This chapter focuses on one of the most militant examples of post-communist contentious politics-the movement of the Donbas coal miners in Ukraine.1 This social movement was born in 1989, when over 500,000 Soviet coal miners went on strike. The miners’ action soon became a symbol of the emerging civil society, that is, a group or mass of people who can check and counterbalance the state (Gellner 1996). In the ‘hot summer’ of 1989, the Communist Party of the Soviet Union (KPSS) capitulated to the triumphant miners. The Soviet state collapsed soon afterwards. Yet a decade after their victory, a spirit of depression has hovered over the Donbas miners.