Ukrainian farmers are war heroes: food sovereignty, solidarity initiatives and everyday bravery in rural Ukraine

Speaker: Dr Natalia Mamonova (RURALIS – Institute for Rural and Regional Research, Norway)

Convenor: Dr Darya Tsymbalyuk (St Antony's)

Ukrainian farmers are now called war heroes as they risk their lives every day in the fields to produce food for their country. But not only farming is their contribution to Ukraine’s survival and fight against Russian invaders. In her presentation, Natalia Mamonova will talk about how the war affects agriculture and the daily life in Ukrainian villages. By studying coping strategies and solidarity initiatives, Natalia reveals that smallholder farmers feed their families, the Ukrainian army, and the population, while large industrial agribusinesses struggle to survive in wartime conditions. In addition, farmers are engaged in territorial defense: they receive internally displaced persons, set up checkpoints, and help the Ukrainian military evacuate villagers when the Russians advance. The everyday bravery of Ukrainian farmers has cemented their role as key food producers in the country and may influence the post-war transformation of the Ukrainian agrarian structure.