On June 11-12, the annual Ukrainian Recovery Conference was held in Berlin to address Ukraine’s recovery and long-term reconstruction following Russia’s full-scale war of aggression. This high-level event invited civil society representatives for the first time, though the invitation mechanisms were unclear, potentially excluding many voices.

Some institutions organized parallel events to gather input from Ukrainians. Yosh, co-founder and ex-head of the NGO Feminist Workshop, attended several of these events. One such event was the “Dialogue with trade unionists and activists from Ukraine” on June 7, which highlighted the need to cancel Ukraine’s IMF debt, citing Germany’s debt cancellation in 1953 as a precedent. Criticisms were raised about market reforms and the exclusion of Ukrainian workers’ needs in the reconstruction process.

“I presented our feminist organizations and my recent projects to German colleagues. Also I discussed efforts to secure more funding for women’s groups from global philanthropy,” said Yosh.

Civil Society for Recovery in Ukraine,
Moderator: Markus Lux

During the “Civil Society Meeting & Workshop” on Ukraine organized by Robert Bosch Stiftung on June 10, Ukrainian activists presented their initiatives. The aim was to better coordinate philanthropic activities in Ukraine, share experiences, identify common action areas, and more effectively support civil society in the country’s reconstruction.

“There were three 1.5-hour workshops on culture, green recovery, and psychological support. I joined the latter and emphasized the need not only to support those suffering psychologically from the war, but also to focus on achieving victory for Ukraine. I also mentioned that the mobilization campaign and the way the army operates in Ukraine impose significant social tension and stress on both men and women. Therefore, I proposed the need to address these issues as well”.

On the first day of the UCR, Yosh joined a demonstration for green recovery organized by the young eco-feminist organization Rozvij near the conference venue. They demanded a complete fossil fuel phase-out, a shift to decentralized renewable energy for Ukraine’s resilience, green jobs and retraining programs, inclusion of civil society in decision-making, and youth and women representation in green policy-making.