EPDE Panel Discussion "Ukraine after the Presidential and before Parliamentary elections. Developments in the East of the country"

Berlin, 24 June 2014

The panel discussion "Ukraine after the Presidential and before Parliamentary elections. Developments in the East of the country"organized by EPDE took place on 24 June 2014 in Berlin. Two experts from Ukraine Serhij Tkachenko (Committee of Voters of Ukraine, Donetsk) and Piotr Andrusieczko (Polish journalist currently working in the East of Ukraine) shared their views on the current situation in Ukraine and the future development of the country.

 

Serhij Tkachenko said that the situation in the East of the country is so dangerous that the civil society activists and their families have to leave the region in large numbers. According to the official statistics, 30,000 activists have already left the Eastern regions. In expert’s view, this number is much higher in reality (up to 100 000 activists). The crucial question for the future of the region is whether these people will be willing to come back after the conflict has been resolved. Otherwise, the efforts of the last 15 years to promote and nurture the civil society in the region have been in vain.

 

Piotr Andrusieczko who has been reporting for the Polish media from Mariupol, Slavjansk and Kramatorsk stressed the extremely insecure conditions of journalists working in the East of Ukraine. The reporting on the territory of Crimea, the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics is almost impossible. There are numerous cases of journalists’ intimidation, beating and kidnappings, many incidents of attacks on mass media offices and shutting down of TV channels.    

 

The panel discussion reflected the results of the EPDE civil experts’ mission prior to the Presidential elections in Ukraine. The final reports of the EPDE election experts’ mission were disseminated among more than 45 participants. From 8th to 15th May 2014, EPDE experts Arkadii Lyubarev, Piotr Andrusieczko and Maria Amparo Tortosa-Garrigós conducted their research in Ukraine focusing on security issues, the role of the media and use of administrative resources during the election campaign. The experts’ mission was supported by the EU and the Foundation for German-Polish Cooperation. Please find the final reports here.

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