Amid the escalation of conflict, the role of Civil-Military Cooperation (CIMIC) becomes crucial to safeguard civilian lives. This report, “The Role of Civil-Military Cooperation in Protection of Civilians: The Ukraine Experience”, delves into the evolution and impact of CIMIC in Ukraine, especially amidst the exigencies brought forth by the ongoing conflict.

The report underscores the significant strides Ukraine has made since the inception of CIMIC as a Military Occupational Specialty (MOS) in 2014, spotlighting the critical role played by CIMIC officers in liaising between the military and civilian authorities, aiding in evacuations, and facilitating the restoration of essential infrastructure under precarious circumstances.

The report identifies several challenges that hinder the effectiveness of CIMIC, such as inadequate training, ambiguous legislation regarding CIMIC operations, and the need for a more structured approach towards integrating CIMIC into military and governmental frameworks.

This research outlines robust recommendations to Ukrainian authorities at various levels. These recommendations aim at institutionalizing the role of CIMIC, enhancing training provisions, and fostering a greater understanding and acknowledgment of CIMIC’s role in both military and civilian spheres, thereby ensuring a more coordinated and effective response to protect civilian lives during armed conflict. This report not only delineates the evolution and current state of CIMIC in Ukraine but also sheds light on the distinct challenges faced amidst a high-intensity conflict, which diverges from the conventional paradigms of peacekeeping and stabilization where NATO has traditionally operated. It’s imperative for NATO to study this report to better comprehend the nuanced dynamics in Ukraine, and to adapt and extend its support effectively. The findings and recommendations encapsulated in this report could serve as a vital resource for NATO to refine its engagement strategies, augment its training and consultation mechanisms, and foster a more coordinated and impactful civil-military synergy in conflict zones, aligning with its broader objective of promoting peace, security, and civilian protection.

As Ukraine navigates through these turbulent times, fortifying the synergies between military operations and civilian safety through a well-defined CIMIC framework emerges as a pivotal component to alleviate civilian harm and foster a culture of protection amidst adversity.

The full report is available to read and download in English and Ukrainian.