Reintegration of the Population of the De-Occupied Territories of Donbas and Crimea into Ukraine: Rights and Citizenship

This became the subject of the event, which took place last week in the premises of the Directorate-General for Rendering Services to Diplomatic Missions in Ukraine. The tone in the speeches was set by political scientist Hryhorii Perepelytsia, who was the moderator of the event. He is the Director of the Foreign Policy Research Institute, a Doctor of Political Sciences, and in the past he was a military serviceman, Captain of the 1st rank. Why do I emphasize his positions and rank — because it is the military that is best aware of the consequences created by wars for the civilian population, and the reasons that lead to such consequences regardless of what is said about this at all public and political latitudes. Those present at the event had the opportunity to verify this from the speeches of invited specialists and politicians. And there were a lot of them in the hall. In particular, A. Stelmakh (Deputy Minister for Integration of the Temporarily Occupied Territories of Ukraine); D. Chystikov (Deputy Permanent Representative of the President of Ukraine to the Autonomous Republic of Crimea); M. Siryi (senior researcher of the Koretskyi Institute of State and Law of National Academy of Science of Ukraine) and others.

For the discussion, the organizers had prepared many questions, each of which could have been a separate topic for discussion. For example, national and international legal aspects of reintegration, legal aspects of reintegration, economic restoration of de-occupied territories, regional peculiarities of the Donbas and Crimea… Looking ahead, it should be noted that the speeches of those present at the event mainly dealt not so much with ways to resolve problems of the population, which was covered by a wave of hostilities or because of what they, Ukrainian citizens, fell into, to put it mildly, the subordination of the invaders, but about the opportunities that this population has the right to use. As it is provided, for example, in the West, where several decades ago the problems inhabitants of the former Yugoslavia were also resolved. Or as it is carried out in relation to immigrants who have moved to European countries from the Middle East or North Africa.

But here, in Ukraine, the situation is different, because we are simultaneously concerned about our refugees and how to establish a peaceful life on the lands taken back from the Russian invaders. After all, we will have not only to engage in reconstruction. The agenda will include justice issues such as amnesty and lustration; legal aspects of reintegration; transitional administrations and political and administrative issues; socio-dimension of the population of the de-occupied territories, that is, attitude to the occupiers, sympathizers of Russia.

The speeches discussed, among other things, the role of the judicial system, the legality of state documents recognized as valid before and after 2014, the status of annexed territories to be restored as part of Ukraine in accordance with European principles in such a case.

Of course, Ukraine, as a state, will face many problems after the war. They cannot be resolved within a short time, as a result of which new, sometimes completely unexpected ones will appear. Therefore, it is necessary to prepare for such a case now, even when sounds of alarm are heard in our settlements, announcing the attacks of an insatiable enemy, when most of our population is forced to seek temporary refuge not only in other regions of Ukraine, but also abroad. And it should be taken into account that immediately at the end of hostilities, changes in social psychology will also be felt. And this is also a big problem that has never been mentioned, for example, after the end of World War II.

During the event, many relevant topics were voiced that were not even planned for discussion. But if they were made public now, then we will definitely face them at the end of the war. For which both the state leadership and local governments should prepare today.

Oleh Makhno

“Reintegration of the Population of the De-Occupied Territories of Donbas and Crimea into Ukraine: Rights and Citizenship”


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