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Understanding of Russian Invasion Implications

Policy Briefs on Regional Security, Nuclear Safety and Deportation of Ukrainian children to Russia to the academic and civil society community in South Africa

A group of experts from South Africa and Ukraine have studied the current situation in Ukraine, to draw conclusions on what the next steps could be towards a safer African continent and ensuring long-lasting peace in Ukraine. 
Despite the extensive media coverage of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, there remain significant gaps in establishing practical steps to ensure the long-lasting peace in Ukraine, identifying underlying obstacles preventing the regulation and prevention of armed conflicts, as well as averting gross violations of human rights and damage to the environment. The development of the 2022 Russian invasion of Ukraine into a full-scale armed conflict exemplifies the global security system crisis, one where powerful states dominate those less powerful. What characterises the Russian war against Ukraine is the following: 

  1. the scale of the war poses tremendous negative repercussions to the world’s energy, financial and food resources; 
  2. the war is being waged between a country possessing nuclear weapons against a country that voluntarily relinquished its nuclear capabilities, and joined the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT); and
  3. it is the first time since 1945 that the military aggression of a global nuclear power is aimed at redrawing the borders of an internationally recognised sovereign state by the annexation of its territories. 

In recognising the importance of addressing the gaps in international regulation and the need to develop practical steps to ensure the long-lasting peace for military conflicts, the group of experts have put together some practical steps that will be presented during the seminars conducted in Cape Town, Stellenbosch and Pretoria. The platform for expert collaborations was initiated by the Institute of Justice and Reconciliation, the Desmond and Leah Tutu Legacy Foundation, the Democratic Institute Foundation (DIF), and the Ukrainian Association of South Africa (UAZA)

Policy Brief Speakers

Seminars Schedule

South African and Ukrainian experts suggest next steps for the Africa Peace Mission: Regional Security, Nuclear Safety and Deportation of childrenPlanned events 11-15 March 2024:

11 March (Monday): 14h00 – 16h00, Seminar South African Insights on Ukraine’s Path to Peace: Regional Security, Nuclear Safety, and Human Rights Perspectives”, Stellenbosch University; RSVP: Pauliane Davidse at [email protected]

12 March (Tuesday): 9h30 – 12h30, Seminar “South African Insights on Ukraine’s Path to Peace: Regional Security, Nuclear Safety, and Human Rights Perspectives”, Department of Political Sciences at the University of Cape Town; RSVP:[email protected]

15 Mach (Friday): 09h00 – 10h30, Seminar “AU Policy Brief on Ukrainian children under Russian control: addressing deportations, repatriation and justice”, Centre for Human Rights, University of Pretoria.  RSVP: [email protected]

15 March (Friday): 12h00 – 13h30, Seminar “Lessons from the Ukraine war and African governments’ role in resolving the conflict”, Institute for Security Studies, Pretoria. RSVP: Online via Zoom (register to attend) or Attend event via webcast

Title: South African Insights on Ukraine’s Path to Peace: Regional Security, Nuclear Safety, and Human Rights Perspectives

Date: 11 March 2024

Time: 2 – 4 pm

Venue: Room 648 Department of Political Science (6th Floor, Arts Building cnr. Merriman Ave. and Ryneveld St.) Stellenbosch University

RSVP: Pauliane Davidse at [email protected]


Seminar description:

The polarisation of the Russia-Ukraine war has rendered it challenging for experts to engage in substantive dialogue beyond political rhetoric. The African peace mission to Ukraine and Russia in June 2023 became the first mission from African states to address a conflict outside the African continent and demonstrate the importance of peaceful resolution in this distant war for the continent.

This event brings together South African and Ukrainian experts who have collaborated on three distinct issues underpinning the Ukraine Peace Formula: regional security, nuclear safety, and the forcible deportation of children. The event centres on extracting lessons from the conflict and exploring avenues for enhancing peace on the continent and beyond.

Title: Seminar on Regional Security Architecture, Nuclear Safety and Children’s Rights. 

Date: 12 March 2024

Time: 9.30 am – 12.30 pm

Venue: Centre of African Studies Gallery, Upper Campus, University of Cape Town

RSVP: [email protected]


Programme:

9.30-10.30 – Regional Security Architechture

  • Prof Zwelethu Jolobe, UCT
  • Prof Tim Murithi, IJR
  • Dr Maksym Yakovlyev, NaUKMA

10.30 – 11.30 – Nuclear Safety

  • Olena Lapenko, DiXi Group

11.30 – 12.30 – Forceful Deportation of Children

  • Dr Mispa Roux, UP Centre for Human Rights
  • Oleksandra Romantsova, Centre for Civil Liberties
Title: Lessons from the Ukraine war and African governments’ role in resolving the conflict
Date: 15 Mar 2024
Time: 12:00 to 13:30 (GMT+2)
Venue: Online via Zoom (register to attend)

Seminar description:

Since 2022, the war in Ukraine has reverberated globally, with its impacts extending to Africa. The African Leaders Peace Mission in June 2023 highlighted the continent’s interest in finding a diplomatic solution to the conflict.

At this seminar, South African and Ukrainian experts will discuss two aspects of the challenges in the ongoing war: the international peace and security system and nuclear safety. Speakers will focus on lessons from the war, and how Africa can contribute to its peaceful resolution.


This seminar is co-hosted by the Institute for Security Studies (ISS), Institute for Justice and Reconciliation (IJR), Democratic Initiatives Foundation (DIF), Desmond and Leah Tutu Legacy Foundation (DLTLF) and the Ukrainian Association of South Africa (UAZA).

Moderator: Denys Reva, Researcher, ISS

Panelists:

  • Professor Cheryl Hendricks, Executive Director, Institute for Justice and Reconciliation, South Africa
  • Dr Maksym Yakovlyev, Head, Political Science Department, National University of Kyiv-Mohyla Academy, Ukraine
  • Priyal Singh, Senior Researcher, ISS
  • Olena Lapenko, DiXi Group, Ukraine
  • Isabel Bosman, Researcher, South African Institute of International Affairs

Enquiries: Denys Reva, via [email protected]

Title: South African Insights on Ukraine’s Path to Peace: Preventing Unlawful and Forcible Deportation and Transfer of Ukrainian Children to Russian Territory

Date: 15 March 2024

Time: 09h00 – 10h30

Venue: The Centre for Human Rights Lecture Hall

RSVP: [email protected]


As of December 2023, Russian agents have taken 19 546 children from Ukraine to 57 regions of the Russian Federation: from Rostov to Murmansk, Astrakhan, Siberia, Vladivostok, as well as to Belarus and even occupied South Ossetia. Among these children, 3 790 are orphans and children deprived of parental care. Under Russian control, Ukrainian children are placed in foster families or orphanages. At least 380 minors were put under guardianship, and 31 children were adopted by Russian citizens. Simultaneously, the personal data of these children were altered, including their first name, last name, date, and place of birth. This alteration significantly complicates their identification and reunification with blood families.

The African peace mission to Ukraine and Russia provided special emphasis on returning Ukrainian children. Children “should also be returned to where they have come from, to their homes.” South African President Cyril Ramaphosa has repeatedly accentuated the importance of returning Ukrainian children, as this would be a crucial confidence-building measure.

This event brings together South African and Ukrainian experts who have collaborated in studying and exploring the topic of unlawful and forcible deportation and transfer of Ukrainian children to Russian territory, as well as the challenges that parents and caregivers face in attempts to repatriate such children. The event centres on extracting lessons from the conflict and exploring avenues for enhancing peace on the African continent as well as internationally to lead the change in developing effective measures to identify and repatriate children unlawfully and forcibly deported and transferred not only in Ukraine, but any state embroiled in armed conflict globally.


Panellists:

  • Oleksandra Romantsova, Centre for Civil Liberties
  • Dzvinka Kachur, Ukrainian Association of South Africa
  • Dr Mispa Roux,  Centre for Human Rights, UP
  • Dr Elvis Fokala, Centre for Human Rights, UP

 

The platform for expert collaborations was initiated in partnership with the Institute of Justice and Reconciliation, the Desmond and Leah Tutu Legacy Foundation, the Democratic Institute Foundation (DIF), and the Ukrainian Association of South Africa (UAZA).