This article examines the life of the Ukrainian-Koreans(Goryeoin), Korean immigrant ethnic minority living in the conflict zones, Ukraine. Ukraine, literally meaning contact zone , is located in the border region in-between the western Europe and Russia. In recent years, Ukraine has been experiencing both domestic and international political conflicts. I will look into what sort of life and challenges Ukrainian-Koreans living in Kiev, Odessa, and some of the southern region would face through oral interviews.
The political turmoil in Ukraine and the resultant economic difficulties have affected the lives of individual Ukrainians since the Euromaidan events. This has nturally ramifications upon the lives of ethnic Koreans. The Ukrainian koreans can be divided into two groups, old comers and newcomers.
The Koreans had migrated to Ukraine, thinking that it would hold a hope for better future, since located closest to Europe, Now with that hope lost in the aftermath of the conflicts, they leave Ukraine. Some of the old comer generation Koreans minorites instead move to western countries such as Poland, Czech Republic and Germany. Ukrainians are migrating to these areas on a large scale. The difficulties facing the Koreans do not seem to be very different from the difficulties that most Ukrainians face. In the meantime, newcomers often choose Korea as new destination. This is the difference with the Ukrainians. The Koreans have one more option.
The Ukrainian-Korean community is getting smaller and weaker for multiple reasons. One is the high rate of interethnic marriage with the Ukrainian people, Another can be the increasing migration to other countries, Since the Russain annexation of the Crimean region, a group of 3,000 to 4,000 Korean minorities are left behind and separated from the mainland ethnic community. This separation also accounts for the shrinking ethnic Koran community.