M.A. Tetyana Fedorchuk


Dozentur für die Geschichte Osteuropas

B121b, Unitobler
Universität Bern
Historisches Institut
Länggassstrasse 49
CH-3012 Bern
  • Eastern European History
  • Ukrainian History
  • History of migration
  • Women's History

Ukrainian internal migration: Soviet and modern challenges (Doc.CH application)

Even before the full-scale invasion in February 2022, Ukraine had a long tradition of internal migrations. While during the Soviet era, this process was mainly governmentally organised to meet planned economic goals of socialism, internal migration in the period after 1991 became associated with individual economic circumstances, demand and supply factors in the job market, and other changes which were linked to the collapse of the USSR. I argue that shifts in the policies and political system in general altered people’s migration patterns and influenced push and pull factors. Therefore, my research project aims to identify how the mechanisms and reasons for internal migration changed from 1953, after Stalin’s death, until 2004, the Orange Revolution, with a special focus on the post-1991 political shift.

An additional gender-based approach to my research will offer a unique analysis of the female agency in the internal migration process in Ukraine during the Soviet period and its shift after 1991. I will also provide broader insights into female challenges, motivations, and mechanisms of inner mobility. I argue that the migrant woman played a crucial role not only in the migration process but also in shaping the identifications of their descendants. Therefore, decisions regarding the preservation or abandonment of cultural, linguistic, or religious characteristics within families often depended on women’s actions and choices.

As a result, using diverse archival material, censuses, governmental reports, and oral historical evidence, I aim to construct a structured theoretical framework on internal migration processes, while also providing a deeper understanding of internal mobility and its outcomes and influences on the meso-level, particularly focusing on women’s experiences, which remained understudied.