Social Background of the Military Conflict in Ukraine: Regional cleavages and geopolitical orientations


  • Oleh Ivanov National University of "Kyiv-Mohyla Academy"


geopolitical orientations, regional cleavages, Ukraine-Russia conflict, lingual-ethnic heterogeneity, ethnic identity


Military conflict in South-Eastern Ukraine is an example of “hybrid warfare” in which “war for minds” is one of the key elements. Differences of Ukrainian people geopolitical orientations often explained with region of residence, ethnic identity and native language. Previous research on the problem has three types of limitations: scale, dependent variable (orientations) and regional structures. This study is an attempt to challenge on-surface view of residence place as the key predictor of geopolitical attitudes in Ukraine. The author used excessive amount of data (2005-2015 period surveys with 378,733 cases total sample) and several combinations of dependent variables to test the effects of attitude types, changing political situation and social environment in the regions. The results of regression modeling shows that regional structure is more powerful in explaining general attitude to Russia than integration intentions. Regional differences proved to be partially explained with the level of lingual-ethnic heterogeneity. In general it seems that language environment has more influence than ethnic. Religious identification also remains very powerful and significant. It is claimed that cultural domain of social environment is the key to explain regional structure of geopolitical orientations in Ukraine.

Author Biography

  • Oleh Ivanov, National University of "Kyiv-Mohyla Academy"
    Senior lecturer at the Department of Sociology, National University “Kyiv-Mohyla Academy”, and analyst at the Presidential Administration, Ukraine. In 2012 defended “summa cum laude” PhD thesis “Representation of People’s Foreign Policy Orientations in the Public Communication of Power Elites”. Scholar interests cover political sociology, sociology of mass communication, content-analytical methodology.




How to Cite

Social Background of the Military Conflict in Ukraine: Regional cleavages and geopolitical orientations. (2016). Social, Health, and Communication Studies Journal, 2(1), 52-73.