Digital media practices in a conflict setting: Ukraine after the Maidan


  • Olena Nedozhogina University of Tartu



Ukraine, digital media practices, identity, conflict, Russia


This article is a qualitative investigation of the mechanisms of reproduction of national identity narratives through digital media practices of hybrid populations in a conflict context using the example of Ukraine after the outbreak of the conflict with Russia. The article is based on a collection of 14 in-depth interviews with Russian-speaking Ukrainians from various regions. The findings point to several conclusions: first, hybrid/heterogeneous media practices are not always accompanied by high engagement. However, diverse heterogeneous and non-diverse homogeneous practices characterized by high engagement produced opposing narratives of national identity in the post-change Ukraine: a nation-centered interpretation of national identity homogeneous versus a universalistic post-national interpretation heterogeneous.

Author Biography

Olena Nedozhogina, University of Tartu

Olena Nedozhogina is a Ph.D. candidate at the Institute of Social Studies, University of Tartu, Estonia. Her research interests are migration and transnationalism, transnational digital media practices and the politics of belonging.


Aksoy, A., & Robins, K. (2002). Banal transnationalism: The difference that television makes. Oxford: University of Oxford, Transnational Communities Programme.

Anderson, B. (2006). Imagined communities: Reflections on the origin and spread of nationalism. New York: Verso Books.

Andersson, M. (2013). Multi-contextual lives: Transnational identifications under mediatised conditions. European Journal of Cultural Studies, 16(4), 387–404.

Bennett, W. L., & Segerberg, A. (2012). The logic of connective action: Digital media and the person-alization of contentious politics. Information, Communication & Society, 15(5), 739–768.

Chadwick, A. (2017). The hybrid media system: Politics and power. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Collin, P. (2014). Digitally enhanced? Mediated migration and ‘fourth wave’ Chileans in Australia. Journal of Intercultural Studies, 35(5), 532–548.

Couldry, N. (2012). Media, society, world: Social theory and digital media practice. Cambridge, UK: Polity.

Gil de Zúñiga, H., Jung, N., & Valenzuela, S. (2012). Social media use for news and individuals’ social capital, civic engagement and political participation. Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication, 17(3), 319–336.

Gu, B., Konana, P., Raghunathan, R., & Chen, H. M. (2014). Research note — The allure of homophily in social media: Evidence from investor responses on virtual communities. Information Systems Research, 25(3), 604–617.

Hutchings, S., & Szostek, J. (2015). Dominant narratives in Russian political and media discourse during the Ukraine crisis. In Ukraine and Russia: People, politics, propaganda and perspectives (pp. 173–185). Bristol, UK: E-International Relations.

Kulyk, V. (2019). Identity in transformation: Russian-speakers in post-Soviet Ukraine. Europe-Asia Studies, 71(1), 156–178.

Kulyk, V. (2018). Between the “Self” and the “Other”: Representations of Ukraine’s Russian-speakers in social media discourse. East/West: Journal of Ukranian Studies, 5(2), 65–88.

Kuzio, T. (2015). Competing nationalisms, Euromaidan, and the Russian‐Ukrainian conflict. Studies in Ethnicity and Nationalism, 15(1), 157–169.

Nedozhogina, O. (2019). Redrawing symbolic boundaries after Maidan: Identity strategies among Russian-speaking Ukrainians. In National identities, forthcoming.

Papacharissi, Z. (2015). Affective publics: Sentiment, technology, and politics. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Reckwitz, A. (2002). Toward a theory of social practices: A development in culturalist theorizing. European Journal of Social Theory, 5(2), 243–263.

Shove, E., & Pantzar, M. (2005). Consumers, producers and practices: Understanding the invention and reinvention of Nordic walking. Journal of Consumer Culture, 5(1), 43–64.

Szostek, J. (2017). The power and limits of Russia’s strategic narrative in Ukraine: The role of linkage. Perspectives on Politics, 15(2), 379–395.

Szostek, J. (2018). Nothing is true? The credibility of news and conflicting narratives during “inform-tion war” in Ukraine. The International Journal of Press/Politics, 23(1), 116–135.

Teper, Y. (2016). Official Russian identity discourse in light of the annexation of Crimea: National or imperial? Post-Soviet Affairs, 32(4), 378–396.

Trošt, T. P., & Mandić, D. (2017). Introduction: Beyond ethnicity in research on youth in Southeast Europe. In T. Trošt & D. Mandić (Eds.), Changing youth values in Southeast Europe (pp. 1–15). London: Routledge.

Vertovec, S. (2001). Transnationalism and identity. Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies, 27(4), 573–582.

Vihalemm, T., Juzefovičs, J., & Leppik, M. (2019). Identity and media-use strategies of the Estonian and Latvian Russian-speaking populations amid political crisis. Europe-Asia Studies, 71(1), 48–70.

Wessels, B. (2018). Communicative civic-ness: Social media and political culture. New York: Routledge.




How to Cite

Nedozhogina, O. (2019). Digital media practices in a conflict setting: Ukraine after the Maidan . Central European Journal of Communication, 12(3(24), 316-334.



Scientific Papers