Prairie Centre for the Study of Ukrainian Heritage ST. THOMAS MORE COLLEGE, UNIVERSITY OF SASKATCHEWAN

Oksana Dudko: “Ukraine is a country that never started any wars”

Oksana Dudko, a Petro Jacyk Postdoctoral Fellow in Ukrainian Studies, participated in the discussion “Ukraine: 2014, Today, What Next?” organized by Veterans For Peace (VFP): Ukraine Peace Solidarity Webinar Series. In addition to Dudko, the webinar featured Carl Mirra and John Spitzberg and was moderated by Sasha Kanster. In her talk, Dudko explained how the Maidan Revolutions of 2004 and 2013–2014 shaped Ukrainian identity, and she discussed the paradoxes of Ukrainian militarization. In particular, Dudko stated that “Living through peaceful protests and believing in the power of grassroots organizations and then witnessing the brutal killing of friends who protested for such basic rights as freedom and dignity cultivated the belief that Ukraine and its way of life has been existentially threatened […] Police brutality during the Euromaidan, the annexation of Crimea, and the beginning of the armed conflict in eastern Ukraine by Russia made Ukrainians realize that peaceful efforts don’t always work and that they need to take up weapons to protect their families and way of living.”

Listen to the full discussion: