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Tag: civil society

Ukraine’s limited dialogue with Belarusian democratic forces

The onset of dialogue between the Ukrainian authorities and the Belarusian democratic forces began in autumn 2022. However, it did not continue so strongly in 2023. This can be partly explained by the difficult situation on the battlefield in the Russian war against Ukraine, which is naturally the priority for the authorities in Kyiv. At the same time, Ukraine has maintained its diplomatic relations with the authorities in Minsk.

In February of 2022, Russian tanks used Belarusian territory to invade Ukraine through the north to try and install a puppet government in Kyiv. After Alyaksandr Lukashenka recognized Crimea as Russian at the end of autumn 2021, the question of warming relations between Kyiv and the Belarusian dictator was finally eliminated. Nevertheless, diplomatic relations remained between Ukraine and Belarus. They were not torn apart even after the outbreak of the full-scale Russian aggression with the participation of Belarus, so a certain official level of dialogue was still ongoing.

February 7, 2024 - Oleksandr Shevchenko

How one border shaped another. Polish volunteers on the parallels in refugee aid

In 2021, thousands of people from the Middle East and North Africa crossed the Belarusian border into EU countries such as Poland. Polish activists who offered support say that emergency prepared them for the next refugee crisis, from Ukraine in 2022. While the Polish state’s approach dramatically shifted between the two situations, NGOs and volunteers leaned on the same skills and resources to help people on the move.

December 15, 2023 - Katie Toth

“Peace is only possible based on justice”

Peace and democracy are not a given, but a result of political action. This is a lesson from Ukraine to the world.

December 7, 2023 - Tamara Zlobina

The “Sled Dogs” of reform: civil society organisations transforming Ukraine

Civil society organisations are major drivers of democratic reforms in Ukraine. Underestimating the potential of this resourceful sector to impact and co-shape both internal reform and the EU integration agenda would be a strategic mistake for the EU and Kyiv’s other international partners. What can the international community do to maximise the capacities of civil society in Ukraine?

November 10, 2023 - Mykhailo Zhernakov Oksana Huss

February lasts a year

Despite some popular convictions, there are Russians who do not support their country’s war in Ukraine but decided not to leave. Instead, they are creating civil initiatives that help Ukrainian refugees who ended up in Russia. They also support their fellow Russians who are against the war and need assistance.

To attend a protest in Russia is today almost akin to suicide. This is especially true since the new law on discrediting the Russian army was passed last year. It stipulates punishment in the form of imprisonment for up to three years for those who dare criticise the ongoing war in Ukraine. In addition, another new law on spreading false information or fakes about the Russian army or volunteers who signed up for the war states that a person accused of such an act might get up to 15 years of prison.

April 29, 2023 - Victoria Odissonova

Ukrainian civil society as one of the key players in the Russo-Ukrainian War

Today, when we talk about the Russo-Ukrainian War and the future victory of Ukraine, we must remember the voice of Ukrainian civil society. This voice is significant now and it is clear that the two sides of the war will have to listen, both the aggressor (Russia) and the victim (Ukraine).

April 18, 2023 - Andrii Kutsyk

Did Ukraine’s civil society help turn back the Russians?

Much has been said about the Ukrainian military’s impressive performance on the battlefield. However, this would not be possible without the army of volunteers behind the front line. This active civic spirit will play a key role in determining the country’s future.

May 4, 2022 - Eric Martin Kateryna Zarembo

“No time for reflection, emotions or crying”

An interview with Oleksandra Matviichuk, a Kyiv-based human rights defender and civil society leader in charge of the Center for Civil Liberties. Interviewer: Igor Mitchnik.

March 25, 2022 - Igor Mitchnik Oleksandra Matviichuk

Solidarity or death: what are the real challenges for German and EU civil society regarding Russia?

The Kremlin has placed many repressive measures on Russian civil society. These moves are largely based on encouraging self-censorship and dividing the sector into ‘good’ and ‘bad’ organisations. This process has had a devastating effect on public policy and has caused a crisis of representation at all levels. Despite this, the Kremlin appears eager to use these same measures outside the country in order to divide civil societies across the EU states.

August 27, 2021 - Anastasiia Sergeeva

The revolution of 1989 – A case of Romanian exceptionalism?

A conversation with Marius Stan, a scholar and co-author of Romania Confronts its Communist Past: Democracy, Memory and Moral Justice. He is currently the research director of the Hannah Arendt Center at the University of Bucharest. Interviewer: Simona Merkinaite.

December 7, 2020 - Marius Stan Simona Merkinaite

Calling for a quality public discourse in Armenia

Public discourse in Armenia today remains beset with problems and the behaviour of the authorities is hardly a role model. If the government does not commit to improving the quality of discourse and its own behaviour, the country may be faced with a long-term challenge affecting other areas of public life.

June 18, 2020 - Valentina Gevorgyan

Damaging the immunity of the state

The recent regulations in Armenia contradict the political leadership’s commitments to democratisation and may be damaging to the country’s progress.

April 27, 2020 - Valentina Gevorgyan

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