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Human security: assessment and expectations of the residents of the four oblasts of Ukraine

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Security policy is often perceived through the lens of hostilities in eastern Ukraine, the actions or inaction of law enforcement agencies, the presence and absence of potential threats. Observing how events unfold in today’s world, there is evidently a need to rethink this perception and adopt a broader understanding of this idea. Any country is primarily based on security and well-being of its citizens.

Under certain conditions, it makes sense to look at the concept of human security, often mentioned in the Western narrative. This concept offers a broader interpretation of “security” where policy is based on how citizens are impacted.

That is why in our research, it was important to us to focus on people’s opinions and their understanding of “security.” What does the population need to feel protected and safe? End of the war in Donbas (how and on what conditions?)? Strong and smooth government policy (how should it be manifested?)? Or stability on the ground? What are the needs, challenges and barriers to feeling safe?

This report summarises the results of a sociological survey conducted in Donetsk, Luhansk, Zaporizhia and Kherson oblasts. The findings represent not only an understanding of “security” as a concept, but also explore the main areas of human security, namely: personal, political, economic security, as well as cross-cutting topics such as health security, environment security, and community security in general.

The findings served as the basis for key conclusions and recommendations that are useful for decision-makers at the national and local levels, local governments of these oblasts, civil society, and international organisations.

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Heinrich Böll Stiftung
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