An ICNC-moderated webinar discussion brought together four Ukrainian guests with backgrounds in academia, journalism, activism, and policy to talk about the political conflict in Ukraine. A number of false narratives have emerged that branded the Maidan Revolution as violent, driven by radicals and external powers. After the invasion of Crimea and its annexation to Russia some commentators suggested that the outcome of the referendum reflected the preferences of the majority of the Crimean population and the political change represented by the annexation of Crimea to Russia was in fact engineered peacefully, which contrasted with the supposedly violent nature of the Maidan Revolution that brought down the Yanukovych regime.
This webinar addressed the prevailing misconceptions that emerged around the conflict in Ukraine. It discussed the origin, goals, strategies and tactics behind the Ukrainian Maidan movement, as well as its composition and its responses to the state-sponsored repression. Webinar discussants talked about the role of a violent minority – a radical flank in the movement – and reflected on the impact of external actors in the Ukrainian struggle. How, and more importantly why was the Yanukovych regime ultimately brought down? In the final part of the conversation, the speakers offered their views on the ongoing mobilization of the Ukrainian society against Russia’s annexation of Crimea, and against a possible Russian invasion of other parts of Ukraine, as well as civic organizing to support but also pressure the Ukrainian government to implement needed reforms.