Looking Back to Look Forward: Ukraine’s Evolving Use of Digital Space for Resistance and Public Diplomacy, 2014-2022

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Department of Humanities


This study considers how the communication strategies used by Ukraine since it was invaded by Russia in February 2022 are contextualized by its response to the Russian invasion of Crimea and eastern Ukraine 8 years earlier. Survey data and interviews with Ukrainian citizens in 2015 reveal a civil society with distrust of media, well-developed information literacy, a willingness to play an active role in finding credible information, and a strong spirit of self-reliance resulting from distrust of their government and Russia. Ukrainians’ early recognition of the importance of digital information space in challenging Russia’s sophisticated disinformation tactics enabled their under-developed public diplomacy to rapidly evolve after the 2022 invasion and contributed to their success in soliciting support and exhibiting resistance in the war against their long-standing adversary.

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ESSACHESS - Journal for Communication Studies