Following the outbreak of the insurgency in eastern Ukraine, thousands of volunteers joined pro-Kiev battalions. Although they have fiercely fought against pro-Kremlin forces, very little is known about them. The article will investigate why individuals have engaged in such a risky endeavour for no obvious material reward. It will claim that ideas, political-social norms and emotions have functioned as mobilization mechanisms that can explain individual decisions. Based on interviews, the article will argue that the mobilization of Ukrainian volunteer fighters has a strong cognitive-normative-emotional dimension that cannot be ignored and should be further explored.
Karagiannis, Emmanuel. 2016. "Ukrainian Volunteer Fighters in the Eastern Front: Ideas, Political-Social Norms and Emotions as Mobilization Mechanisms." Southeast European and Black Sea Studies 16 (February): 139-153. http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/14683857.2016.1148413