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Characteristics of the Politically Polarized Groups' Audience on VKontakte During Ukrainian Political Crisis (2013−2015)

Научные исследования: 


For citation: Zuykina K.L., Sokolova D.V. (2016) Osobennosti auditorii polyarizovannykh soobshchestv «VKontakte» v period ukrainskogo politicheskogo krizisa (2013−2015 gg.) [Characteristics of the Politically Polarized Groups' Audience on VKontakte During Ukrainian Political Crisis (2013−2015)]. Mediaskop 3. Available at:


© Kristina L. Zuykina
PhD student at the Chair of Media Theory and Economics, Faculty of Journalism, Lomonosov Moscow State University (Moscow, Russia),

© Daria V. Sokolova
PhD student at the Chair of Foreign Journalism and Literature, Faculty of Journalism, Lomonosov Moscow State University (Moscow, Russia),



The present study examines the specificity of audience characteristics of online communities representing different political clusters of social network VKontakte. The study of these characteristics will be helpful in the understanding of the features of content politics implemented by online communities of different political orientation.

16 online communities were chosen for this study, each had more than 100 thousand subscribers. All the communities were divided into two groups on ideological basis: the ones advocating for the integrity of the state and the ones supporting the independence of the East of Ukraine.

This research covers the events of Euromaidan, the anti-terrorist operation, the formation of Donetsk People's Republic, Luhansk People's Republic and Kharkov People's Republic. Resulting from that 2031 articles were analysed. For this study the methods of comparative, system and quantitative analysis as well as content analysis were used.

The analysis of online communities led to some interim conclusions: already at the beginning of the conflict two ideologically opposed political clusters were formed in the social network; the portraits of the online communities' users also vary. Therefore, a typical user of the community type I − teenager 12−17 years old, "actively searching", living on the territory of Ukraine (Kiev), while a typical user communities of the II type is a married man aged 30−34 living in Russia.

Offline audience overlaps with online audience on some indicators, that allows to consider the possibility of forecasting the development of the political situation on the basis of off-line data in future studies.

Keywords: social media, VKontakte, Ukraine, political crisis, information confrontation



Internet users as percentage of population. Google data. Available at: (aссessed: 24.12.2015).

Invisible Man. Available at:

Ja tebe kohaju [I Love You]. Available at:

KievGO. Available at:

Majdan-2013: hto stoi't', chomu i za shho? [Maidan-2013: Who's, Why, and for What?]. Available at: (aссessed: 15.01.2016).

Ogljad social'nyh merezh i Tvittera v Ukrai'ni [Overview of Social Networks and Twitter in Ukraine]. Available at:

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Posmihnys' [Smile]. Available at:

Pravyy sektor. Podrobnyy analiz [Right Sector. In-depth Analysis]. Available at: (aссessed: 11.11.2015).

Press-vypusk 2949. Nashi v Sirii: pervyy opros [Press-release 2949. Our People in Syria: the First Poll]. VTsIOM. Available at: (aссessed: 06.11.2015).

Press-vypusk 2942. Rossiya i Donbass na fone Minska [Press-release 2942. Russia and Donbas Against the Background of Minsk]. VTsIOM. Available at: (aссessed: 06.11.2015).

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Ty mij raj [You Are My Paradise]. Available at:

Ukrai'ns'ki anekdoty z percem! [Ukrainian Jokes with Pepper!]. Available at:

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