Based on experience in similar conflict areas the goal is to provide Ukrainian authorities and civil society with recommendations on how to facilitate a peaceful resolution of the conflict in Donbas.
The conflict in Eastern Ukraine, having its own distinct features, also shows striking similarities with other conflicts in mostly post-communist countries, such as Georgia-Abkhazia-South Ossetia, Moldova-Transnistria and Kosovo. In all these conflict contexts, national governments have designed their own strategies and policies for dealing with these conflicts, with territories that have unilaterally declared independence and the people living in (or on the contrary, having fled) those territories. In the process, some of the policies have alienated population groups further from each other and moved further away from a peaceful resolution of the conflicts and/or led to greater isolation of the non-government controlled areas, whereas others have fostered contact and cooperation. The conflict in Donbas is still in a dynamic stage of development and therefore lessons from other contexts could be used to improve strategies and policies of the Ukrainian authorities towards the inhabitants of the NGCA and contributing to the overall peacebuilding process in the country.
PAX has gained a lot of experience working in countries dealing with non- or partly recognized entities (Georgia, Moldova and Kosovo). Through creation of expert networks, policy advice and analytical work, lessons learnt from other conflict areas in Eastern Europe will contribute to a policy dialogue between different actors within Ukraine (local and national government, civil society and academia) and international actors (civil society and politicians from other conflict areas, OSCE, EU) leading to the development of adequate, effective and inclusive policy and practical mechanisms of dealing with and engaging the non-government controlled areas (NGCA) in the east of Ukraine.
Situation updated on a daily basis by the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine. Data accessed on 14.11.2017
In most of the mentioned conflict areas, the (military, political and other) role of Russia is clearly visible and significant. What is of interest to PAX is not only the analysis of the reasons for and factors behind this role but rather how the governments and societies concerned have been dealing with this influence, and what effect their strategies have had on the conflict dynamic and mutual perceptions of the parties or groups involved. In other words: in a context of open adversity and support for breakaway regions by Russia, what can governments and civil society do to find durable solutions?