Autumn Talks 2018

“Justice and Law in Post-Conflict Societies? – European Experiences and Perspectives”

as part of the First International Eastern Ukraine Forum
of the DRA and the International NGO Platform CivilM+ for Conflict Resolution in Donbas

14th November 2018, 14.30-22.00
Rotes Rathaus Berlin, Rathausstraße 15, 10178 Berlin

Rewiew of the "Autumn Talks" 2018

Annual conference Autumn Talks was conducted by DRA on November 14-15, 2018 in Berlin. This year the topic of the conference was “Justice and Law in Post-Conflict Societies? – European Experiences and Perspectives”. More than 200 participants from Germany, Ukraine, Russia and many other countries attended the event. The invited speakers represented a selected expertise on territorial conflicts in the European context after the World War II – Germany, ex-Yugoslavia, Northern Ireland, Catalonia, Nothern and Southern Caucasus, Ukraine. Different aspects of work with the past and current conflicts in Europe were discussed – among them were questions of documentation of crimes and historical events, legal persecution and reparation for victims, re-integration of population, memory work, cross-cutting relationship between social and political challenges in the process of the peaceful conflict transformation, etc. The main focus was to look for best practices of peaceful transformation in the process of conflict resolution in eastern Ukraine.

Opening the conference Alexander Hug, former Deputy Chief of the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission in Eastern Ukraine noted that the passage of time is not on the side of those who want to end the conflict sustainably and irreversibly. He underlined that the conflict in Ukraine is still in a very much active stage despite the Minsk agreements. Mr. Hug believes that increased participation of the civil society in the negotiation process and increased accountability of the decision makers are necessary to reach the progress in the conflict resolution.

Discussing concepts and tasks of a comprehensive conflict management Alexander Pavlichenko, Director of Ukrainian Helsinki Human Rights Union, provided an overview of the current processes in Ukraine, which can lead to development of a transitional justice system. He noted that the draft law on transitional justice is being developed by a group of the Ukrainian human rights NGOs. Also, the documentation efforts are huge and the debate on the compensation of damages have started in Ukraine.

Valentyna Cherevatenko, Chairwoman of the Foundation “Women of Don” mentioned that it is very important not to limit transitional justice to legal aspects, not to exclude the human, personal aspect of the story of the conflict. She pointed out that human perceptions are very much shaped by the politics. The foundation led by Ms. Cherevatenko has recently conducted the research, which revealed that in 2014 and 2015 affected by a strong propaganda, views of people in Donbas were polarised. In the following years, people became disillusioned and less engaged with propaganda narratives. This led to a behavioural change – on the personal level the communication between people with different political views in Donbas has resumed.

Vesna Teršelič, Founder of the Centre for Dealing with the Past, elaborated on her lessons learned from the experience of the wars in former Yugoslavia in 1990s: it is never too early to start thinking about the conditions for peace and justice. Even when the conflict is still going on, people can start debating future set up of the courts, educate judges and law enforcement officers on the international law. Ms. Teršelič reiterated the importance of collecting all possible witnesses and recording the oral history of events. The debates about the conflict will continue for decades but the memories will fade and all the knowledge and the wealth of experience will be lost. It is important not just for potential legal processes, but also for the memory and the future dialogs.

Alexandre Prezanti, International lawyer, Partner of Global Diligence LLP, reflected on the transitional justice processes in several historical contexts. He touched upon the topic of the length and inefficiency of the justice for the victims. While court processes are often delayed in decades personal, memories fade, and a popular understanding of issues becomes truth. In this situation, there is only “half justice” that doesn’t satisfy anyone. In his view, justice delayed is very much justice denied because unfortunately in many cases both perpetrators and victims are long dead when the case finally is debated by the court. Mr. Prezanti mentioned that since the justice has its limitations, it is important to establish inclusive dialog where all the parties of the process will be represented.

Click here to see the video stream of Panel I.

Speaking about the role of the civil society in the process of the conflict resolution Olexandra Matviychuk, Chairwoman of Center for Civil Liberties, acknowledged that on the fifth year of the conflict in Ukraine there is still no answer or strategy. However, she believes that there are already things, which can be done to lay the foundation for peace. They are: freeing of all the hostages to signal the goodwill; engagement of civil society to negotiations on conflict resolution to increase credibility of the process; talk and engage with societies in Russia and Ukraine; and start work on establishing the truth through accountability for the war crimes.

Alexander Cherkasov, Board Member, Human Rights Center Memnorial speaking about the situation in Russia mentioned that it is extremely difficult to talk to the society exposed to propaganda. The resources of the state are significant which is why it is difficult for civil society actors to counteract. He suggested, that the only possible way is to start speaking about the conflict on the human level, preventing replacing people with numbers. Mr. Cherkasov brought one example of such human communication: he believes Oleg Sentsov made strong impact on Russian society this year bringing the issue of political prisoners to public narrative.

Yuliya Erner, Coordinator of Project „Dialog for the Rule of Law and Understanding“, DRA reiterated the importance of the civil society cooperation in times when political dialog on the conflict resolution is in the stalemate. Ms. Erner underlined that the victims of conflict are always concrete people. Thus, it is important to focus on the human dimension. For this, civil society is the main actor of change: local civil society structures must be strengthened and connected to national and international level. Empowered via exchange of knowledge and experience, NGO actors can develop more reciprocal trust. This will give space for joint initiatives and work on common strategies of a conflict resolution. On this way, the influence of civil society actors on political decision making will grow. Further, it is very important to create opportunities for communication between people living on the different sides of the contact line. Only communicating people can see what unites them and start looking for joint ways to change those social attitudes and actions which can be instrumentalised by conflict protagonists.

Commenting on the importance of Ukraine for the German foreign policy Hans-Peter Hinrichsen, Division Head for Russia, Ukraine, Belarus, Moldova at the German Foreign Office, confirmed Germany’s commitment to support the reform process and civil society in Ukraine. However, he underlined that Kyiv still has a large homework to do. Mr. Hinrichsen pointed that reforms cannot be delayed due to the conflict. It is important to build trust in Ukraine now, and trust means, for example, fair – that is not corrupt – courts. Unfortunately, by now Ukraine has not demonstrated much progress in this regard.

Click here to see the video stream of Panel II.

More detailed recordings of the speeches of the participants of Autumn Talks will be published on the web-site of the NGO-platform CivilM+ for conflict resolution in eastern Ukraine ( Also, the publication with the conference’ inputs and main lines of discussions is planned.

DRA would like to thank all the speakers and guests for their contributions to the debate. The conference has become possible thanks to the kind support of the German Foreign Office (Auswärtiges Amt Deutschland), Heinrich-Böll-Stiftung, ZEIT-Stiftung, Senat von Berlin.


Publication "Justice and Law in Post-Conflict Societies? – European Experiences and Perspectives"

This brochure was prepared as a result of the Autumn Talks conference to summarise the main issues and views expressed during the discussions.

Languages: Russian, Ukrainian, English

Interview with Experts

Vesna Teršelič

Vesna Teršelič, Founder of the Centre for Dealing with the Past (Zagreb), reflects on the transitional justice process in the countries of former Yugoslavia and outlines the main questions Ukraine should answer setting up the transitional justice process. 

Dr. Ralf Possekel

Dr. Ralf Possekel, Foundation Remembrance, Responsibility and Future (EVZ), Advisor to the Peace and Development Network – FriEnt (Bonn), discusses historical examples of transitional justice processes and outlines their key components

Video with russian subtitles is available under the link.

Alexandre Prezanti

Alexandre Prezanti, International lawyer, Partner of Global Diligence LLP (London), speaks about the limitations of judicial process and analyses the experience of holding truth commissions.

Oleksandr Pavlichenko

Oleksandr Pavlichenko, Director of Ukrainian Helsinki Human Rights Union (Kyiv), describes current legislative developments in Ukraine and reflects on the advocacy for the legislation setting the framework for the transitional justice.

Alexander Cherkasov

Alexander Cherkasov, chairman of the board of Human Rights Center “Memorial” (Moscow), discusses the amnesty and freedom for hostages as the key components of transitional justice process. 

Valentina Cherevatenko

Valentina Cherevatenko, chairwoman of the Foundation "Women of Don" (Novocherkassk), discusses the opportunities for the dialog between people from conflicting parties while the conflict is not over yet.

Photo gallery

Programme "Autumn Talks" 2018

"Justice and Law in Post-Conflict Societies? - European Experiences and Perspectives"

The “Berlin Autumn Talks” conference has in recent years become an integral part of the Berlin Eastern Europe experts agenda and is preparing to welcome an interested public for the 23rd time, to debate together current socio-political topics, which shape the dialogue between west and east European countries.

Under the title Justice and Law in Post-Conflict Societies? – European Experiences and Perspectives, against the background of numerous on-going territorial conflicts in Europe, this year’s “Berlin Autumn Talks” focuses on possible ways out of the crises and explore European experiences with transitional justice. The many aspects of this term will be covered, a term which, alongside the legal, includes also the social and historical processing of conflicts, as well as being a term that brings into focus the complex interlinking of criminal prosecution, the establishing of truth, and reconciliation.

Also in Eastern Ukraine, there is the need to already prepare viable solutions for a civil co-existence after the end of the armed conflict. Alongside an introductory panel, experiences from the aftermath of wars in the former Yugoslavia, the Northern Ireland conflict, as well as conflict management in the North and South Caucasus will be discussed. Equally, German experiences after 1945 and the handling of authoritarian pasts in Central and Eastern Europe will be reflected upon. In the closing panel discussion, the role of civil society actors will be covered, based on the case studies discussed, as well as opportunities and limits for the post-Soviet space.


Wednesday, 14th November 2018


Guest Registration


Opening and Greetings

Room: Großer Saal; Simultaneous translation: DE/ENG/UKR/RU

Stefan Melle, Executive Director, DRA e.V.

Sawsan Chebli, State Secretary for International Affairs

Dr. Ellen Überschär, Board member of the Heinrich Böll Foundation




Alexander Hug, Former Deputy Chief of the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission in Eastern Ukraine


Opening Panel I:

Document, accuse, reconcile? Concepts and tasks of comprehensive conflict management

Room: Großer Saal; Simultaneous translation: DE/ENG/UKR/RU


The opening panel covers fundamental issues around the term „transitional justice” and different ways of dealing with the conflicts. During the discussion, the tension between criminal prosecution, the establishing of truth, amnesty and dialogue in conflicts will be analyzed and previous initiatives in Ukraine regarding “transitional justice” will be examined.

Input on initiatives up till now in Ukraine: Oleksandr Pavlichenko, Director of the Ukrainian Helsinki Human Rights Union (Kyiv)


  • Alexandre Prezanti, International lawyer, Partner of Global Diligence LLP (London)
  • Oleksandr Pavlichenko, Director of the Ukrainian Helsinki Human Rights Union (Kyiv)
  • Valentina Cherevatenko, Chairwoman of the board of the “Women of the Don” Foundation (Novocherkassk)
  • Vesna Teršelič, Founder of the Centre for Dealing with the Past (Zagreb)

Moderation: Dr. Ralf Possekel, Foundation Remembrance, Responsibility and Future (EVZ), Advisor to the Peace and Development Network – FriEnt (Bonn)


Coffee break


Parallel Working Groups: European Experiences and Perspectives


WG I: How to succeed in sustainably overcoming dictatorship? Post-socialist treatment of the past since 1989 and the Donbas Conflict

Room: Großer Saal; Simultaneous translation: DE/RU

This working group discusses democratisation experiences after the dictatorships of the 20th century in once socialist space, as well as their transferability to the societies involved in the Donbas Conflict. Which tasks have to be achieved through the actions in overcoming and understanding the conflict within the framework of criminal justice and history in implementing “transitional justice” to achieve a widely accepted “justice” and for the establishment of a democratic society?

  • Wolfgang Templin, GDR human rights activist, Poland and Ukraine expert, publicist (Berlin)
  • Dmitrij Makarov, Youth Human Rights Movement (Voronezh)
  • Yulija Abibok, Freelance journalist (Kyiv)
  • Jevgeniy Zakharov, Director, Kharkiv Human Rights Group (Kharkiv)

Moderation: Tim Bohse, Coordinator, human rights monitoring in East Ukraine, DRA (Berlin)

WG II: Ending post-imperial violence through intercultural understanding and international institutions? Yugoslavia since 1992

Room: 219; Simultaneous translation: ENG/RU

Just as in the Soviet Union, the disintegration of Yugoslavia triggered numerous armed conflicts, therefore any models of international conflict management were tried in post-Yugoslavian space. Which positive and negative experiences from the Balkan States are helpful for the Donbas, which prerequisites for a lasting peace must be fulfilled?

  • Vesna Teršelič, Founder of the Centre for Dealing with the Past (Zagreb)
  • Ivana Žanić, Coordinator of the Legal Team, Humanitarian Law Center (Belgrad)
  • Oleg Martynenko, Head of Analytical Center, Helsinki Human Rights Union (Kyiv)

Moderation: Dr. Caroline Hornstein-Tomic, Sociologist/cultural anthropologist at the Ivo Pilar Institute of Social Sciences, director of the foundation „Znanje na Djelu“ (Zagreb)

WG III: Conflict resolution through small compromises for everyone? Northern Ireland 1998 and Catalonia 2018 in comparison

Room: 300 (Hermann-Waesemann-Saal); Simultaneous translation: ENG/RU

In Northern Ireland as well as in Catalonia, a part of the population is fighting for more autonomy in their respective states. After decades of violence in the Northern Ireland, in 1998 a compromise was found with the Good Friday Agreement, which included all parties and was confirmed by a national referendum. How durable is this model and can it be an idea for other European regions – for Catalonia, Abkhazia and Donbas?

  • Dr. Máire Braniff, Director of INCORE (International Conflict Research Institute), Senior Lecturer Ulster University (Northern Ireland)
  • Jordi Urgell, Deputy director of the School for a Culture of Peace and associate professor for Conflict Analysis at Autonomous University of Barcelona (Spain)

Moderation: Yulia Tyschenko, Head of the Board of Ukrainian Center for Independent Political Research (Kyiv)

WG IV: Mission Impossible? The failure of conflict management in the North and South Caucasus

Room: 337 (Louise-Schroeder-Saal); Simultaneous translation: DE/RU

None of the numerous ethnic, settlement and territorial conflicts in the Caucasus could be resolved so far – neither inter-state conflicts in the South Caucasus, for instance in Nagorno Karabakh, Abkhazia and South Ossetia, nor in internal ones in the Russian North Caucasus. Both kinds are closely linked to inter-ethnic questions and both are also closely linked to the direct control or influence of the Russian leadership. Why have the investments, which have sometimes been huge, in dialogue formats and compromise processes not delivered results? Which conditions would have been necessary for a success?

  • Alexander Cherkasov, Chairman of the Board, Human Rights Center Memorial (Moscow)
  • Svitlana Valko, Head of the NGO Truth Hounds Kyiv/Tbilisi, programme director for Abkhazia/South Ossetia (Kyiv/Tbilisi)
  • Tinatin Khidasheli, Head of the think-thank Civic - IDEA (Tbilisi)

Moderation: Walter Kaufmann, Head of the Department for East and South-East Europe at the Heinrich Böll Foundation, former head of the South Caucasus office (Berlin)


Coffee break


Reports from the working groups (4x5 min)

Room: Großer Saal; Simultaneous translation: DE/ENG/UKR/RU

Moderation: Stefan Melle, DRA e.V. (Berlin)


Panel II: Door-openers – conflict resolution through civil society actors? Chances and limits of European cooperation for post-Soviet space

Room: Großer Saal; Simultaneous translation: DE/ENG/UKR/RU


What preparations for the time after the conflict need to be begun? Which institutions and regulations are necessary in the future? How can legal issues, understanding as well as a historical processing be combined and which steps and formats does one need for that in the justice system, politics, society and international relations. How can one advance public discourses in the countries involved in this direction? What contribution can European civil society, including that in post-Soviet countries, make to further conflict management.

  • Alexander Cherkasov, Chairman of the Board, Human Rights Center Memorial (Moscow)
  • Marie Wozniak, Desk Officer, European External Action Service, Russia Devision (Brussels)
  • Dr. Hans-Peter Hinrichsen, Division Head for Russia, Ukraine, Belarus, Moldova at the Federal Foreign Office (Berlin)
  • Yuliya Erner, DRA, Coordinator of the Donbas Platform CivilM+, DRA (Berlin)
  • Oleksandra Matvichuk, Director of Center for Civil Liberties (Kyiv)

Moderation: Wilfried Jilge, East Europe Historian and Associated Fellow at the Robert Bosch Centre for Central and Eastern Europe, Russia and Central Asia at the DGAP (Berlin)

Audience questions and closing remarks


Invitation to Reception


End of the event




Yulia Abibok

Yulia Abibok works as a freelance journalist in Ukraine. She is currently writing a thesis on Donbas regional identity at the University of Kyiv-Mohyla Academy, and is working on a book on the events of 1943-1944 in Ukrainian Galicia.


Tim Bohse

Tim Bohse has studied political sciences at the University of Leipzig, with a study visit to the University of Warsaw, qualification with a diploma thesis on the transformation of the local policy in the city of Kaliningrad in 1990-2005. From 2005-2008 he worked as a desk officer at the PAUCI-Foundation for polish-ukrainian cooperation in Warsaw. From August 2009 employee at the Center for historical research Berlin of the Polish Academy of sciences. Since 2014 Mr. Bohse works as a coordinator of projects on Eastern Ukraine at DRA.

Dr. Maire Braniff

Dr Máire Braniff joined Ulster University in 2013, in 2016, she became Director of INCORE (International Conflict Research Institute). She researches, supervises and teaches on a wide range of issues in peace and conflict including: conflict resolution, legacies of violent conflict, memory and commemoration, victimhood and peace agreements in the following areas: Balkans, Northern Ireland, South Caucasus and South East Asia. She has published a number of books on politics and societal change. Máire has held several research grants and is involved in international research partnerships. She has a British Academy Rising Star Award for Engagement holder in 2016/2017.

Valentina Cherevatenko

Valentina Cherevatenko has a PhD in political sciences, the head and coordinator of the regional human rights protection social organization “The Don Women Union”, the chair of the executive board of the Foundation for the development of civil society and human rights “Don Women” in Novocherkassk, Russia. She was working in the area of promotion of the peaceful dialogue between the Chechen society and the inhabitants of other regions of the Russian Federation, between the groups with opposing views, as well as in the sphere of overcoming psychological traumas and consequences attained due to the armed conflict. Mrs. Cherevatenko´s experience in conducting dialogue between the groups with opposing beliefs in the Caucasus has been developed and is being realized in the Eastern Ukraine.

Alexander Cherkasov

Aleksandr Cherkasov is the activist of “Memorial” since 1989 – movement for commemoration of the victims of the political terror and repressions in the USSR. He also was studying the history of the dissident movement. Mr. Cherkasov was participating in establishing a specialized Human rights centre “Memorial” within the framework of the “Memorial” society. Since 1990, he has been working in the Human rights centre, specializing in investigating the situation with the observance of human rights and norms of the humanitarian law in the “hot spots” in the former Soviet Union states. The “hot spots” are referring to the areas of the interethnic and social tensions and conflicts, which could or had already dissolved into an armed conflict as well as in the areas of the post-conflict peace building. In the beginning of 1990th Mr. Cherkasov took part in the human rights defenders´ missions to such “hot spots” such as Armenia and Azerbaijan (Nagorny Karabakh), Georgia (South Ossetia), Moldova (Transdniester). Starting from 1994, Mr. Cherkasov is mainly focused on the areas of the armed conflict in the Northern Caucasus – North Ossetia, Ingushetia, Chechnya, Dagestan and other regions. Mr. Cherkasov is the Member of the Council of the Human rights centre „Memorial“ and of the Board of the International Society “Memorial”. He is also the Member of the Ombudsman for Human Rights Expert Counсil in the Russian Federation.

Yulia Erner

Yulia Erner was born in Crimea, she studied political sciences at the Otto-Suhr-Institute of the Free University of Berlin. She qualified a PhD degree at Humboldt University of Berlin on the topic “The role of political elites in stabilizing the defective democracy in Ukraine (1991-2012)”. After getting the PhD degree she was working on various civil society and academic cooperation projects with Ukraine, Russia, other post-Soviet countries and Poland. Between the Master and PhD studies Mrs. Erner was working at the Initiative Mittel- und Osteuropa (IMOE e.V.). In 2016 she worked in the DRA on the project “Human Rights Monitoring” and since 2017 and is currently currently on the project “Dialogue for understanding and justice: European NGOs working together for conflict resolution in Donbas”.

Dr. Hans-Peter Hinrichsen

Dr. Hans-Peter Hinrichsen is the Head of Division for Russia, Belarus, Moldova and countries of the Eastern Partnership within the German Federal Foreign Office. Before he was i.a. the Head of the political division of the German Embassy to Poland, the First secretary for political affairs at the German Embassy to the USA. Dr. Hinrichsen was also participating within the framework of international negotiations concerning the nuclear non-proliferation issues regarding the Iran crisis.

Caroline Hornstein Tomić

Caroline Hornstein Tomić (born in 1968 in Heidelberg) is Chairperson of the Management Board and Assistant Director of the Federal Agency for Civic Education since 2016. Before this, she worked as a Senior Research Associate at the Ivo Pilar Institute of Social Science and was an Assistant Professor at the Faculty of Social Sciences and Humanities at the University of Zagreb. In 1994 she graduated in her studies of Cultural Anthropology/European Ethnology, Sociology and Film Science at the Goethe University (Frankfurt on the Main). And in 1996-1997 she spent one year at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in Cambridge (USA) during her Ph.D. research. In parallel with her professorship and research activities, she has worked as an expert for international organisations, diplomatic representations, cultural Institutes, NGOs as well as being a consultant for scientific projects and publications.

Alexander Hug

Alexander Hug was the Deputy Head of the OCSE Special Monitoring Mission to Ukraine (SMM) from March 2014 till the end of October 2018. Mr. Hug is a qualified lawyer and served as an officer in the Swiss Army. He was also the Regional Commander of the Swiss group of support for the OSCE in the northern Bosnia and Herzegovina. Before his assignment to Ukraine Mr. Hug worked for the OSCE High Commissioner for national minorities, for the OSCE and EU missions in Kosovo and for the multilateral observer mission in the Middle East (Westbank).

Wilfried Jilge

Wilfried Jilge is an expert in the field of the East-European history, an Associate Fellow at the Robert Bosch Centre for Central and Eastern Europe, Russia and Central Asia within the German Council for Foreign Relations (DGAP). Starting from 2015 he is a Research Associate at the “Center for Governance and Culture in Europe” of the University of St. Gallen. Before he used to work as a research assistant at the University of Leipzig. The key areas of his research and publication work are contemporary history, Ukrainian and Russian foreign and inner policy, for instance nation-building and the culture of remembrance in Ukraine, analyses of the Russian-Ukrainian conflict, of the situation in Donbas and of the reform processes in post-Maidan Ukraine. Wilfried Jilge is a member of various expert groups and dialogue formats on the issues concerning Ukraine and Russia. He also consults the deputies of the German Bundestag on the questions related to Ukraine.

Walter Kaufmann

Walter Kaufmann, born 1966, studied history for Eastern Europe and Slavonic studies. In 1995-2002 he worked as a Desk Officer for Eastern Europe in Heinrich-Böll-Foundation. In 2002-2009 he was the Head of the Regional Office for South Caucasus in Tbilisi. Since 2009 Mr. Kaufmann heads the Department for South-Eastern and Eastern Europe in Berlin.

Tinatin Khidasheli

Tinatin Khidasheli heads a Georgian think-thank Civic – IDEA. She holds LLM in International Law from Tbilisi State University and MA in Political Science from Central European University in Hungary. Tinatin Khidasheli served as a first female Minister of Defense of Georgia in 2015, she chaired Parliamentary Committee for European Integration as well as Inquiry Commission into Violations of Freedom of Speech and Telecommunication laws at the Parliament of Georgia. Before, she was an elected member of the Tbilisi City Council and founder and chair of the largest Human Rights advocacy group in entire post soviet space Georgian Young Lawyers’ Association. Tinatin Khidasheli was a member of National Anti-Corruption Council for four years, under the president of Georgia.

Dmitrij Makarov

Dmitry Makarov is the co-chair of the Coordinating Council of the International Youth Human Rights Movement, a youth network for human rights, uniting activists from many countries and aiming to form a new generation of human rights defenders. He is also the youngest member of Moscow Helsinki group. He initiated and participated in many civil and human rights initiatives. He has participated in the International Observation Mission of the Committee for International Control over the Situation of Human Rights in Belarus, as well as in the Crimean Field Human Rights Mission. Has been present as a human rights monitor in Crimea in March 2014 and in Donetsk in May 2014 and continues to be involved in a number of joint Russian-Ukrainian initiatives. He studied conflict resolution and group facilitation and helped to launch several peace initiatives, including Contact4Peace and Lights of Eirene.

Oleg Martynenko

Head of the Analytical Department, Ukrainian Helsinki Human Rights Union. Director of the non-government Centre of Law-Enforcement Activities Research. Doctor’s Degree in Law, criminologist, author of the 166 scientific publications. Graduated from the Kharkiv State University, Ukraine, (M.Sc. in Psychology, specialization in Criminal Psychology, 1989). Started the service as penitentiary psychologist, he continued his own career at the Police University as a researcher, academician and manager. UN Civilian Police officer in Bosnia-Herzegovina and Kosovo (1999-2003). He has retired from police service in 2010 as Chief of Human Rights Monitoring Department (Ministry of Interior).

Oleksandra Matviychuk

Oleksandra Matviichuk is a human rights defender who works on issues in Ukraine and the OSCE region. At present she heads the human rights organization Center for Civil Liberties, and also coordinates the work of the initiative group Euromaidan SOS. Oleksandra Matviichuk has experience in creating horizontal structures for massive involvement of people in human rights activities against attacks on rights and freedoms, as well as a multi-year practice of documenting violations during armed conflict. She is the author of a number of alternative reports to various UN bodies, the Council of Europe, the European Union, the OSCE and the International Criminal Court. In 2016 she received the Democracy Defender Award for "Exclusive Contribution to Promoting Democracy and Human Rights" from missions to the OSCE. In 2017 she received a Ukraine's Woman of Courage Award from U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine.

Oleksandr Pavlichenko

Since October 2017 Mr. Pavlichenko is the executive director of the Ukrainian Helsinki Human Rights Union. From 2013 till 2017 he worked at Kharkiv Human Rights Protection Group. For 10 years he has been the head of the Information Bureau of the European Council in Ukraine. For 15 years he has been coordinating and managing the European Council projects in Ukraine. He used to be the executive director of the “Ukrainian Foundation for Legal AId” – an organization, which set up the standards of granting free legal aid in Ukraine. Oleksandr Pavlichenko is editor and co-author of numerous publications on the questions of the European Court of Human Rights´ case law, guidebooks on issues of the information law, particularly on the access to the public information and publications on granting the free legal aid.

Dr. Ralf Possekel

Ralf Possekel (born in 1961) grew up in former East Germany. In 1984, he became historian after his graduation from the Moscow University Lomonosov. From 1985 to 1991 he worked at the Central Institute for History at the Academy of Sciences of East Germany, where he wrote his Ph.D. in 1990. From 1991 until 2000 he was involved in diverse research projects. Since 2000 he works at the foundation „Remembrance, Responsibility and Future“ (EVZ), where he was working in the field of compensation of forced labor. Since Mai 2018, he has engaged in the cooperation project „International Partnershipfor Dealing with the Past“ of the foundation EVZ in cooperation with the Working Group on Peace and Development (FriEnt).

Alexandre Prezanti

Alexandre Prezanti is an international lawyers and partner of Global Diligence LLP. He specialises in investigations, international litigation and capacity buildings in the areas of human rights and international criminal law.


Wolfgang Templin

Wolfgang Templin is a philosopher, journalist, analysing and commenting on current affairs and politics and an expert in the field of civil rights. From 2010 until 2013, he was the Head of the Heinrich-Böll Foundation in Warsaw. His key research areas concern the issues of reunification and developments in Poland and Ukraine.

Vesna Teršelič

Vesna Teršelič is Founder and Director of the organization Documenta – Center for Dealing with the past based in Croatia. Since 1985 she focuses on organizing for social change, through advocating environment protection, affirming women's rights and promoting human rights. As one of the initiators of non-political regional coalition of civil society organisations and individuals, working to establish a fact-finding commission into the Yugoslav wars, known as RECOM, she has been campaigning for years to establish the facts about war crimes and human rights violations committed in former Yugoslavia from 1991 to 2001. She was awarded the Right Livelihood Award in 1998 after being nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize in 1997. In 2013 Vesna Terselic was Richard von Weizsäcker Fellow of the Robert Bosch Stiftung.

Yulia Tyshchenko

Yulia Tyshchenko is currently working for the NGO “Ukrainian Center for Independent Political Research” (UCIPR). In 2014-2018 Tyshchenko was the head of international monitoring projects on the situation in Crimea, which involved monitoring and research in the field of language policy, and institutional support for ethnic policy. She was an expert and head of different projects dealing with Crimean political dialogue, interethnic Relations, combating discrimination, development of civil society institutions and peace building in Ukraine.

Jordi Urgell

Jordi Urgell is professor of International Relations at Autonomous University of Barcelona and Ramon Llull University, is Deputy Director of the School for a Culture of Peace and President of the Catalan Council for the Promotion of Peace. His main area of research is the analysis of armed conflicts and peace processes. He has done field research in several conflict affected areas and has undertaken some track II activities in certain contexts.

Svitlana Valko

Svitlana Valko is engaged in the defense of vulnerable groups and human rights. Since 2014 she has been the coordinator of the field mission documenting war crimes in Donbas and Crimea and organized more than 45 missions in these regions. Together with International Partners for Human Rights she organized advocacy activities targeted amongst other at the committees of the Ukrainian Parliament and international organisations like the OSCE and the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE). She founded Truth Hounds (offices in Ukraine and Georgia) and is documenting the violation of children’s rights in Abkhazia. She is also engaged in the defense of human rights activists in Central Asia and in North and South Caucasus.

Maria Wozniak

Maria Wozniak is desk officer at the Russia Division in the European External Action Service in Brussels. Before joining the EEAS Mrs Wozniak was working for the Polish Ministry of Foreign Affairs; she spent three years as a delegate to the COEST working party in the Council of the EU, dealing with the EU's policy towards Eastern Europe and Central Asia countries. Her previous expertise covers also the Arctic region.


Jevgeniy Zakharov

Yevgeniy Zakharov – the Chairman if the Executive Boadr of the Ukrainian Helsinki Human Rights Union (2004-2008, 2012-2013), Executive Director of the Kharkiv Human Rights Protection Group since 1992, participant of the dissident movement of 1970-80., a journalist. In 1989 he became a Co-Chief of the Kharkiv human rights protection society “Memorial”. In 1990 he was elected as a Kharkiv City Council deputy and was appointed as a Deputy Chief of the City Commission on the restoration of the exonerated persons´ rights. In 1992 being Editor-in-Chief of the “Human Rights in Ukraine” magazine Mr. Zakharov has initiated and established the Kharkiv Human Rights Protection Group, which has soon become one the most respected human rights organizations in Ukraine. In 1988 the organization was officially rewarded with the „For Democracy and Civil Society“ award of the EU and the USA for the activities in the field of human rights education, situation analysis concerning the human rights observance in Ukraine and granting legal aid to hundreds of individuals, whose rights were infringed upon.

Ivana Žanič

Ivana Žanič is Coordinator of the HLC Legal Team. She works on the project "Dossiers - Search for war crimes perpetrators". She was previously researcher on the project "The Kosovo Memory Book ". Ivana graduated in Law at the Faculty of Law, University of Belgrade, and holds a master’s degree at the Faculty of Political Sciences, University of Belgrade (mastering with the subject "Command Responsibility in the Jurisdiction of International Tribunals"). She passed her Bar Exam in 2015.

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Funded by: Federal Foreign Office, Heinrich Böll Foundation, ZEIT Foundation, Senate of Berlin







Kirsten Heyerhoff
Project Manager Autumn Talks 2018
+49 (0) 30 4466 80 12