The “Invisible Battalion”: Women in ATO Military Operations in Ukraine

Tamara Martsenyuk, Ganna Grytsenko, Anna Kvit


The study bears a metaphorical title – “The Invisible Battalion” – to reflect the finding that women in the Armed Forces of Ukraine and in volunteer battalions in the ongoing conflict in the Donbas are not given equal treatment to their male colleagues; their contributions are rarely recognized. The theoretical background of this article brings us to the sociology of the military, gender in organizations, and feminist perspectives of women’s participation in the armed forces. Fieldwork to study women’s participation in the ATO (summer-autumn 2015) was conducted using 42 in-depth semi-structured interviews with women (aged 20–47) who are, or were in the ATO.


Ukraine; Anti-Terrorist Operation (ATO); the Donbas; women; armed forces; female soldiers

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