November 7, 2023
WASHINGTON D.C.— On October 16-17, Syria Ukraine Network hosted a conference in Kyiv, Ukraine in partnership with the Syrian Emergency Task Force, Center for Civil Liberties (CCL), and Razom for Ukraine with support from Union of Medical Relief and Care Organizations (UOSSM) and Home Revival Initiative (HRI).
The conference aimed to invigorate discussions regarding several elements of Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine which followed their pattern of aggression in Syria in direct support of the Assad regime’s brutal crackdown against the revolution such as the disappearance, torture, and killing of civilians, deliberate targeting of civilian infrastructure, use of chemical weapons, and besiegement of entire towns. It included panels on topics such as the intersectionality between the Syrian and Ukrainian cases and potential for accountability, prosecution of war crimes and crimes against humanity, amplifying stories of victims, politicization of humanitarian response, illicit financial flows that fund Russia’s military programs, methods to counter disinformation, and the geopolitical insecurity resulting from the warfare and inaction by the international community in the face of serious violations. Experts from several organizations and think tanks that have been part of the human rights efforts in Ukraine and Syria shared their insights.
“Syrians and Ukrainians have so much in common to fight for, it is extremely important that they unite together and stand shoulder to shoulder,” stressed Olga Lautman, Coordinator for Syria-Ukraine Network and Senior Fellow at the Center for European Policy Analysis (CEPA)
SUN hopes that with the rise in armed conflicts, continued collaboration between actors working on regions of geopolitical instability such as Syria and Ukraine, leads to more effective avenues to counter impunity for violations of international law and upholding universal human rights.