War and Ethnic Minorities in Ukraine
Since the beginning of the full-scale Russian aggression in Ukraine, international organizations have reported on the impact of the war, detailing the general numbers of those affected, of internally displaced persons (IDPs), or of those fleeing abroad. However, these generalized figures tell us little about the diversity of the displaced, who do not constitute a socially, religiously, or ethnically homogeneous group. This project focuses on two ethnic groups and their everyday experiences of the current Russo-Ukrainian War. First, this project considers the Meskhetian Turks, an ethnic group that has been displaced five times during last 80 years. The Russian aggression caused a new, large-scale wave of Meskhetian Turk migrations. Those who were still in Ukraine in 2022 were forced to seek refuge in other regions of Ukraine or abroad. Second, this project considers Roma peoples. A significant distinction in Romani culture and identity is that between the Roma and people who are not ethnic Romani (or, ‘Gadjo’). Some pilot interviews with Romani people in the Kherson community show that one of the most important questions for the Roma now is: is this a Gadjo war, or are the Roma also involved in it? This project aims to identify factors that influence the formation of group identities in ethnic minorities in the context of open military aggression and forced migration.