ABSTRACT. This article expands the analytical framework for understanding “nationalism” in Ukraine to competing ethnic Ukrainian, Soviet and Russian nationalisms that co-existed uneasily but largely peacefully until the 2013–2014 Euromaidan sparked by Viktor Yanukovych’s refusal to sign the EU Association Agreement, but then driven by widespread public anger at rapacious levels of corruption, Ukrainophobia and political repression. His presidency, violence during the Euromaidan and Yanukovch fleeing from power precipitated Russia’s annexation of the Crimea and invasion of Eastern Ukraine in support of separatist proxies. Violence during the Euromaidan and the Donbas conflict was a reflection of the authoritarian, criminal and thuggish culture common to the Donbas and Crimea that had always underpinned the Party of Regions and its political allies were the greatest threat to Ukraine’s democracy and territorial integrity. With only marginal political support, ethnic Ukrainian nationalist parties, although the subject of many academic studies, were never electorally popular even during a time of war in 2014. pp. 30–51

Keywords: nationalism; Euromaidan; Donbas; Crimea; Viktor Yanukovych; Russian hybrid war

How to cite: Kuzio, Taras (2015), "A New Framework for Understanding Nationalisms in Ukraine: Democratic Revolutions, Separatism and Russian Hybrid War," Geopolitics, History, and International Relations 7(1): 30–51.

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Centre for Political and Regional Studies,
Canadian Institute of Ukrainian Studies,
University of Alberta;
University of Toronto

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