The Video-Link between Donetsk Region and Estonia: Ukrainians Were Advised to Take an Example from Russians in Propaganda and From Estonians in Reforms

During the video-link between the Estonian city of Paide and Kramatorsk Donetsk region, the Estonian pensioner suggested to Ukrainian journalists to take an example from Russian propaganda.

An open debate during the "Festival of Thoughts" was devoted to the discussion of the topic "How and how Europe can promote real changes in the east of Ukraine". For this purpose representatives of the authorities, the public, experts and journalists gathered in Kramatorsk and Paide, the correspondent of the news agency “Vchasno” reports.

The main speakers in Paide were the political columnist and correspondent of DW in Kiev Alexander Golubov and vice-mayor of the Dnieper, economic and public figure Jaanika Merilo. The experts in Kramatorsk were the deputy of the Slavic City Council Olga Altunina and the director of the Donetsk regional branch of the Center for Local Self-Government Development Artem Vivdich.

In Paide, the residents of Ukraine in general and the Donetsk region, in particular, expressed their opinion. From the Estonian side, the discussion was also attended by policemen who came to the Baltic States to study the experience of civil society involvement in security issues.

The two parties devoted two hours of meeting to the discussion of the progress of reforms in Ukraine, the attitude of ordinary citizens towards them. Jaanika Merilo, who is now deputy mayor of the Dnieper, noted that Ukraine is only at the beginning of the reform path. And Estonia conducted them all 25 years since the collapse of the Soviet Union. Therefore, comparing the state of affairs in Ukraine and Estonia does not make sense, and our country should adopt the positive experience of reform in the Baltic state. At the same time, the potential is higher in Ukraine, because modern technologies can be added to the existing borrowed knowledge.

According to Artem Vivdich, in 2015, reforms in Ukraine started positively, because people who had a chance, risked start to change their lives. In our country, the high potential of the IT sector, which must be applied in public administration. Soon the time will come when Ukraine will come forward in comparison with the occupied territory and after the liberation will have to quickly catch up to equalize the situation.

During the discussion, both sides paid special attention to the implementation of the Prozorro system, the decentralization reform and the creation of a new police force. Reforms in something were compared with the repair in the house. The representative of Estonia drew attention: how can you do "repairs" - to carry out reforms while the neighbor settled in the house, while there is no integrity of state borders.

Kramatorsk residents were interested in the issue of the mood of pensioners, who lived well under the Soviet Union and who are still nostalgic for those times. The Estonian pensioner expressed her opinion on this matter - she receives a small pension, money is not always enough, but the woman does not complain about life in the Baltic country. To journalists from Ukraine, she advised to learn powerful propaganda from Russians, in which they succeeded. The woman noted that even in the toilet tank should be propaganda.

Also during the video-link, the members searched together answers to the question of how Estonia can effectively help strengthen the security and development of the east of Ukraine, why it is important for Ukraine to maintain the European vector of development, and how these effect on regional security.

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