Chapter 5: Youth activism in Ukraine before and during the Russia–Ukraine war
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Ukrainian youth have witnessed a wide array of political, socioeconomic, and cultural transformations since the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991. Thousands of young people became involved in the 2013-2014 Revolution of Dignity, pressing for the country’s closer ties with the European Union. Furthermore, Russia’s war on Ukraine had a profound impact on Ukrainian society and caused tremendous mobilization against the aggressor state. Against this backdrop, the chapter examines different forms of youth activism related to (1) free and fair elections; (2) pro-European foreign policy; and (3) national security. An overview of English-language scholarship on the topic demonstrates how young people engaged in election-related civic initiatives, street actions against the incumbent government, and crowdsourcing for the Armed Forces of Ukraine. An interdisciplinary analysis of youth activism in Eastern Europe contributes to a rich literature on youth and society by highlighting the pivotal role of young people in a fragile democracy.

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