Challenges and Hopes
Edited By Viktor Stepanenko and Yaroslav Pylynskyi
Public Opinion in the Donbas and Halychyna on the Ukraine’s Upheavals of Winter 2013–Summer 2014
In this paper we are examine regional differences in Ukraine, namely in two regional “poles” of the country: the Donbas and the Halychyna. This case study is mostly the result of the survey conducted in spring-summer 2014 in those regions. The conceptual framework of our analysis will comprise an approach to Ukraine as a regional system and also an understanding of mass consciousness (and public opinion reflecting it) as a functioning spiritual formation and shared values interwoven in the collective activity of the population.
Since the mid-1990s, whenever Ukrainian society has faced tough political decisions, the potential solutions have not been acceptable for all of the country’s regions. Ultimately, these solutions were restricted to the two poles regionally located in the Donbas (comprising Eastern Ukraine’s two regions, known as “oblast’,” Donetska and Luhanska) and the Halychyna (comprising Western Ukraine’s three oblast’ – L’vivska, Ternopilska and Ivano-Frankivska). This also happened in the course of the deepest social and political crisis in the history of independent Ukraine, which escalated into open civil confrontation when on November 21, 2013 the Azarov government announced it was postponing signing the EU Association Agreement. First, confrontation unfolded in the form of the Euro-Maidan and further moved to the phase of open struggle to overthrow the government. This dynamic was described by Haran and Burkovskiy thus: “… From euro-protests to national struggle against the regime.”1 In the east of the country, the local Maidan movement was not prolific. Its most active participants went directly...
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