Policy Report

Ukraine: Measuring Civic Space Risk, Resilience, and Russian Influence in the Lead-Up to War

Date Published

Mar 21, 2023


Samantha Custer, Divya Mathew, Bryan Burgess, Emily Dumont, Lincoln Zaleski



Custer, S.,  Mathew, D., Burgess, B., Dumont, E., and Zaleski, L.,(2023). Ukraine: Measuring civic space risk, resilience, and Russian influence in the lead up to war. Williamsburg, VA: AidData at William & Mary.


This report surfaces insights about the health of Ukraine’s civic space and vulnerability to malign foreign influence in the lead up to Russia’s February 2022 invasion. The analysis was part of a broader three-year initiative by AidData—a research lab at William & Mary’s Global Research Institute—to produce quantifiable indicators to monitor civic space resilience in the face of Kremlin influence operations over time (from 2010 to 2021) and across 17 countries and 7 occupied or autonomous territories in Eastern Europe and Eurasia (E&E). Research included extensive original data collection to track Russian state-backed financing and in-kind assistance to civil society groups and regulators, media coverage targeting foreign publics in the region, and indicators to assess domestic attitudes to civic participation and restrictions of civic space actors. 

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