On May 22-23, 2019 CRISP held a simulation game in the German Federal Foreign Office for a group of the 9th High Level Experts Programme Ukraine. The game name “Quo Vadis Ukraine?” means “Where are you going, Ukraine?” and that is a crucial and vital question to ask right now: the inauguration of the new President took place just two days before the simulation game and the parliamentary elections are happening later this year.
15 participants played different roles of European and Ukrainian key political figures, as well as roles of Ukrainian civic society, oligarchs, Russian politicians and so-called people´s republics of Donetsk and Luhansk. Having started with the status quo, they were simulating the process of finding possible solutions and workarounds in the different aspects of the current war in the East of Ukraine. The first day of the game was focused on the topics of Minsk agreements, Humanitarian situation and IDPs. UN peacekeeping mission was the subject of the second day. After two days of negotiations, all the parties agreed to concentrate on the humanitarian issues as people’s lives and their quality mattered most. Ukrainian civil society representatives agreed to set up an Innovation Hub, a secure and cutting-edge space where locals from the non-government controlled areas could work on community development projects. Ukrainian representatives found a UN peacekeeping mission very important for conflict resolution, though Russia kept their position of allowing the mission only on the contact line.
Some of participants have already had experience in simulation games before, and for some of them this experience was brand new. Nevertheless, all of them have learned a lot from this game: to compromise, to be able not only to listen to another site but also to hear them, and that negotiations are really a difficult process. They also refreshed the knowledge on the Minsk process and got deeper into the role of civil society in the peacebuilding process.