Making a Living in the Wartime Donbas

Wednesday, March 27, 2019
Marshall D. Shulman Seminar Room, 1219 International Affairs Building (420 W 118th St)

Please join us for a talk with humanitarian activist Brian Milakovsky.

The residents of the Donbas experience the economic crisis brought on by the armed conflict in diverse ways. They include displaced urban professionals starting anew in villages, smallholder farmers selling their produce across the frontline, wildcat coal miners and scrap metal gangs, industrial workers choosing between a hometown factory and migration to Russia or Poland. They face an economy warped not only by shelling and mass displacement, but also by the economic warfare of sanctions, “nationalization” and blockade.

This presentation will focus on their struggle to adapt and find agency in the wartime Donbas, and on the difficult policy choices ahead for Ukraine regarding the region’s economic future.

Brian Milakovsky works in the humanitarian aid and development sector in eastern Ukraine, with a focus on economic recovery and livelihoods. Prior to this he worked from 2009 to 2015 in Ukraine and Russia in forest conservation. He writes about how civilians experience the Donbas conflict for the Kennan Institute, The National Interest, Fair Observer and openDemocracy Russia. His latest piece “On the Edge: War and Industrial Crisis in Luhansk Oblast” was published by the Kennan Institute in September.