05 November, 2014
BUILDING BRIDGES BETWEEN CIVIL-SOCIETY ACTORS FROM THE POST – SOVIET AREA.
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Since the collapse of the Soviet Union, the post-Soviet region with its former Soviet Republics has been in a tense transition period. Most of post-Soviet countries have unsolved issues and conflicts with each other; consequently, they face a large number of internal and external challenges such as long-lasting conflicts. Since the 1990’s and up to day, there are several unresolved violent conflicts in this area: including one between Armenia and Azerbaijan, Georgia and Russia, the internal conflicts of the Russian Federation in the North-Caucasian region and very recently Ukraine and Russia, etc.
In this context, the scope of action of peace-promoting NGOs and other social actors has become very limited and restricted. Repression by state institutions has reached a very high level, putting in danger the organizational structures of NGOs as well as the individuals involved.
Terms like “Blitzkrieg’’, “pre-emptive strike’’ and ‘‘total war” have gained currency in almost all conflict divided societies. Labels like “collaborators with the enemy” or “supporters of the enemy” have become the most effective and efficient way for the authorities to create discrimination against unwanted individuals or groups and to assault their reputation. Furthermore, human rights, democratic values and peace-building activities are presented to the societies as a means of manipulation and tools for destabilization of post-Soviet countries used by the Western world. Due to the described forms of defamation and repressions, it becomes more and more difficult if not impossible for the civil society actors to cooperate with each other on “sensitive” themes such as human rights, peace building or democratisation. more»