Statement of the Legal Initiative NGO on the events in Mukachevo

Dear citizens! The events that have recently occurred in Mukachevo and shook the entire country could not leave our organization aside. We believe that in the face of external challenges, the government and volunteer battalions have to find a common language and treat each other not as rivals, but as partners. In order to do that, it is required to change the state approach to cooperation with volunteers.

It was the volunteer movement that emerged from the public driving forces at Maidan which was the first to defend our country against the Russian aggression in the east. Mostly, the volunteers of the Right Sector and other patriots gave away dozens of their lives in the east. At the same time, we cannot agree with any use of weapons in the peaceful territory. It is unacceptable, even though guided by the fairest intentions.

So, the situation that happened in Mukachevo, according to Legal Initiative NGO, was a result of the fundamentally flawed and unacceptable relationships established between the government and volunteer battalions, that is the government, as we have seen, builds its relations with the volunteer battalions not as a partner, but vice versa, opposes them to itself. We consider this practice wrong and extremely dangerous.

In these relationships, in our view, the governmental approach to the volunteer movement should be changed completely, based on the law of Ukraine, the provisions of which should include the following:

  1. In strategic actions, the volunteer battalions should report to the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine (MoD).
  2. The management of these battalions must be a member of the General Staff.
  3. The battalions and other units operating during the ATO (martial law) should be disbanded or transformed into the other subdivisions of the state power the end of hostilities.
  4. The weapon shall be provided by MoD.
  5. The volunteer soldiers should be provided all social guarantees provided to the servicemen.
  6. After the ATO (martial law) completion, the volunteer battalion members shall be guaranteed the employment in the MoD, Ministry of Internal Affairs, the Security Service, and the Prosecutor’s Office.

We believe and hope that the common sense, patriotism and respect of the government for the people, and the people for power, as well as a sincere desire to build partnerships will outweigh all our internal contradictions.

In the face of the external threat, we must find the ways of understanding inside the country, bringing the conflict to the legal field and take the above steps to strengthen Ukraine’s position, maintain its integrity, sovereignty and build the tenable and economically strong European state.

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