Recently Ukrainian society has become more accustomed to such concepts as “extremism”, “war”, “violence” and “extreme methods”. These phenomena, which for a long time have been mainly theories and exceptions, today have acquired not only a practical value, but also have become widespread concepts.
Unfortunately, nowadays such phenomenon as extremism has been faced by almost all Ukrainian citizens – even if not in action, almost surely by the means of thoughts, expressions and threats. However, the biggest problem is that such extremes in behavior – in politics, everyday life, culture – have become routine features. Extremism develops to be a norm. This is really frightening – frightening that violence becomes an acceptable phenomenon.
For me as a woman it is important that public tranquility would be disturbed only by good news, that relations within every Ukrainian family, society, community and in the state itself wouldexclude any violence. Moreover, for me as a mother it is important that children in Ukraine would grow in peace, that wars becomes subject of study of historians instead of “leaving scars on every generation of our citizens”.
While being on our way to the European Union, creation of legal society and establishment of the democratic traditions in Ukrainian society, we have to fix in the public opinion, in political culture and in a mind of every Ukrainian person values of humanity, pluralism, justice, solidarity and equality of all citizens. They have to become a fairway of every person’s social life.
Thus, we aim at examining the extremism as such. The main goal for us is to work out recommendations, ways and methods to be able to stop the escalation of violence in all spheres of life. Therefore, the task of our Institute is, on the one hand, to change the perception of extremism as a demonized phenomenon, and,on the other hand, – to turn it backwards into a so-called “natural form” – a form of extremes, to prevent its conversion of extremism into a norm of life.
The main goal of our Institute is to turn the society back to embracing European values, which are based on the values of humanism
The Head of NGO “ Ukrainian Institute of Research of Extremism”
Our Institute started its work in an extremely difficult period in the history of Ukraine.
Undoubtedly, for our descendants it will be much easier to assess what has happened in Ukraine for the last year and is still happening now. In any case, the level of objectivity and impartiality of these assessments will be understandably higher.
After all, when a direct participant of this or that event (especially – dimensioned) tries to give it a scientific or political definition, in most cases it depends largely on his own positioning, his role and place in the course of events, his plans and prospects for the future periods.
However, even today it can be already argued that the political- and social active part of Ukrainian society in its overwhelming majority doesn’t see an alternative to European civilization choice of Ukraine as a country, seeks affirmation in its own country and in its society of the rule of law, of European values and civilized coexistence of people with different views, of people belonging to different national and ethnic groups, different faiths etc.
At the same time, the tendency to use in political, economic, social practices ideas and methods associated primarily with the use or threat of use of illegitimate violence to achieve certain goals leads to aggravation and escalation of social tension. The consequences of this can be predicted easily.
We cannot also exclude that fact that today as the result of actual occupation of the territory of Ukraine, current Ukrainian authorities have no control over nearly 45,000 square kilometers of its territory, population of which is about 6 million citizens. In terms of size it equals to the territory of Netherlands or Switzerland and it is half as much as the territory of Belgium. In terms of population it almost equals the population of Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia taken together.
Distribution of illegal weapons on these areas and their unavoidable spread towards the whole territory of Ukraine, systemic economic and financial crisis and negative trends in the welfare system, the presence of numerous precedents of realization of own interests through the use of violence – all these factors make the subject of study of our Institute, as well as, the tasks, which we set for ourselves undoubtedly relevant and important.
The Director of NGO “ Ukrainian Institute of Research of Extremism”