Journal of Social, Behavioral, and Health Sciences




The 2022 Russian full-scale invasion of Ukraine caused millions of Ukrainians to flee. Yet most citizens continue to reside in the country, playing critical roles in the Ukrainian resistance. Today the Ukrainian fighting force includes trained military and police as well as citizens who either were conscripted or volunteered to take part in national war efforts. This mixed-method study conducted in Spring 2022 presents data collected from 79 respondents in a semistructured survey, using snowball sampling. Data analysis examined individual self-reported motivations, attitudes toward the conflict, resilience, quality-of-life hardships, and scaled perceived stress. Results indicated that Ukrainian resistance members face extreme physical threats, are displaced, separated from family, and experience high levels of stress, especially anxiety, sadness, and anger. Yet individuals tend to experience significantly less overall Perceived Symptoms Scale symptoms if they have intrinsic motivations linked to patriotic ideologies, altruism, and preventing genocide. Bootstrap regression modeling indicates that familial relationship with their nation reduces symptoms by approximately 13%. Comparatively, being extensively separated from family is linked to 21% higher stress. These motivations appear to provide a sense of purpose and source of resiliency despite the health risks associated with resisting a full-scale foreign invasion. My purpose with this article is to represent respondents’ motivations and experiences during the war and to help inform future public health policy and program services that many Ukrainians may need to recover.