The Role of Grassroots Activism in Ukraine’s Fight

Grassroots Activism, which attempts to mobilize everyday people to take action, has been particularly effective in Ukraine’s fight against Russia. From small protests in occupied cities to international donations from civic-minded citizens, grassroots movements have played an integral part in Ukraine’s efforts to repel Russia.

On February 26th, Ukrainian officials pleaded for the world to stand with Ukraine and donate money to help support the Ukrainian army. During the announcement, they revealed that they would accept cryptocurrency donations via Bitcoin, Ethereum, and USDT. In just one week, international donors sent over $55 million in crypto to Ukraine. The ease with which average individuals across the globe can send funds means ordinary citizens can make their support for Ukraine much more tangible. Ukraine’s war efforts are not only galvanized by their own populous but by a global network of donors.

While the donations are helpful, the on-the-ground local activism in Ukraine is crucial for fending off the invasion. Villages and small towns across Ukraine have experienced a wave of support from ordinary people, such as farmers, business owners, store clerks, and taxi drivers. Average people display their patriotism where they can: shouting insults at Russian soldiers, taking down road signs to make navigation more difficult, and creating camouflage nets for Ukrainian tanks. Outside of the village of Hushchyntsi (NW of Vinnytsia), people banded together to dig trenches and create a checkpoint. All of these actions may seem inconsequential if one views them individually, but taken as a whole, they play an effective role in slowing the advance of Russian troops.

In occupied cities and territories, protests are often the final act of resistance against Russian troops. In response to a potential referendum in Kherson, 200 citizens gathered to protest in the city center. It serves to both undermine the Kremlin’s liberation narrative and demonstrate to Russian officials that passing a referendum will not be as easy as it was in 2014.

The collective sum of these small acts of resistance and the material support from the international community will continue to aid Ukraine’s military. Grassroots activism may be underrated, but the totality of the actions has positive ripple effects. As the war enters a new phase, support from the average citizens both within Ukraine and globally will help prevent further incursion by Russia into Ukraine.


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