Participants of the field mission to eastern Ukraine researched peculiarities of life of civilians near the frontline, operations of military-civillian administration and problems of illegal coal mining

On May 18-20 DRA in the partnership with VOSTOK SOS organised another field mission to eastern Ukraine. The experts from Germany, Poland, France and Ukraine took part in the mission. The participants travelled 700 km along the contact line to asses the conditions of the daily llife of civillians in the proximity to the military positions, relations between civil military administartions and civilian population and illegal businesses such as coal mining. Particular attention was paid to the hot points where the shellings are the most frequent – Avdiivka, Mariinka and Zolote. One of the mission participants, Yuliya Shukan mentioned: "The most interesting I think was to explore relationship between local populations (their fragile living conditions, expectations towards authorities), civil society activists and military-civil administrations (MCA). We saw that MCAs lack money for everything, except when there is a big factory in a city, like the coke plant in Avdiivka, that may replace the state in some instances and finance reconstruction. We noted that there is still no legal mechanism for compensating damages caused to the private housing (beyond the question of relevance of reconstruction in areas under the constant shelling). Finally, the institution of MCA is very controversial as it is a non-collegial one and decisions depend in last resort on a single person. We met two heads of MCAs (one with background in military and another from state security service) and two deputies (people from the former Party of Regions (party of the former president Yanukovych), that are still in charge and continue to run current affairs). So from the point of view of sociology of local authorities and MCAs, it was also very interesting to observe different profiles and ways of doing things. Finally, the tense relationship between MCA and some local activists who try to monitor public procurement at the local level are also very instructive"

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