How to Unite Ukraine

May 1st, 2014 | By | Category: Civil Society, Editor's Choice, In Depth, Solidarity, Ukraine

Results of the Second Forum of Solidarity of Civic Organizations 

Kharkiv April, 5, 2014

The representatives of different regions of Ukraine mostly from its Eastern and Southern parts worked out this joint vision together.

The lines of separation in Ukraine

1. Civilizational. It is a split into two divergent values systems. We can see self-maintained, educated , young and independent-minded people on the one hand and poor, illiterate, easily manipulated people on the other. We deal with the two civilizations. And the second civilization representatives show a high degree of aggression.

2. Geopolitical. The discrepancy in the vision towards the development and future of Ukraine. On the one hand Ukraine is seen in Europe, on the other hand in Russia.

3. Ideological. There are those who live the ideals of the Russian world, the Soviet past and those who are focused on European integration.

4. The identification. Those who identify himself as citizens of Ukraine are opposed to those who consider themselves citizens of another state.

5. By the type of power. There are those who support democratic values and those seeking a “strong hand”, who consider totalitarianism as the only proper political system.

6. By elites. There are Ukrainian oriented elite and a non-Ukainian oriented elite.

7. By the feeling of the opportunity of the personal influence on the situation. Whether a person feels that he/she can affect the events progress and change the life.

8. By the respect to the power.

9. By the feeling of roots. This is a sense of your historical roots, the desire to live on this land and feeling that you will be living here for a long time, feeling of your Motherland.

10. By attitude to the initiative. Those who support the initiative, who are eager to take the situation into their own hands, to take responsibility oppose those who hope for the authorities or leaders. According to surveys in the U.S. almost half of the people are the leaders, while in Russia the percentage is very small.

11. Division into optimists (state of a leader) and pessimists (state of a victim).

12. Division into iindividualists (mostly in the west) and collectivist (mostly in the east).

13. By the language problem attitude (artificial split). There are people who speak different languages but support Ukrainian. It is not the language which is important but the attitude to it.

14. By the psycho-linguistic features. You cannot bring up a Ukrainian patriot who does not speak Ukrainian.

15. By the difference in historical development. Accordingly, there are various historical myths which lead to the difference in perception of the same information.

16. By the difference of economic and industrial development.

17. By the eagerness to sacrifice something. There are those who are willing to sacrifice in order to achieve the goal and those who seek stability and comfort.

18. By the religious traditions difference. There is such a phenomena as a religion cult of the Great Patriotic War, which occupies a disproportionate place in the people’s minds.

19. By means of obtaining information (not Russian sources or Russian ones).

20. By understanding your own rights and ability to enjoy them.

21. By the ability to establish a dialogue with the authorities. This line is not appropriate to east-west, but passes through the small towns. People there approach contacts more operationally and practically.

22. By recognition of the legitimacy or non-legitimacy of the previous government.

23. By age. This split is not proportional as the older generation supports “sovok” (the former values of the USSR) and younger people come out for the Unites indivisible Ukraine. However it is the young people who should work with the older generation and convince them that the future is with European values.

24. By the objects of fear. There is fear of the “stability destruction and European integration” and fear of “totalitarian society”.

25. By the conspiracy thinking. There is belief in global conspiracy, which determines the course of events on the Earth, and in all-powerful omnipresent security forces, from which it is impossible to hide.

26. By the belief in mystical power, which humans can not affect. It is the religious mindset when people simply believe in the Almighty that controls everything rather than in the natural events developing by their inner laws. Ordinary people cannot do anything, so the Maidan could not have arised by itself, the crowd is always ruled by somebody .

Thus all the aspects of the split of Ukrainian citizens can be explained by the civilizational split occurrence. We deal with two different civilizations one of which is aimed into Soviet past and another looks into the future and understands that bringing it closer needs efforts.

In addition to this, the artificial split lines are created in the society. Oligarchs take advantage by creating conflicts between various groups of the society to prevent this society from going into conflict with the oligarchs.

It is possible to erase the line of the mythic split by the dialogue. It is necessary to explain that there are other split lines, then it will be easier to glue them.

There is no split between the people who represent intellectuals and independently thinking part of the society.

What do the people of the East and South of Ukraine expect from the government?

1. Total lustration while involving young personnel with high qualification and mandatory examinations in history and state language to the government bodies.
2. Total transparency of government. Transparency of budget, register of real estate, vehicles, open and clear tax declarations of officials.
3. Administrative reforms and the reduction of the number of officials.
4. Modern technologies in ruling the country on the local level, which will prevent corruption.
5. Participating of the society in the municipal self government.
6. Turnover of government, ability to re-elect the government, social control over the frequency of re-elections of the government and public workers.
7. Legal procedure of recalling officials.
8. Updating and reinforcing the law of the independent media protection.
9. Maidan activists hope that government will represent interests of the society and maidan ideals, and will communicate with the social community representatives.
10. People are waiting that the power corruption that has rooted in the particular regions will leave.
11. Openness and dialogue with the government.
12. The society has to learn to demand the feedbacks and reporting from the government.
13. The government should not prevent citizens to be engaged in personal development, education and business at their own discretion. The government should create opportunities for earning, developing small business. People should become more independent from the government.
14. It is necessary to create expert committees for explaining history. Although history is different, though it’s unique for our country. Expert group should consist of historians which are respected in all regions of Ukraine. History should be learnt on personal level: Bandera, Lenin. There should be given objective information about historical figures for preventing from manipulations.
15. Decentralization of power. Perhaps, it is necessary to create institution of electing governors, district administrators and more. It is needed to develop big and small cities more equally.
16. The main point: power should be client-oriented and responsibility should lie on the people who elected it.
17. More resolute fight with separatism, protection of civilian population by force methods. In conditions of outer aggression indecisive reaction to separatists can lead to increasing of tension and real civil war.
18. In the East they expect personal visits of central government representatives. Those who rule the country should visit Eastern cities, conduct meetings and personally talk to people. Most of populace have feeling that “we are abandoned” or “we are thrown away”. In the East of Ukraine they are expecting for communication with them and being calmed down.

19. Also, we have put forward a proposal of “open microphone”, on which fast and operative official answer from governors should be obtained.
20. Real reforms which would show growth of the standard of life. Pensions and salaries that are paid in time is a very important point for the unprotected layers of population. It would become a “plus” of the new power.
21. The politicians from Kyiv, which are unknown in the regions, shouldn’t be brought to these regions.

Agenda for the Ukrainian Media

1. More historical research programs that could help develop Ukrainian identity. Such programs could be tied to the local area and regional peculiarities.
2. Review of imperial oppression studies. Explaining where Moscow comes from. Showing why the imperial threat appeared.
3. More positive news. Do not frighten people! Less negativity and escalation in the news forecast.
4. East and West need to share their traditions.
5. Moratorium on topics that represent the split lines in the society.
6. The issues that can consolidate the society should be focused on.
7. Mass media miss truth and objectivity, impartiality. The negative point is the distinction of all the events into black and white, coverage of the events and phenomena as exclusively positive or negative ones.
8. Integrated informational policy, determining issues allowed and forbidden to be published (taking into account the martial law).
9. Mass media miss responsibility according to keeping to professional standards.
10. Mass media miss interesting information. New technologies can be useful in this area.
11. Mass media miss cultivating national self-esteem. Not only with the help of history , but also through the common future vision.
12. Mass media must provide answers on accrual questions, put specific questions using clear plain language.
13. Taking into account the misbalance toward the Russian information space it is possible to broadcast eastern Europe entertainment programs or soap operas.
14. Mass media ought to provide a large number of live broadcasts, roundtables, dialogues, run-down statements on current issues and problems in each region.
15. Increasing the quality of show-programs.
16. Giving the strategic vision of the country future.
17. Radio requires changes in musical selection trend (more English, European, Asian music).
18. PSAs as creatively processed recitation of constitutional articles on Human Rights that give people more legal comprehension are needed.
19. The information about life in the nearby EU countries which used to be Soviet bloc countries.
20. TV live bridges between independent elite representatives who influence people thoughts and have direct contact with ordinary citizens are to be held. Reality shows exchanging politicians between western and eastern regions will allow them to pay attention to one other.
21. The regional television should be developed, this will be interesting to local residents. People are curious to hear about themselves.
22. It is important to bring audience to the comprehension that Ukraine is different and it is interesting due to it. Then it will be interesting to live in Ukraine.
23. Streaming movement was born during Maidan, and it provids the most objective information now. This is a live broadcast of any event. This movement needs to be developed.
24. News and news analytics should be strictly distinguished at central broadcasting channels.
25. Legal certification of blogging movement should be held. The bloggers should be officially allowed to significant events.
26. The point of view of the people we now call ” Antymaidan” should be taken into account while giving information including a picture of the world and mind. People are largely apolitical, being used to Russian channels and feel vacuum or fury because they were deprived of Russian media sources.
27. Mass media miss a balanced presentation of information, as the essential means of uniting the country.
28. Mass media miss fighting the misinformation that comes from Russian TV.
29. There must be urgently created a state program on decoding population brainwashed by Russian propaganda. Today it is obvious that the reason for the split in society is not only misinformation of large segments of the population, but the use of brand new informational technologies unknown before. To counteract their effects, we must develop a kind of ” antidote ” a professional practical scientific team of experts in the field of neurolinguistics, mental programming should work at the problem. It is necessary to provide financing and attracting leading world experience.
30. We need to achieve the criminal use of information weapons against the population of Ukraine being recognized at the international level.
31. More civic TV stations. More independent mass media channels.
32. A sound competition between the media.
33. Developing culture of obtaining information from the population. During Maidan people learned to read the news, analyze and draw out conclusions, to get information from the Internet. We need to teach people to responsible attitude to information, to analyzing and spreading it.

During the discussion consolidation lines were found:

1. A decent standard of living.
2. Shifting the border of opposing from maidan-antimaidan to the opposing society and government till the government becomes our friend. Питання майбутнього дітей.
3. Subsidizing social needs by the oligarchs.
4. Perception of our difference as the unity and using this potential for creating something new.
5. Overcoming negative myths and creating new myths

This text was worked out by 52 NGOs representatives, activists and intellectuals from Kharkiv, Kyiv, Lughansk, Simferopol, Dnepropetrovsk, Donetsk, Krivoy Rog, Odessa, Ternopol, Uzhgorod, Kharkiv, Makeevka, Novyi Svet, Svatove, Severodonetsk, Luhutyne and Chuguev.

The forum was organized by “Maidan Monitoring” Information Center in collaboration with the International Renaissance Foundation

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