Since 2014, civilians in the east of Ukraine have experienced deaths, injuries, and destroyed infrastructure as a result of the conflict, and these incidents will only increase with the attacks seen in 2022.
CIVIC has been present in Ukraine since 2017, conducting research and on-the-ground activities assisting the Ukrainian government and the Armed Forces of Ukraine (AFU) in the development and implementation of tools, training, and policies on protection of civilians.
With CIVIC’s support, the AFU established one of the few civilian casualties tracking and mitigation team cells (CCMT) in the world – and the only known one in Europe. Since its establishment, CIVIC has been working diligently to ensure the sustainability of the CCMT and has been advocating for it to become a permanent structure.
CIVIC has also advocated for the adoption of a National Strategy for the Protection of Civilians. Once approved, the Strategy would help establish a safer and more secure environment for conflict-affected communities, enhance the prevention of civilian harm incidents and violations of norms, assist those harmed in the conflict, and reinforce Ukraine’s aspirations to apply NATO and EU standards.
In 2020, CIVIC also started its work to strengthen dialogue and trust between the Ukrainian military and civilians in the east of Ukraine. To promote constructive dialogue that would benefit conflict-affected communities, CIVIC organized a course on dialogue facilitation for community leaders and civil-military cooperation (CIMIC) officers. This effort helped strengthen relationships and trust to a level that allowed civilians to discuss sensitive protection issues with representatives of the military.
CIVIC will be reviewing its future work in Ukraine and its ambition to continue improving the protection of conflict-affected communities in the light of the 2022 military offensive in the country.
CIVIC’s work in Ukraine is highlighted in the following publications:
- Ukraine: Russia Shift in Warfare Tactics Is Resulting in Mass Civilian Casualties
- Emerging Patterns of Civilian Harm in Ukraine
- Ukraine-Russia: CIVIC Calls for Ceasefire and Protection of Civilians
- Who’s looking out for the civilian casualties of a Ukraine war?
- Ukraine must do more to protect civilians living close to the conflict contact line
- Entering the Grey-Zone: Hybrid Warfare and the Protection of Civilians in Ukraine
- Building Bridges, Reinforcing Protection: How NATO’s Protection of Civilians Framework Influenced Ukraine’s Approach
- “When Will This All End?” Voices from Civilians Living in Areas Affected by the Conflict in Eastern Ukraine
- The Way to Become Good Neighbors: Why and how civilians and the military need to better coexist in Eastern Ukraine
- The Crucial Role of Female Officers in Eastern Ukraine
- Civilians caught in Donbas conflict need government system to protect them
- Falling Through The Cracks: Improving Ukraine’s Assistance to Conflict-Affected Areas
- ‘We Are Afraid of Silence’: Protecting Civilians in the Donbass Region