The International Voluntary Service movement visited diverse partners, civil society organisations and institutions to get to know closer the reality in Ukraine. A war in Ukranian territory that involves the Russian army is taking lives, breaking perspectives, and poisoning the life of millions of people.
Representatives of the CCIVS, SCI, Alliance, and the journalism organisation Contrast dedicated 4 days to study potential bridges, to try to understand the very complex human and social situation, and to think about what role can the movement have as a social actor to help building peace and human rights in this context.
After being involved in the months full of hope, of solidarity and political repression, with the Euro-Maidan, that led to a process of democratisation and increase of citizen participation in the country, the Ukranians were hit by the military actions supported by the Russian army that have led to a war in different parts of their country.
Political reforms are combined with unilateral declarations of independence in several regions, with the creation of Voluntary Batalions to support the army that (also because of the legitimacy that for a majority of a population they have to “defend their country”) have at least a very high potential risk of empowering certain extreme right movements in Ukraine.
This war has brought thousands of deaths, 1’5 million internal displaced people (IDPs) and a process of human suffering that includes the very dramatic breaking of trust and relationships between Russian and Ukranian based families, friends, and the development of a deep sorrow and feeling of abandon present in many Ukranians about their Russian “brothers” and their European “friends”.
The opening of this blog is a first step of a will to bring international support, in the form of an alternative source of communication (responding to the lack of reliable and understandable informations in Europe since the Euro-Maidan) and of an alliance of diverse civil society actors coming from the voluntary service movement, from engaged citizens and peace-builders in Ukraine, in Russia, in Europe and in the global scope.