Course on the History of Ukrainian Civil Society

On January 22, a comprehensive course detailing the socio-political events and processes that have shaped Ukrainian civil society since the country’s independence was unveiled in Kyiv. This course, which is freely accessible online via Zrozumilo! platform, was developed by  East Europe Foundation in collaboration with the Ukrainian Institute, with funding from the European Union.

«Ukrainians demonstrate incredible resilience, self-organization, and dedication to their country. We are delighted to support the creation of this course, which will enable Ukrainians to learn more about their own history of protest movements and resistance,” noted Julia Jacoby,  Sector Manager for Civil Society with the EU Delegation in Ukraine.

The course provides an in-depth look at various topics, including the origins and progression of the Orange Revolution and the Revolution of Dignity, the establishment, and evolution of independent Ukrainian media, the political and public life of Crimean Tatars in Ukraine, Russian transgressions in Crimea, and the history of Ukrainian civil movements and communities in eastern Ukraine.

«The Ukrainian society is strong, determined, and capable of effective resistance against a much larger opponent. And this is not a coincidence. It’s crucial to study the values that Ukrainians defend on the home front and the battlefield. Understanding our history, the people who shaped it, and the context in which it unfolded is vital for countering propaganda narratives, ensuring the survival of our nation, and building an even stronger civil society,” noted  Victor Liakh, President of East Europe Foundation.

The course comprises 12 visually engaging online lectures, authored by a diverse group of intellectuals, human rights activists, philosophers, scientists, journalists, and civic activists. The contributors include Oleksandra Matviychuk, Vakhtang Kebuladze, Olha Onukh, Sevgil Musayeva, Yevhen Hlibovytskyi, Emily Channell-Justice, Emma Mateo, Ihor Kozlovskyi, Alim Aliyev, Kateryna Zarembo, Taras Lyuty, and Tetiana Teren. Ilona Dovhan and Tymofii Brik have also joined the course for the English version.

«Very often in our work abroad, we are asked a relatively simple yet simultaneously complex question: “Who are Ukrainians? Why is there such widespread resistance today? What outcomes did your revolutions yield? How have you transformed over the past 30 years? Why do you uphold democratic values in contrast to an authoritarian neighbor waging war against you?” In response to these queries, we decided to create the first online course on the history of civil society following the restoration of independence», noted Alim Aliyev, Deputy Director General of the Ukrainian Institute.

The course is now available in Ukrainian for everyone at the following link: 

Course presentation commences with public discussion at the Kyiv School of Economics. In a symbolic gesture on the Day of Unity of Ukraine, a public discussion was held at the Kyiv School of Economics to mark the commencement of the course presentation. The discussion centered around the triumphs and challenges faced by Ukrainians and Ukrainian civil society.

The event was graced by the presence of several distinguished individuals. 

Among them were Alim Aliyev, a Crimean human rights activist and Deputy Director General of the Ukrainian Institute, who also curates cultural and educational projects. Sevgil Musayeva, the Editor-in-Chief of the online publication Ukrainska Pravda, was in attendance, as was Tymofii Brick, the Rector of the University of the Kyiv School of Economics. Kateryna Zarembo, an Associate Research Fellow at the New Europe Center and a Visiting Fellow at the Central European University, also participated in the event. Other attendees included Viktor Liakh, President of East Europe Foundation; Ilona Dovhan, a journalist and host of the Kyiv24 TV channel; and Oleksiy Haran, a Professor of Political Science at the National University of Kyiv-Mohyla Academy and Research Director of the Ilko Kucheriv Democratic Initiatives Foundation.

In the near future, an English-language version of the course will be made available on the Coursera, a globally renowned learning platform. This will enable international audiences to gain insights into the essence of Ukrainian revolutions, the phenomenon of mass resistance, and the values that inspire Ukrainians to take action.

For reference:

The online course was created within the framework of the Phoenix Project, which is implemented by East Europe Foundation with the financial support of the European Union.