InHouse&Guests Workshop

Crimea and Civil Society: Challenges, Antagonisms and Models of Cooperation for Ukraine and Russia

10 April 2015

The Workshop was organized by David Carment (KHK/GCR21, Carleton University Canada) and Milana Nikolko (Carleton University, Canada) for Research Unit III, and moderated by the organizers and Tobias Debiel (KHK/GCR21).

Focusing on capacities and challenges of Civil Society both in Ukraine and Russia, the workshop aimed to provide expert opinions on the impact of the Crimean referendum of March 16, 2014 on the region. It constituted the second day of a two day event that began with the Käte Hamburger Dialogue ‘Engaging Crimea: Prospects for Conflict and Cooperation’.

The first panel gave deep insights into the situation on the ground a year after the Crimean Referendum. By comparing civil society engagement before and after the referendum, experts outlined that the main dramatic change happened at the end of February 2014, when President Yanukovich fled the country. After that event public pro-Ukrainian and anti-Russian activism in Crimea has been widely suppressed, social and political discourses dominated by pro-Russian propagandists. Experts had provided deep analysis of growing Crimean Tatars rights oppression. The current situation with political pressure on Mejlis and persecution of political activists of this particular ethnic group was presented as an indicator of complexity and negative dynamic of the conflict.

The second panel focused on Civil Society and Activism in Ukraine. Despite ongoing military conflict, economic decline, and social and humanitarian instability in the Donbass region, Ukrainian social activism including volunteer organizations and NGO’s continue to shape and influence Kiev’s central political structures.

The final open discussion of the workshop was a stimulating thoughts exchange about prospects and perspectives for Civil Society in both Russia and Ukraine.

Time: 08:30 –15:00 h
Venue: Käte Hamburger Kolleg / Centre for Global Cooperation Research, Schifferstr. 44, Duisburg