May 12: Russia’s Invasion of Ukraine – Impacts on Civil Society Around the Region

May 12, 2022

This public event is part of a PWIAS International Research Roundtable on 21st century civil society activism in Central and Eastern Europe led by Prof. Lisa Sundstrom.

Join us for a panel discussion moderated by Prof. Sundstrom, with three well-known civil society activists from countries surrounding Ukraine who will discuss how the Russian invasion has affected their own countries and the work of civil society groups in them. Topics will range from how the speakers and other civil society actors are working directly to assist in anti-war mobilization and humanitarian assistance to those fleeing the conflict, to how the political aspects of the war and historical legacies may be influencing civil society in their home countries.


Alena Popova (Russia): Social activist and the cofounder of the “You are not alone” project. A social media influencer, she is an advocate for women’s rights best known for her “I didn’t want to die” digital campaign against domestic violence. Alena is one of the co-authors of the first anti-domestic violence bill in Russia, which she is currently coordinating to pass into law, with more than 950,000 people signing her petition for its adoption. Alena has prepared several other bills to protect women’s rights, including an anti-harassment law.

Darko Brkan (Bosnia-Herzegovina): Founding president of Zašto ne (Why Not), a Sarajevo-based nongovernmental organization that promotes civic activism, government and media accountability, and the use of technology and digital media in deepening democracy in Bosnia-Herzegovina.

Krzysztof Stanowski (Poland): Co-founder of Lublin Civic Committee to Aid Ukraine. Since 2013, was the co-organizer of Polish support for the Revolution of Dignity in Ukraine. Former President of Solidarity Fund PL (a Polish democracy support agency) and undersecretary of state at the Polish Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

For more information, please contact: civilsocietycee.ubc (at)