Publication Date



Open access

Embargo Period


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


International Studies (Arts and Sciences)

Date of Defense


First Committee Member

Bruce M. Bagley

Second Committee Member

Ambler H. Moss

Third Committee Member

Lilian E. Yaffe


The Ukraine Crisis is a complex and nuanced situation in the modern day. The interactions between the various actors involved in it, from the Western powers, to Ukraine and Russia themselves are examined by examining the secondary literature using an eclectic theoretical framework combining Constructivism and Neorealism. The Russian and Ukrainian socio-political frameworks are used as points of reference for the positions they play not just in the crisis, but in Russia and Ukraine’s relationship over time. This shared history of the two nations informs us of the social construction of the identity of what it means to be Russian or Ukrainian and how this has affected their actions in the crisis. The crisis is examined from the point of the Euromaidan, the War in Donbass, and the annexation of Crimea. This thesis wishes to answer why Russia maintains their annexation of Crimea and support for a frozen conflict the West seems willing to fight over long-term, at least diplomatically. It also wishes to answer why Ukraine’s people found themselves in a civil war between its Russian and Ukrainianspeaking populations, and why the West has been so ambivalent in its support for Ukraine over the time since the start of the crisis.


Ukraine; Russia; NATO; Ukraine Crisis; Euromaidan; War in Donbass