UVF and NAKO presented research on discrimination of veterans and military personnel

On June 5, the Ukrainian Veterans Foundation of the Ministry of Veterans Affairs together with the Independent Anti-Corruption Commission (NAKO) presented a sociological study: “Discrimination of various social groups in the Armed Forces: views of military and civilians.” The research was conducted by the sociological group “Rating”.

The purpose of the study was to identify general trends of possible discrimination of defenders due to belonging to different social groups, from women and LGBT representatives to representatives of different nationalities.

“All defenders, risking their lives and health for the sake of Ukraine, equally deserve respect from society and the state,” said Svitlana Musiyaka, head of research and policy development at NAKO. Based on research data, she spoke about the general trends of discrimination against servicemen of certain social groups, which are observed during service.

In general, the situation with inequality and discrimination is improving, especially since the beginning of the full-scale Russian invasion of Ukraine, however, this improvement is not equal in relation to different social groups. Yes, there are more and more women in the Armed Forces and they are becoming more and more visible. Especially women who already have combat experience are treated with respect. At the same time, many stereotypes persist, which women have to “break” in order to be able to serve. According to representatives of the focus groups, so-called “commanders from the Soviet past” have many stereotypes, which can also be outright sexists.

At the same time, a major role is played by the attitude of the commander and command towards discrimination or non-discrimination. According to the interview of one of the participants of the focus groups, if the commander is normal, then the attitude towards women in the unit is also normal.

Interviewed LGBT servicemen talk about the important role of the commander. Society’s attitude towards them, as well as the general attitude of fellow citizens, is gradually improving. But there are still a lot of homophobes in the ranks of the army, and mostly “normal attitude” exists where there is an adequate commander. At the same time, there are still units and branches of the military where representatives of the LGBT community are not welcome. For example, “they won’t let you in Azov, Air Assault and intelligence, unless you hide your status.”

The study also analyzed national minorities in the Armed Forces, convicted veterans and investigated psychological problems and issues of psychological assistance.
During the presentation of the results of the survey, the participants discussed the issue of discrimination and society’s attitude towards veterans and military personnel. In the focus of attention was the topic of perception of discrimination by the military and veterans themselves.

“We strive to form veteran policies of non-discrimination towards veterans and their family members. After all, it is about our respect and gratitude. These people should not feel prejudiced against other citizens when receiving public or commercial services, etc. The Ukrainian Veterans Foundation regularly conducts research on veterans. This allows us to talk about problems with the voices of veterans and solve them using analytics data. This time we conducted the research together with NAKO. We communicate its results and will communicate on all possible platforms, send them out, talk about these problems. And it is important that it would be productive. After all, we manage to change the situation through those people who make decisions,” says Ruslana Velychko-Trifonyuk, the First Deputy Executive Director of the Ukrainian Veterans Foundation.

The event analyzed the stigmas most often faced by female military personnel, veterans with disabilities, and other social groups. They defined ways of productive communication between the state and society with veterans. The participants of the event agreed that such interaction should be based on respect, dignity and recognition.

“Persons with disabilities from war are not only people who have visible mutilations, amputations, damage, scars. In fact, we have many invisible effects of war on health and morale today. We should talk not only about the problems revealed by the mass media. And to dig deeper, to scientifically investigate this issue”, – Yuliya Kirillova, veteran, head of the Department of Educational and Analytical Work of the UVF.

Devotion to Ukraine and leadership in the defense of our country are things that do not depend on gender, nationality or age. Veterans are different. Victory is common. We should be grateful to them for their choice and protection.

The event was also attended by:

  • Svitlana Berezina – Director of the Strategic Planning Directorate of the Ministry of Veterans Affairs of
  • Oksana Grigoryeva – adviser on gender issues to the Commander of the Ground Forces of the Armed Forces of Ukraine
  • Lubomyr Mysiv – Deputy Director of the Rating Sociological Group
  • veterans

Journalist and presenter Natalia Sokolenko moderated the event.

You can view the recording by following the link(https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RChXPdUQWdc&ab_channel=MediaCenterUkraine-Ukrinform).

Read the study here: https://veteranfund.com.ua/analytics/needs-of-veterans-2023/

The study and the event were implemented jointly with the Independent Anti-Corruption Commission — NAKO — an organization working to reduce the level of corruption in areas important to Ukraine’s national security and with the support of The Office of the United Kingdom’s Special Defence Advisory Team.

Банківські реквізити:

Український ветеранський фонд
ЄДРПОУ 44565396
МФО 820172
в Державна казначейська служба України м. Київ

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