Why "Reconciliation Platform" for Donbas was doomed to fail
Society is not ready for projects such as the National Reconciliation Platform. However, assistant NSDC secretary Serhiy Sivokho's project launch has been thwarted not because the initiative is bad as such. Here's why it failed.
First: the "Platform" presented by Serhiy Sivokho is a social tool for Donbas reintegration: "first we return our people, then territories". But will people go for dialogue if security issues haven't been resolved in Donbas? This is the same as holding elections at gunpoint of armed militants, supported by armed Russian mercenaries.
In general, this proven method works very well. And its success lays in the fact that the "majority" remains passive about Zelensky's plan, while waiting for everything to be resolved by itself
Second: was there enough time to communicate the very idea of a "platform" in Ukraine? The idea is worth a nationwide discussion, so some backstage or office meetings are not enough.
Third: the "active minority" effect has worked again. In general, this proven method works very well. And its success lays in the fact that the "majority"(the one that supports President Zelensky and sees ending the war in Donbas as priority demand to him) remains passive about Zelensky's plan, while waiting for everything to be resolved by itself. The "minority", on the other hand, is more mobile, clearer in its messages, and ready to act and face resistance.
Thus, the "majority" seems to be out there, but for some reason they don't go out on rallies to support the conditional "Zelensky plan" or be it the "Sivokho platform". As a result, the "active minority" is more often seen in the media, and it seems that it's in control of the situation.
In order for the National Reconciliation Platform to succeed, it must receive an all-Ukrainian legitimacy instead of being agreed in someone's office
Fourth: there is a feeling that when it comes to the issue of Donbas return, our society is immediately fragmented into small groups divided by interests. To resolve this problem, authorities need to understand and present a "state project" for Donbas. That is, to try to reconcile the private and the universal, to unite all spheres of society in the pursuit of a common goal, with a common baggage of values clear to every citizen. After all, for many Ukrainians, don't understand what the "Sivokho platform" is why anyone needs it amid continued enemy shelling…
In order for the National Reconciliation Platform to succeed, it must receive an all-Ukrainian legitimacy instead of being agreed in someone's office. And it mustn't be done in a rush. All this is a matter of communication quality, through which trust is built. And it is this communication that allows authorities to play long. This is exactly what is needed in this situation, as there will be no quick decision on Donbas.
Taras Semeniuk is an analyst with KyivStratPro