The role of the state and the transformation of Ukrainian political elite in the resurrection of ethnic conflict: Euro-Maidan and the civil war in post-Soviet Ukraine

Pehlivanoğlu, Onurhan
This thesis examines the role of the Ukrainian political elite and the state in the resurrection of ethno-political conflicts in post-Soviet Ukraine. It firstly investigates how Ukrainian political elite’s management of existing ethno-political attitudes on the state level has caused the evolution of Ukrainian crisis from so called peaceful protests to a seemingly ethnic conflict. Secondly, it answers the question how newly emerging ruling class during the post-Soviet transition period has affected the political and ethnic polarization in Ukraine. The thesis comes to following conclusions: Firstly, as a result of Maidan process and its impacts on ethno-political separation between the Eastern/Southern and the Western/Central Ukraine by 2014, contemporary post-Soviet Ukraine cannot be classified as a civic state anymore to the contrary some scholars’ claims. The ongoing civil war between nationalizing/re-ethnicizing post-Maidan Ukrainian state and the pro-Russian political elites in the Donbass generated an unbreachable drift between the titular nation and Russian minority in today’s Ukraine. Secondly, this post-Euro-Maidan ‘‘nationalizing’’ process caused the break-up of Ukraine through triggering separatist volitions of Russian-speaking minorities living in Crimea, Eastern and Southern Ukraine, namely Novorossiya today. And thirdly, the peoples of Novorossiya could not reach a successful secession from the tyrant Kiev regime to form an independent republic since the administrations of self-proclaimed Donetsk and Luhansk People’s Republics are heavily under dominancy of pro-Russian nationalist elites despite the presence of progressive forces in Novorossiya today. These pro-Russian elites spread their reactionary and rightwing chauvinist/nationalist ideologies, discourses and regulations to hold down these progressive forces at governmental level.


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Citation Formats
O. Pehlivanoğlu, “The role of the state and the transformation of Ukrainian political elite in the resurrection of ethnic conflict: Euro-Maidan and the civil war in post-Soviet Ukraine,” M.S. - Master of Science, Middle East Technical University, 2017.