russian and Eurasian Studies at Uppsala University, Sweden. Mutallimzada is, together with Kristian Steiner, also conducting research on a non-state Ukrainian paramilitary group called Right Sector’s Volunteer Ukrainian Corps (RS’ VUC), studying fighters’ motivations for joining this para-military battalion.

New horizons of internationalisation – new project

Strengthening internationalsation in a new project: New horizons of internationalisation – a partnership between universities in Armenia, Georgia, Moldova, Sweden and Ukraine (funded by the Swedish Institute for 2019).  Partner universities are:

  • Aleco Russo Balti State University, Balti, Moldova
  • Batumi Shota Rustaveli State University, Batumi, Georgia
  • Malmö University, Malmö, Sweden
  • Odessa I.I. Mechnikov National University, Odessa, Ukraine
  • Yerevan State University, Yerevan, Armenia

Project leader: Dr. Tom Nilsson, Dept. of Global Political Studies. Other members of the Malmö team are Cecilia Christensson, Pro Vice-Chancellor with responsibility for Global Engagement and Challenge based Learning; Dr. Tobias Denskus, School of Arts and Communicaton; Prof. Karina Vamling, Co-Director of the research platform Russia and the Caucasus Regional Research (RUCARR); Niklas Nannskog, Malmö University International Office.