“Putin is not afraid of NATO. Putin is afraid of the ideas of freedom which have come close to the Russian borders. Russia is now trying to convince Ukrainians that the choice we made for democracy nine years ago and that all our values are false and that no one defends them. And that only force has meaning. So this war is a fight between two systems, authoritarianism and democracy.”, – Nobel laureate and head of the Center for Civil Liberties Oleksandra Matviichuk.
Nobel laureate and head of the Center for Civil Liberties Oleksandra Matviichuk took part in the conference “Resilience and Democracy: A Need for New Ethical, Solidarity and Security Infrastructures,” which was held at UCU on 3 March.
The participants discussed questions of ethical principles and instruments for introducing democratic practices. They also discussed new models of societal and public interaction in wartime Ukraine. The conference was organized by the UCU Faculty of Social Sciences and the International Institute for Ethics and Contemporary Issues.
Here are some of the discussed theses:
- Our resilience is grounded in our readiness to fight for the values for which we stand.
- It is very important that during the war we remember what we’re fighting for. The war poses a great amount of challenges. One of them is that of turning into a mirror image of the side we’re fighting. So it is important to remind one’s self all the time what we are fighting for. We are fighting not only for territory but for the people who live on it, for values. To win this war but to be transformed into a small Russia makes no sense at all.
- Putin truly considers democracy and the rule of law to be false values. For values are what determines our behavior, not when it’s easy for us but when it’s difficult. Putin saw what we saw, human rights defenders in developed democracies. Not only that in separate countries of our area authoritarian regimes are getting stronger and that freedom is shrinking to the size of a prison cell, but that, in countries with developed democracies, they are beginning to doubt openly the principles of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. This has a simple explanation. The generation which fought for these principles and knows their meaning has passed to the generation which inherited these values. And so they have easily begun to exchange them for some other values, for example, promises of economic benefit, the illusion of security, and their own comfort. Ukraine today is showing the whole world that the values of modern democracy need to be defended.
We note that this international conference is part of the annual series of international conferences on the theme Integral Human Development.