In Putivl, a meeting of representatives of the ISHR with residents of the city

On August 26, 2018, in the city of Putywl (Sumy region), the first regional meeting took place within the framework of the project ” Off to the regions and into the future

with Humanrights-online” in Ukraine. The region was not chosen by chance. Our media mainly focuses on the situations in Western Ukraine (Lvov, Ternopil, etc.) and Eastern Ukraine (partly uncontrolled for the time being by the Ukrainian government). Therefore, we decided to hold a meeting in the north of the country (Putivl) and one in the central region (Poltava).

The meeting was attended by 15 people, mainly educational staff, small business owners, pensioners and other professionals. The fact that the city is small and everyone knows it had a negative impact on us. In view of the difficult situation with the freedom of speech in our country, none of the participants in the meeting were prepared to make official statements, as this could have negative consequences. After we promised not to mention the names and not to use photos of the participants in public, we received very detailed complaints about violations in the region, learned about local problems, especially about:

– Violation of the right to use the Russian language

– Violation of the right to study Russian

– Out migration of young people, poor infrastructure

– Legally protected deforestation

Given that this is a Russian-speaking city, the problem of violations of the right to use languages ​​of national minorities is particularly acute, especially with regard to the education of children. We received information from residents who are confronted with problems that the media is not allowed to write about. Nobody dares to speak out loud, everything is done in coordination with the highest authorities of the region and the country. There are modern means of communication, but it is difficult to name independent media sources. The city newspaper reflects the opinion of the city and district administration. There are several social media pages of the city, but there are no independent bloggers or websites as such, since the district is quite small.