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31 January 2024

Russia-Ukraine Dialogues: Women on the Frontlines

On January 30, 2024, the Women on the Frontlines panel took place as part of the LSE IDEAS Russia-Ukraine Dialogues. The event was held with the participation of Diana Butsko, Hanna Hopko, Mariia Zolkina and Leon Hartwell PhD.

A key focus of this panel was  on the transformation of the military landscape, exploring how women's increased participation in military and paramilitary roles has altered societal perceptions. The panel focused address lingering barriers to entry and the ongoing efforts to rectify inequalities within the military, such as shortages of proper equipment and uniforms for women in service.

The panel examined the long-term impact of the war on women's roles in post-conflict reconstruction and political landscapes,  addressing whether expectations for women to be vocal and active are fair and the potential consequences for those who diverge from these expectations.

Maria Zolkina,  Head of Regional Security and Conflictology Programmes at the Ilko Kucheriv Democratic Initiatives Foundation, Research Fellow at London School of Economics and Political Science, spoke about the role of women in public diplomacy in the context of the Russian Assembly.

"In 2022, when Russia launched a full-scale invasion of Ukraine, women became the real face of Ukrainian diplomacy, not only public diplomacy in terms of being fully engaged in public, but also expert diplomacy, which became a very powerful tool for communicating with target groups in the West, the Global South, and indeed around the world", she said.