Thanks to your support, at the request of local civil society organizations, Nonviolent Peaceforce introduced unarmed civilian protection in Ukraine in 2015. There was great need and you responded by funding an NP civilian protector in Ukraine. For several months, our staff built relationships to better understand the conflict, determine NP's role, and to conduct trainings on unarmed civilian protection.* NP trained thirty Ukrainians representing several civil society organizations, community members and local authorities on providing a protective presence to civilians. NP had intended to stay in Ukraine and build our program there, but unfortunately, we did not receive an additional grant to expand our work at the time.
But there is still need in Ukraine and we intend to maintain a presence through our local partnerships. NP is poised to continue providing training on the use of unarmed strategies to build the conditions for peace and to work alongside local communities. Although a ceasefire was signed between Russia and Ukraine in February 2015, there is still a high risk of violence. To pre-empt further violence, human rights violations, and displacement Nonviolent Peaceforce will provide training for members of 3-5 at-risk communities in human security, violence prevention and conflict resolution.
*In partnership with Association for Middle Eastern Studies.