Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin - Department of Social Sciences - Berlin Graduate School of Social Science

Kostiantyn Fedorenko

Kostiantyn Fedorenko

BGSS Generation 2019



From Molotov Cocktails to Farewell Parties: Causes of Emigration for Participants of the 2013-2014 “Euromaidan” Protests in Ukraine



Prof. Dr. Gwendolyn Sasse


In late 2013 and early 2014, Ukrainians held mass protests against their government. These protests have involved immediate risks for the protesters, as the law enforcement used excessive, and at times lethal, force against them.  The regime was toppled in February 2014, and the protesters were hoping for a better future. Five years later, the country has survived a devastating military conflict in Donbas region, recovered from an economic downfall of 2014-2015, and generally stabilized. Yet despite all that, numerous former participants of the "Euromaidan" protests have decided to leave the country by now, and more may follow.

This presents a research question: why do people who have previously risked their lives in anti-government protests that ended in success decide to emigrate several years after? Their personal motivations are obviously diverse; yet this project aims to systematize them and find the main groups of factors that contributed to these decisions. It is especially relevant to understand these causes since Ukraine experiences a "brain drain" of its qualified youth.
This study will involve interviews with former participants of "Euromaidan", evaluating their attitudes to the idea of emigrating and the social, economic, security-related and political factors that might be influencing their decision. Respondents will be recruited via respondent-driven sampling. Statistical  relation between the emigration likelihood and the dissatisfaction with these groups of factors for the respondent will be tested. The working hypothesis is that dissatisfaction with the post-2014 political developments in Ukraine is the main driving factor behind the willingness to emigrate.