On September 17 CivivlM+ member DRA organised discussion “Pipelines and frontlines – cooperation and conflict in Eastern Ukraine” with Dr. Sophie Lambroschini, researcher in contemporary history of East-Central Europe at the Marc Bloch Centre in Berlin, Camilla Corradin, People in Need (PIN), Mark Buttle, UNICEF, WASH cluster coordinator, Andrey Klochko, Voda Donbasu and Galina Pavlovskaya, teacher living in a village on the frontline.
Read more … Cross-frontline water supply in Donbas four years after the Minsk II ceasefire agreement: an outline of experiences and actors of cooperation
On September 7, 2019, 35 people who had been in custody in Russia returned to Ukraine. The list of persons who were in retaliation extradited to Russia suggests the idea that the release of Ukrainian citizens did not occur as an act of goodwill, reconciliation, recognition of the rule of law, or the implementation of the decision of the International Tribunal, but as an act of bargaining, since the Russian leadership was interested in returning to its territory of specific individuals, such as Volodymyr Tsemakh. Moreover, the release of 35 people does not resolve the problem of persons illegally detained in Russia, Crimea and the uncontrolled territories of Donetsk and Luhansk regions.
Read more … Statement of the CivilM + platform regarding the release of some of illegally detained people in Russia, Crimea and the non government controlled territories of Donetsk and Luhansk regions
On November 13 in Kyiv, the CivilM+ platform organises the 2nd International Forum on Donbas “Reintegration in eastern Ukraine – improving the humanitarian situation and enhancing people-to-people contacts with the non-government controlled territories”.
Read more … Registration open: 2nd International Forum on Donbas “Reintegration in eastern Ukraine – improving the humanitarian situation and enhancing people-to-people contacts in the conflict region”
DRA is looking for a Finance and Compliance Manager for the DRA Resource Center in Slоviansk (Donetsk oblast), opening in September 2019. The appointment will be from 1 September 2019 until 31 August 2020 with a possibility of multi-year extension, depending on available further project funding. A full-time commitment (40h/week) is preferred.
Read more … Vacancy Announcement: Finance and Compliance Manager for the DRA Resource Center in Sloviansk (Ukraine) as of 1 September 2019
DRA is looking for a Project Manager leading on environmental projects for the DRA Resource Center in Slоviansk (Donetsk oblast, Ukraine), opening in September 2019. The appointment will be from 1 September 2019 until 31 August 2020 with a possibility of multi-year extension, depending on available further project funding.
Read more … Vacancy Announcement: Project Manager Environmental Projects for the DRA Resource Center in Sloviansk (Ukraine) as of 1 September 2019
DRA is looking for a Programme Manager for their DRA Resource Center in Slоviansk (Donetsk oblast), opening in September 2019. The appointment will be from 1 September 2019 until 31 August 2020 with a possibility of multi-year extension, depending on available further project funding. A full-time commitment (40h/week) is preferred.
Read more … Vacancy Announcement: Programme Manager for the DRA Resource Center in Sloviansk (Ukraine) as of 1 September 2019
In June representatives of civil society from Russia, Ukraine, and other European countries took part in a seminar on establishing justice and facilitating reconciliation in conflict affected areas in the OSCE, with a particular focus on the Ukraine conflict. The seminar looked at human rights and peace approaches in dealing with conflicts and their aftermath. It was organized by DRA, and the Netherlands Helsinki Committee.
Read more … Establishing justice and facilitating reconciliation
Discussion experience of legal and dialogue approaches to transitional justice in conflict areas.
Read more … Video: Expert seminar Reestablishment of justice and dialogue in the OSCE conflict region
The European Exchange, DRA and Center for Liberal modernity (LibMod) strongly support the remaining of the Russian Federation in the Council of Europe and the free and comprehensive access of Russian people and civil society actors to the legal framework of the CoE – but by keeping the common CoE-standards, including those of international law on other sovereign countries. This should be reflected in an appropriate solution for the return of the Russian delegation to the PACE of CoE. This means, that the return should happen under clear conditions, in particular regarding the ongoing annexation of Crimea, and the war in Donbas – both Ukrainian territories. Furthermore, the PACE should be entitled to sanctioning the breaking of CoP-standards and international law independent from the positioning of the CoE-Committee of Ministers.
Read more … Keeping Russia in the Council of Europe - and preserving standards
Conflict alleviation efforts often require immediate action – assistance to the civilian population, development of dozens of new legal acts to address new realities… But in 5 years it is time to make a pause and reflect: what do we know about the conflict in and around Ukraine, what affects its development and how can the near future of the region look like. Such reflection process was launched by the members of the CivilM+ platform, where DRA is one of the members, during the meeting of experts of the working group “Conflict Mapping” in Kyiv on May 29, 2019. During the discussion, the experts mentioned that Ukrainians formed their opinion about the conflict at the height of hostilities in 2014 and since then it has not changed: the majority of the population perceives the conflict as a war between Russia and Ukraine, only in the east of Ukraine people frame it differently. When it comes to negotiations, the population of southern Ukraine is most inclined to accept any compromises to achieve peace. Sociologists have not yet found an explanation for this trend.
At the same time, the majority of the population is not hostile to fellow citizens who have remained in non-government controlled territories. No less than half of the population is convinced that it is necessary to develop ties with people living in ORDLO, to provide benefits for admission to universities and material assistance for moving to the controlled territory.
Nevertheless, such social sentiment is not reflected in the state policy. The government is still reluctant to introduce the administrative procedure of issuing civil documents (passports, birth certificates), to improve movement across contact line and communication at the human level, or to develop programs for the reintegration of the population. This is particularly contrasted with the fact that, according to experts familiar with life in NGCA, the Russian Federation has launched many programs through which young people living in ORDLO can participate in various all-Russian competitions for talented children and athletes.
People living in NGCA see a lot of uncertainty and risks in the context of relations with the rest of Ukraine. First of all, they do not understand how the cooperation/ collaboration with de facto authorities will be defined legally and which groups of people will be prosecuted criminally or administratively. For example, whether a person who worked in the pension fund of the so-called DNR will be considered a criminal.
People engaged in small and medium business are very interested in the resolution of the conflict and reunification with Ukraine, but they also have considerable fears. For example, it is not clear to business whether entrepreneurs will be accused of financing terrorism if they have been conducting economic activities in non-controlled areas. Clarifying such issues, i.e. defining the main parameters of the transitional justice system, will open up opportunities for dialogue with NGCA residents.
Experts from Russia noted that the topic of the conflict in Donbas practically disappeared from the information space and appeared again only in connection with the decree on the simplified granting of Russian citizenship to the Ukrainians living on the territory of ORDLO. It was also noted that over the last past 5 years, popular support for the war in eastern Ukraine has halved.
Participants discussed social life in ORDLO. It was noted that among the religious organizations only the Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate actively works in ORDLO. It openly declares that it provides humanitarian aid and its activities are not hindered by the de facto authorities. It was noted that civil society in ORDLO exists, moreover, there are signals that the de facto authorities may be more open to cooperation with international organizations. Currently active local civil society organisations are mainly concerned with humanitarian issues. The position of Russian civil society in the ORDLO territories is not unambiguous. Those Russian civil society organisations that are in opposition to the authorities have little or no access to the ORDLO territories. The activity of Russian public organizations loyal to the authorities (such as, for example, the New Scythians movement Dugin) is not systematic. They come to ORDLO, hold some events, but are not permanently located on the territory.
As a result of the experts’ work, a publication will be prepared that will analyze various aspects of the conflict and the main actors involved in it.
Read more … Highlights of the expert discussion: what do we know about the conflict in Donbas and how can the near future of the region look like?