The final forum of our “Ukraine 603.7” - Northern Ukraine - the Roots of Europe

Northern Ukraine - the Roots of Europe 

🇺🇦“Northern Ukraine - the Roots of Europe” 
The final forum of our “Ukraine 603.7” series focussed on the North as a cradle of Ukrainian history and culture.

📍We held this forum in Chernihiv, one of Ukraine’s oldest cities.
Continuing in the tradition of our earlier forums, we looked at the idea of security from the military perspective, the socio-economic perspective, and also the perspective of “soft power”.

✅Speaking on the first panel, “Security in the North: Land, Sea and Border”, were servicemen, experts and diplomats. Here is a summary of some of the issues discussed:

  • Chernihiv Oblast is one of Ukraine’s frontier regions. It has borders with two hostile states, Russia and Belarus. We are already engaged in a trade war, and there is always the risk of something even more serious developing. 
  • Our border control agents are closely studying the experiences of our friends in the EU with combatting illegal migration. 
  • We need constant outreach to citizens in order to counteract enemy propaganda, keep control over the COVID situation and maintain law and order. 
  • We can be reassured that there is a high level of cooperation between our military and our law enforcement agencies. 
✅The participants of the second panel talked about both medieval history and information security. In the first half of the discussion, “Forgotten Scandinavian Links: a Renaissance for the Future”, we came to the following conclusions:  

  • Whether or not you subscribe to the Norman or anti-Norman theory of our medieval history, there were undeniably powerful links between Kyivan Rus and Scandinavia, including a lot of important cultural, economic and political exchange.
  • The Russian Empire, the USSR and even the modern-day Russian Federation have tried to make us forget about this and other aspects of our medieval history. 
  • In the present day, our shared history can serve as a good foundation for relations between Ukraine and the Nordic countries. 
During the discussion titled “Disinformation in the North: to Fight and to Win”, which saw the participation of the Latvian Embassy’s military attaché and government officials involved in regulating TV and radio, the following points were raised: 

  • Here in the North there are very particular challenges since one of the countries bordering the region is our aggressor, Russia, which works to systematically develop and disseminate hostile content. 
  • Unfortunately, along the border the presence of our national public broadcaster is very limited, and in some areas there is no signal at all. 
  • In terms of technology, we are not yet on equal footing with the countries we border: we currently only have two transmitters, versus seven on the other side. 
  • Ukrainians living in the borderlands can freely access around 40 foreign TV channels, largely those of Russia and Belarus, and it’s important to work on the problems this causes. 
✅Taking part in the third panel, “Northern Ukraine: a Hub of Free People and Industry”, were three Members of Ukrainian Parliament, the Belgian Ambassador to Ukraine, government officials and representatives of local business and civil society. We talked about economic opportunities and challenges for the region, particularly in the fields of energy and light industry, discussed support for both Belarusian migrants and Ukrainian veterans, and also considered what we can learn from Belgium’s experience of economic restructuring. 

Our forum ended with a brainstorm session involving local youth. The following are some of the takeaways of this session:
  • Nowadays the youth of Chernihiv are engaged in active dialogue with local authorities, who are listening and taking their voices into consideration. 
  • A major problem is young people leaving the region en masse to work in neighbouring regions, particularly the capital. Many are going after larger-scale projects and betterprospects in general. 
  • A vibrant community of young creatives is currently developing in Chernihiv but at the moment they don’t have a platform to carry out their initiatives, or the stable support they need in order to do so. 

🤝We would like to express our sincere gratitude to everyone who helped with and participated in our security forum. 

The forum was organized in collaboration with the Konrad Adenauer Fund, the Embassy of Switzerland in Ukraine, Yellow Blue Strategy, the NGO “Political Kamerton of Ukraine”, and the Chernihiv Young People’s Council. 

🇺🇦🙌Let’s stitch Ukraine together and fight for the security of our nation! 
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