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Ukraine after the Euromaidan

Challenges and Hopes

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Edited By Viktor Stepanenko and Yaroslav Pylynskyi

Ukraine’s protest movement of 2013–14, known as the Euromaidan, and its culmination, the people’s uprising in late 2013–early 2014 became one of the most dramatic world events in recent years. The accession of Crimea to the Russian Federation and military conflict in the Donbas demonstrate that the dramatic dynamics of the country’s ongoing transformation are still far from predictable. This book examines the manifold aspects of Ukraine’s current crisis and its political upheaval. The contributors to the book, Ukrainian experts in a variety of disciplinary fields, explore social, political and cultural reasons and factors behind the country’s transformation in its national and regional dimensions, the impact of Ukraine’s revolution on European and global politics, and also the new challenges of tough reforms with which the country is faced. The contributors share the view that the Euromaidan brought new opportunities for Ukraine’s modern development and the greatest historical chance for the country’s European future since independence in 1991.
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The Maidan and Post-Maidan Ukraine: Public Attitudes in Regional Dimensions

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In this paper I focus on the issues of Ukraine’s regional differences reflected in particular in the regional variety of political values and attitudes. As a sociologist I see these regional variations to be much more complex than the stereotypical and simplistic view of Ukraine as a “divided country” or the cliché of “two Ukraines.” In my view the latter is rather the product of politically manipulative technologies which were artificially brewed and imposed at least by the complex presidential campaign of 2004 known as the country’s “Orange revolution.”

The Euromaidan and the Revolution of Dignity, as the Ukrainian mass protests in 2013–2014 were named, was perceived differently not only in different countries but also in Ukraine itself. While there is no reason to talk of the confrontation of “two Ukraines,” these protests against the Yanukovych regime and their perception by the public varied in different parts of the country. The protests on the Maidan were supported, according to the nationwide survey of the Institute of Sociology,1 by 83% of Western Ukraine inhabitants, 79% in Kyiv and by almost two thirds of Central and Southeastern Ukrainian citizens (65%).

The Maidan was perceived differently in the southern and southeastern regions of Ukraine. Only in the Donbas, the native region of President Yanukovych and his stronghold, was the Maidan not supported by the majority of citizens (68%), its supporters clearly constituting a minority there (10%). In the South Ukrainian areas (Odessa, Nikolaev, Kherson regions)...

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