Forced displacement from Ukraine’s war-torn territories: intersectionality and power geometry

Irina Kuznetsova, Oksana Mikheieva

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The number of internally forcibly displaced persons is growing every year across the globe and exceeds the number of refugees. To date, Ukraine has the highest number of internally displaced persons (IDPs) in Europe with about 1.4 million people forced to flee from the conflict in eastern Ukraine and the annexation of Crimea in 2014. Employing Massey’s ‘power geometry’ concept, modalities of borders and intersectional approach, this paper theorizes how internally displaced people are situated politically within a protracted conflict. It highlights the opportunities of this approach in analyzing how the reaction to the war brings authorities to see displaced people as a static category and reproduce war-lexicon in policies which fractures the space of everyday life. Drawing upon qualitative research in Ukraine, among IDPs, civil society, international organizations, and public officials, the paper argues that intersections of displacement with gender and older age, and the lack of state recognition of these different groups of IDPs, together with the lack of the economic
resources for social policy produces multiple forms of social exclusion.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)690-706
Number of pages17
JournalNationalities Papers
Issue numberSpecial issue 4
Publication statusPublished - 12 Aug 2020


  • Donbas
  • IDPs
  • Ukraine
  • elderly
  • internally displaced persons
  • intersectionality


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