"Peace plan for Ukraine. Suggestions for action "

How to end the armed conflict in Donbas?
What should be political and diplomatic mechanisms of "launching" the peacekeeping mission and how should the peacekeeping mission be deployed?
The first stage is a preparatory political and diplomatic phase - (5-6 months)

The second stage is the deployment of the peacekeeping mission along the contact line - (3- 4 months)

The third stage is the peacekeeping mission activities throughout the territory of Donbas (including the border line)

The fourth stage – the UN mission departure to the Ukrainian-Russian border


Appendix 1. «The Mariupil Format» of the National Dialogue
Appendix 2. Demilitarized neutral territory (DNT)
Appendix 3. Approaches towards defining the legal status of the territories
Appendix 4. The financial instruments of rehabilitation and restoring Donbas
Project Manager – Andrii Yermolaiev,

Director of the Institute for Strategic Studies "New Ukraine"

+380 (50) 4473744
General Points
The war in the Donbas acquired a protracted character. In the twentieth century, there is a so-called "trench warfare", when the parties are not capable of winning via successful military operations; they opt for tactical operations or just demonstrate their power to each other. In such circumstances, neither the "Croatian scenario" for the Ukrainian Armed Forces, nor the blitzkrieg for the separatists have practical sense, except from occasionally scare actions.

Five years of war, including more than a 2 years of economic blockade of Donbas (the certain districts of Donetsk and Lugansk regions (oblasts)), significantly changed life in Ukraine and Ukraine itself.

There are thousands of victims of the war. There are tens of thousands of those who have been affected by the military actions. There are hundreds of thousands of refugees and internally displaced persons. A new generation of "the children of war" is growing up.

The country's single social and economic system has been destroyed.

The spontaneous and uncontrolled redistribution of property, resources and assets is happening. There are those who make big business and breed corruption on a massive scale at the expense of the war.

Due to the shutdown of enterprises and mines and as the result of military operations, Donbas is on the verge of an ecological catastrophe with unpredictable consequences. Ecologists reasonably believe that Donbas is turning into Chornobyl-2 in terms of the effects and consequences.

The civilian national space is chaotic: tens of thousands of Ukrainians who live in the certain districts of Donetsk and Lugansk regions (oblasts) use the documents of the self-proclaimed republics.

However, the most tragic thing is the disruption of social ties, the increasing mutual distrust and alienation, and the gradual acceptance of the fact that Ukraine and Donbas have different future.

There is no doubt that Russia is responsible for its direct support of the separatist organizations and particular individuals during this war. The fact that Russia provides financial, military, material, technical, and propaganda-related support to the so-called DPR and LPR have caused a storm of indignation in the world. The annexation of the Crimea and the RF's direct interference into the conflict in Donbas have undermined the foundations of the established European order.

Ukraine enjoys broad international support. Ukraine's undeniable advantages include the sanctions against the Russian Federation by the US and the EU, the support of Ukraine's efforts to restore its borders, as well as diplomatic assistance of the leading international organizations (UN, OSCE, PACE) during the negotiation process.

At the same time, Ukraine suffers from the further escalation of the conflict and the deadlock in Ukrainian-Russian relations, the lack of an internal dialogue, tough economic situation in the country, and the lost time.

The feeling of a deadlock and the spreading fear of new shocks in society are getting stronger and stronger.

It is necessary to be aware of our part in global responsibility for the overall situation in Europe. The war in Donbas, the deterioration of relations between the EU countries and the Russian Federation in the context of sanctions, the growing wave of nationalism in Ukraine and in Central Europe as a whole, undermine European stability and strengthen the position of the Euro-pessimists.

Over the past five years, Ukrainians have learned to survive. However, they still do not have clear and coherent answers to the following questions. How to end the armed conflict in Donbas? How to build peace? How to restore a united and peace- loving country? What is the future of the Ukrainian-Russian relations? Will the window of opportunity for Ukraine's further European integration be closed due to the war and the crisis?
The purpose of this document is to present a version of a logical and comprehensive plan of building sustainable peace in Ukraine.

Any plan of building peace fails without a consistent internal policy of tolerance and dialogue. Establishing peace in Donbas is of the highest importance; however, it is only the first step towards creating a renewed Ukrainian Republic.

1. How to end the armed conflict in Donbas?
Further radicalization of the conflict is unacceptable, especially – the escalation of military actions. New casualties among civilians, an ecological and humanitarian disaster in Donbas can bury all hopes for the end of the war.

The termination of the armed conflict must be based on the existing "Minsk Agreements" (the protocol commitments of the Minsk Contact Group, 2014 & 2015) that are recognized by the international community (the UN resolution, OSCE, the European Parliament, the EU, the "Normandy Group" statements).

An international peacekeeping mission under the auspices of the United Nations should become a new instrument that will ensure the implementation of the "Minsk Agreements" (the protocol obligations of the parties).
The international peacekeeping mission should consist from two components:

- the armed peacekeeping mission (the international armed forces under the auspices of the United Nations);

- the unarmed peacekeeping mission (the organizations affiliated with the UN, as well as non-governmental, public, and charitable organizations).
The conduct and timing of deploying of the peacekeeping mission should be determined by one decision (resolution) of the UN Security Council and closely linked to the implementation schedule of the Minsk Agreements.

Special attention should be paid to the implementation of the 7th paragraph of the Minsk Agreements (September 2014) regarding the organization of an inclusive national dialogue. In this regard, it is necessary to establish an internal consultation group with the participation of the representatives of the certain districts of Donetsk and Lugansk regions (oblasts) and a permanent "Conciliation Forum" ("Mariupil format"). (Appendix 1).
2. What should be political and diplomatic mechanisms of "launching" the peacekeeping mission and how should the peacekeeping mission be deployed?
The first stage is a preparatory political and diplomatic phase (5-6 months).
The Normandy Group (the leaders of Germany, France, Ukraine, the Russian Federation) accepts the Normandy Memorandum – the document, which contains guarantees of the parties to end the conflict in Donbas under the Minsk Agreements; guarantees of cooperation in order to overcome the consequences of the conflict (refugees and internally displaced persons, economic and ecological matters of Donbas); an initiative appeal to the UN Security Council to make a respective decision regarding the deployment of the international peacekeeping mission under the auspices of the United Nations.

The Minsk Contact Group adopts a respective protocol that confirms that the contracting states of the Minsk Agreements are ready to participate in peacekeeping activities and to contribute to the deployment of the peacekeeping mission under the auspices of the United Nations.

It is necessary to strengthen the composition of the Minsk Contact Group by means of engaging the parliaments of Ukraine, the Russian Federation and the OSCE PA into the delegations. The trilateral contact group should be transformed into the negotiating group. A new subgroup within the Minsk Group should be established– the Ukrainian-Russian one. We should start a serious bilateral dialogue with Russia – about preventing the war between the states, about transitional rules and the conditions of peaceful coexistence, about the ways to resolve conflicts, which can threaten Ukraine and the world with a new war (including the "Crimean issue").

It makes sense to engage the plenipotentiaries from the People's (Legislative) Councils – the self-proclaimed parliaments of the republics (the so-called DPR and LPR) – as the participants of the Minsk Group.

This can significantly affect the capacity of the parties to negotiate and make the negotiation process about the future status of local authorities more productive. This is especially important due to the lack of means of "peaceful transition" from the self-proclaimed republics and their institutions to regional authorities that have the officially recognized status and a certain degree of autonomy according to the revised laws in Ukraine.

As a means of the pending negotiations and consultations, it is necessary to establish a "Mariupil Consultative Group" that should consist of the representatives of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine, the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine (including the Ministry of Defense), local self-government, and the representatives of the certain districts of Donetsk and Lugansk regions (oblasts) (the self-proclaimed regional authorities, local self-government). In the future, the "Mariupol Consultative Group" can be transformed into a permanent "Conciliation Forum", accompanying the implementation of the peacekeeping mission under the auspices of the United Nations.

The decision of the UN Security Council regarding the international peacekeeping mission should determine the mandate of peacekeepers, the list of countries that participate in the mission (the armed component of the mission) and the organizations that contribute to the mission (the unarmed component of the mission), the number, the schedule, and the stages of the deployment of the mission.
Regarding the armed component of the international peacekeeping mission:
"Parties to the conflict" sign the Memorandum / Treaty on the peacekeeping mission in Ukraine.
The resolution of the UN Security Council and the respective acts should determine the list of countries that participate in the mission; the procedure for commanding the UN military forces; the competence and the structure of the Peacekeeping Forces Command; the mission's budget and its formation; guarantees and responsibilities of the "parties to the conflict" in regard to contributing to the deployment of the peacekeeping mission.
The mission needs up to 30,000 personnel, including the law enforcement and humanitarian corps.
States with a neutral states or non-aligned states may participate in the mission.
Regarding the unarmed component of the international peacekeeping mission:
The participants of the international non-military peacekeeping mission can include UN-Women, International Committee of the Red Cross in Ukraine, World Health Organization (WHO), International Labor Organization (ILO), The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, UNICEF, etc, as well as the respective institutions and programs of the OSCE.

In addition, the initiative of the international non-military peacekeeping mission will take into account the experience of the implementation of the Ukraine 2017.

Humanitarian Response Plan that is exercised by national and international non- governmental organizations and UN agencies with the mediation of the Ukrainian authorities(1).

The activities of the organizations affiliated with the UN, as well as their Ukrainian and international partners should be combined into one program with a consolidated budget.

The Council of Elders, founded in 2007 by Nelson Mandela (1918-2013), may act as one of the initiators of the unarmed peacekeeping mission and as its active participant. The Council of Elders has a successful experience of preventing and resolving conflicts around the world(2). The Elders can be involved as moderators of the conflict resolution process, as they have an international mandate and may contact (due to its apolitical approach) all parties to the conflict, including the representatives of the certain districts of Donetsk and Lugansk regions (oblasts).
According to the Ukraine 2017 Humanitarian Response Plan (presented by the UN Resident Coordinator and UNDP Resident Representative in Ukraine Neal Walker), 2.6 million people who suffer from the conflict in Donbas get aid. The Plan was developed in cooperation and coordination with the Ministry of Temporarily Occupied Territories and Internally Displaced Persons of Ukraine. The Plan includes projects in such areas, as water supply, sanitation and hygiene, security, health, food, income, housing, education. Source: http://www.un.org.ua
The Council of Elders is a group of well-known and trustworthy public and political figures who use their determination, wisdom, and leadership to deal with difficult issues and conflicts. In May 2014, the Council of Elders became one of those international institutions that appealed to the international community in order to consolidate efforts for the peaceful settlement of the conflict in Donbas. Source: http://www.theelders.org/article/ukraine-clashes-risk-dangerous-tug- war.
The second stage is the deployment of the peacekeeping mission along the contact line (3-4 months).
The establishment of «the demilitarized neutral territory» (DNT, up to 20 km) witha special enforcement regime exercised by the participants of the peacekeeping mission under the auspices of the United Nations, with the OSCE participation. The withdrawal of all types of troops and weapons outside the «DNT» is required (the detailed draft of the DNT can be found in Appendix 2).
The tasks of this stage:
Non-internationalization of the parties to the conflict. All non-citizens of Ukraine must leave the conflict zone within the fixed period of time.
Decision-making (Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine) on amnesty of participants and the special order of investigation of the committed war crimes against civilians from both sides (transitional justice).
Demilitarization of territory (DNT), control over heavy weapons along the lines of their withdrawal.
Termination of economic blockade of the certain districts of Donetsk and Lugansk regions (oblasts), payments in national currency (hryvnia).
Decreasing the military presence of the Ukrainian Armed Forces in the region, the heavy equipment removal to the combat units' deployment points, restrictions on the presence of the Ukrainian Armed Forces units through the DNT line.
Separatist armed forces units' voluntary disarmament, heavy military equipment deployment at checkpoints accessible to the OSCE mission, equipment preparation for transfer under control of the armed peacekeeping forces.
Creation of social infrastructure for population of the certain districts of Donetsk and Lugansk regions (oblasts) (social services, medical care, trading platforms, assistance to people with special needs).
Adoption of legislation on the special status of self-government in the region (Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine), including establishment of election to the new local and regional self-government bodies dates (if necessary, either with the amendments to the Constitution, or via the temporary Constitutional Treaty by analogy with the 1995 Constitutional Treaty) (an option of the constitutional decision can be found in Appendix 3).
Legislative decision on the establishment and procedure for the municipal (local) police formation (Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine).
 The third stage is the peacekeeping mission activities throughout the territory of Donbas (including the border line)
Temporary state administration with a special status (TSASS) establishment, with inclusion in its leadership the international participants (authorized commissars) and agreed upon representatives of the certain districts of Donetsk and Lugansk regions (oblasts). The interaction mechanism creation between the temporary state administration with the peacekeeping mission governing bodies (headquarters).
Termination of separatists governing bodies on a voluntary basis (presidency, people's congresses, local authorities) and the authority transfer to the TSASS.
The civil passport regime throughout the whole territory of Donbas.
Recovery of single financial and economic space; all types of payments should be transferred into the national currency (hryvnia).
Welfare payments and pensions full restoration, banking institutions network development.
The beginning of ecological and construction recovering works in the territory of Donbas.
The fourth stage – the UN mission departure to the Ukrainian-Russian border
Full border regime ensuring (people and goods movements across the border).
Ensuring conditions for full-fledged control restoration over the border by the National Border Guard.
Population Census of the region.
Preparation for local elections (to local and regional self-government).
Donbas residents' participation in national electoral campaigns (presidential and parliamentary elections).
The armed international mission under the auspices of the United Nations

should be completed in three months before the appointed date for elections to the local self-government bodies.

The unarmed international mission under the auspices of the United Nations

continues its work, in accordance and in coordination with the Government of Ukraine and the administrations of International Funds (the institutions established to support the Donbas rehabilitation programs. Appendix 4).
Appendix 1.
«The Mariupil Format» of the National Dialogue
The establishment of «the Mariupil Consultative Group» can be initiated by the Minsk Contact Group's parties as the coordination and interaction operational mechanism for ensuring the proper conditions for the activities of the UN peacekeeping mission (the armed and the unarmed components of the mission).

The «Mariupol Consultative Group» may include the members of parliament (Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine) (an authorized inter-faction group), the Cabinet of Ministers representatives (including the Ministry of Defense), state administrations and local self-government representatives, the authorized representatives of the«People's Councils» and the bodies of self-government of self-proclaimed so- called LPR and DPR, the United Nations mission representatives, OSCE, the public and charitable organizations representatives that contribute to the aid programs for the Donbas population.
Main tasks:
A compromise position development on the legal, regulatory and political settlement of the conflict in Donbas.
Interaction in the «Demilitarized neutral territory» project implementation.

Social and economic relations development with uncontrolled territories.
Full-fledged social and economic activities resumption in the region.
Citizens free movement conditions creation.
Infrastructure and engineering communications unhindered operation ensuring, conducting ecological monitoring and unsafe technogenic objects condition monitoring, demining the territories, resumption work organization.
In the future, «the Mariupil Consultative Group» can become the basis for the permanent «Conciliation Forum» as a means for the national peace dialogue. Political parties, social and political organizations and movements representatives, analytical centers, business, science and culture representatives can be involved in Forum activities (conferences, meetings, consultations).

The aim is a single platform development for reconciliation and mutual understanding, long-term programs formulation for the unified social, economic and cultural space restoration of Ukraine.
Appendix 2.
Demilitarized neutral territory (DNT)
The objectives of establishing a "demilitarized neutral territory":
to establish a "demilitarized neutral territory" under the control of UN and OSCE forces, as a pilot project on conflict resolution in the region in general;
to achieve a sustainable ceasefire and to create prerequisites for the establishment of further sustainable peace, to restore the unified civilian, humanitarian and economic space in Ukraine;
to establish and to develop a civic dialogue within the framework of returning to the civic model of self-organization and self-government, given the unique level of urbanization and industrialization of the region, density of population.
Establishing of the "demilitarized neutral territory" in Eastern Ukraine should be based on the rules of international humanitarian law (Article 60 of the Additional Protocol I), which allow for the creation of such a territory under mutual consent of opposing Parties (in time of peace as well as after the outbreak of hostilities). The relevant agreement contains mutual statements as to the status of this territory, its boundaries and control.

The decision to establish the "demilitarized neutral territory" in Eastern Ukraine can be presented as a multi-level consensus agreement.
Specifications of and requirements to the"demilitarized neutral territory":
The width of the territory is at least 20 km along the entire length of the contact line. Given the high density of population, as well as the high level of industrialization of the territory, this project is unprecedented in history; in fact, it is a social innovation.
Local authority is exercised by the temporary state administration with a special status and local self-government bodies.
An armed UN mission is operating with the Special Monitoring Mission of OSCE to maintain law and order. As an innovation, the mechanism of local"municipal police" could serve as an auxiliary institution.
All units of combatants as well as of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, of the Ministry of Interior and volunteer paramilitary formations of Ukraine, in addition to all mobile combat tools and portable military hardware must be evacuated beyond the territory.
The demilitarized territory must be open to the free movement of civilians, taking into account the peculiarities of the legal order in the area.
The activities of political parties, political propaganda and campaigning must be temporarily suspended on this territory (until elections, referendums, plebiscites are held).
All military-related operations must come to an end.
In order to ensure the establishment and effective functioning of the "security zones" a variety of measures in the following areas will be required:
1) Development of service infrastructure for civilians in the so-called"communication zones".

These are secure territories, which house:
centers for rendering counseling and legal aid to citizens (inter alia, on the matters of resettlement, obtaining a passport, documents, acts of civil status, etc.);
centers for rendering administrative services (including entrepreneurship)
notary offices for processing contracts;
medical facilities for check-ups and providing medical care, regardless of place of residence;
bank facilities/ ATMs;
markets and shops with «social» prices;
volunteer and charity projects, centers for distribution of humanitarian aid;
residential facilities / hotels/ temporary accommodation facilities.
2) Social security sphere (for the population of the given territory):
Generating employment; using community service to restore transport and housing infrastructure. It is expedient to actively use community service within the framework of contesting unemployment.
Providing social housing to citizens who lost their homes due to combat actions, facilitate their resettlement in other regions of Ukraine.
Guaranteed list of medical services that are free of charge to citizens.
Information and cultural policy in Donbas must be formed allowing for the peculiarities of traditions and culture of the region.
It is necessary to ensure that social initiatives and public self-organization of citizens become a part of the political process on the ground. The technology of"deliberative democracy" should be applied for these purposes: civilianconferences, civic juries, submission of petitions (legislative initiative),citizens' participation in decision-making processes, local plebiscites, etc.
3) Resettlement of internally displaced persons:
Creating economic incentives for the employment of internally displaced persons. (First and foremost, promoting their recruitment in public institutions and enterprises).
Accounting for housing, which is not used and has no owners, especially in rural and depressed areas. Establishing mechanisms for the turning over of such housing into public ownership, with subsequent transfer to those in need (such practice already exists).
Facilitating resettlement of internally displaced persons in new places of residence, providing internally displaced persons with necessities for settling in - allocation of land plots, housing, equipment, interest-free loans, etc.
4) Establishing dialogue with the population of temporarily uncontrolled territories:
Simplification of procedures for crossing-over the demarcation lines, increasing the number of checkpoints, including "green corridors".
Payments of pensions and social benefits to residents of Eastern Donbas, regardless of the status of internally displaced persons.
Creating legal and economic incentives that promote the employment of Eastern Donbas residents on the controlled territory, first and foremost - in public institutions and enterprises.
Enabling the residents of Eastern Donbas to receive medical services in public medical facilities on the controlled territory, regardless of their place of registration or actual residence.
5) Staff support and post-crisis settlement:
Establishing mechanisms for monitoring conflict situations.
In particular, involvement in conflict prevention and promoting civic dialogue between civic organizations, inter alia Local Self-Government Association, the Public Council on the Restoration of Donbas and others, as well as employment of opportunities of local self-government.
Implementing the "patronage" idea in Donetsk and Luhansk regions by regional councils of Ukraine (first – in areas adjacent to the conflict zone, and eventually –throughout the entire Donbas territory).
The staff policy and staff training to work in communication areas are important.
Developing psychological rehabilitation services is essential.
Appendix 3.
Approaches towards defining the legal status of the territories
We suggest to:
refuse from identifying the list of the main administrative-territorial units in the Constitution of Ukraine;
identify regions (including regions with an autonomous status),districts (povets) and communities as the units of administrative and territorial structure of Ukraine.
Thus, the three-level administrative and territorial structure of Ukraine should include:

• communities,
• districts(povets)
• regions, including regions with an autonomous status.
The version of the respective constitutional provisions:
Chapter IX of the Constitution of Ukraine can be revised in the following way:


The administrative-territorial system of Ukraine is based on the principles of unity and territorial integrity of the state, decentralisation, economic self-sufficiency and sustainable development of administrative-territorial units, taking into account their historical, economic, ecological, geographic, and demographic peculiarities, ethnic and cultural traditions.

The administrative-territorial system of Ukraine consists of:

1. regions, including regions with an autonomous status;
2. districts;
3. communities.

A community is an administrative-territorial unit, which is established according to the law and includes one or several settlements (village, town, etc), as well as surrounding territories.
The procedures of establishing, abolishing, and changing the borders and names of the administrative-territorial units are defined by the Constitution of Ukraine and the law.

Apart from the suggested constitutional provisions, we suggest that the matters of the autonomous status of each region should be defined by separate laws of Ukraine.
Appendix 4.
The financial instruments of rehabilitation and restoring Donbas
Overcoming the consequences of the war, ensuring peaceful development, and promoting reforms in Ukraine requires the following:

Ukraine should establish the budget fund, which consists from the funds generated by businesses that function on the territory of autonomous regions of unitary Ukraine; ensure the full-fledged activity of the Agency for Donbas Restoration; ensure financing of public companies involved in restoration programs.
International partners should:
Establish the International Fund for Restoring Donbas and Ukraine
(non- repayable financial assistance provided by the states-signatories of the Budapest Memorandum).
Establishing the International Investment Fund (IIF),
which would consolidate the companies of the guarantor-states, as well as other states and international unions (the EU), engaged – with the support of the respective national governments – to invest in the economy of Ukraine within the new reform agenda and for the sake of modernization of the Ukrainian economy. Foreign companies that participate in the International Investment Fund should receive maximum preferences from the Government, including the possibility of state guarantees from the governments of the countries that join the IIF.
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