The Crisis in Ukraine and the Split of Identity in the Russian-speaking World


  • Larisa Fialkova University of Haifa, Haifa, Israel
  • Maria Yelenevskaia Technion - Israel Institute of Technology, Haifa, Israel



The events of 2014 in Ukraine triggered a wave of discussions and narratives rewriting history and reexamining allegiances and cultural affinities. Material for the study was drawn from Facebook, blogs and internet discussion forums, folk humor disseminated online, personal correspondence and participant observation. This essay discusses how opinions are formed in the diaspora and how they are affected by different sources of information. The attitude to events in Ukraine has turned into a litmus test in personal relations, sometimes leading to a break up of friendships and family relations. Our analyses will disclose ambivalences in the perception of Ukrainian crisis in the diaspora. Those who support Ukraine do not necessarily come from that country or have cultural affinities with it and not all Ukrainian supporters identify with democratic values. Critics of the current Ukrainian government do not always support the actions of Putin’s Russia. Among them there are also people from Ukraine and able to speak Ukrainian. Like many political conflicts this one fueled nationalism not only in the participating countries but also in the Russian-speaking diaspora.