Volunteer movement of Ukraine

A powerful volunteer movement in the liberation war against the Russian Federation - as a patriotic civic potential for the formation of a post-war, democratically developed, spiritual and highly moral society of Ukraine

Bohdan Kolodiy, Dmytro Holovach

The uniqueness of Ukraine has no analogues. Her history should be considered very carefully in order to answer a number of questions. In particular, why did Ukraine, which had and still has rich human, industrial and natural resources (compared, for example, with Singapore, which had only one resource - human), failed to convert its independence from 1991 into stable economic and democratic development?

Why did Ukrainian history almost cease to exist as a full-fledged object of historical science in some periods of the civilizational development of mankind, and then suddenly flare up again as a single social force?

Or why in Ukraine for many years there has been a disunity of people on the basis of total distrust of the authorities and, in general, weak internal ties between people based on mutual respect? The correct answer to these many "Why?" can have great consequences for the modernization of the entire post-war state system of Ukraine in the context of civilizational development.

An attempt to provide such an answer can be observed in the outstanding Ukrainian historian-thinker Yaroslav Hrytsak. In his book: "Overcoming the past: the global history of Ukraine", he reminds us of two historically conditioned differences between Ukrainians and the population of richer countries. We are talking about an insufficient level of public trust and moral climate, which are the mental consequences of the historical past. And if this is not overcome, history will not "let go" of Ukraine to free development in the direction of civilization, as the first 30 years after the declaration of Independence (1991-2021) fully proved.


But there is potential to modernize the existing and overcome the past. This was confirmed by the outbursts of identity both in the form of "Maidans" against the authorities (which unfortunately replaced one corrupt government with another), and, most importantly, the awakening of civil society through volunteering, starting in 2014 after the start of the hybrid war of the Russian Federation against Ukraine in the Donbass. The start of the most brutal war in Ukraine since the Second World War was a consequence of the critically aggressive foreign imperial-aggressive policy of the Russian Federation led by its most ambitious authoritarian leader (because he and his oligarchic entourage lack any signs of universal morality and large-scale strategic thinking).

In Ukraine, the volunteer movement, as a mass phenomenon, arose from the enthusiasm of patriotic people who identify themselves with Ukraine, and not with the corrupt government. After many years of dedicated activity by numerous but separate volunteer organizations and teams, this real people's movement began to organize and unite not only for the purpose of mutual aid, but mainly to ensure control against the spread of dishonest and fraudulent individuals and groups who, under the guise of volunteers (often in combination with corrupt officials) are engaged in personal useful enrichment and cause great moral damage and distrust to the entire volunteer community. The public union "Association of Volunteer Teams of Ukraine", headed by a patriotic public figure and active volunteer Bohdan Kolodiy, was created, among other things, to prevent this shameful problem and the purity of the volunteer movement in the humanitarian direction during the martial law in Ukraine.

The public union "ASSOCIATION OF VOLUNTEER TEAMS OF UKRAINE" is a community that arose from the many years of active volunteering of patriotic citizens from the very beginning of the terrorist hybrid, in 2014, and then in 2022, the full-scale aggression of the Russian Federation against Ukraine to increase the potential of the volunteer movement of Ukraine, to provide powerful support to the Armed Forces and providing assistance to citizens affected by the criminal military aggression of the Russian Federation. That is why it is truly public, created on the initiative of active citizens of Ukraine, and not by the order or decision of certain state managers to use volunteering as a screen for personal corruption devices, personal enrichment and increase in political rating. The unifying foundation for the creation of the Civil Union in the fateful year of 2022 for Ukraine was the NGO "Bohdana Kolodiya", the NGO "KOLO", the NGO "Intellect-Club of Civilizational Development of Ukraine", the NGO "Institute of Formation and Development of Civil Society "DIGITAL VICHE".


The main goal of the GS "Association of Volunteer Teams of Ukraine" was to unite efforts based on fruitful interaction between truly patriotic public volunteer organizations and teams, and not formal and fraudulent persons (especially in state structures or connected with them) profiting from war and tragedy people and country. The Civic Union considers its important mission during the war and in the post-war period of the revival of Ukraine to be, following its example, encouraging the passive part of citizens to show concern and real support for the construction and development of a new united, democratically developed Ukrainian society with the help of modern democratic technologies, among which the unique there is a system-forming sociological technology "Digital Everything"!

In general, the volunteer movement confirms not only the sufficiently powerful potential of identifying Ukrainian society as stable, capable of resisting external aggression, regardless of the criminal and corrupt activities of many state officials even under martial law, but also the sincere desire of the majority of society for progressive changes in state administration to build a democratic and economically developed Ukraine.

At the same time, overcoming the consequences of the historical past in the context of overcoming the critical confrontation between the government and the people, as well as establishing their constructive and productive interaction depends more on the activity and indifference (passivity) of the civil society itself (an important feature of which is the volunteer movement, but unfortunately only in emergency military circumstances).

Only an active democratically developed civil society provides an opportunity to sufficiently effectively orient the actions of the authorities to the interests of citizens, thereby significantly narrowing the opportunities for the spread of corruption. In this way, thanks to the deepening of democracy, the developed Western countries managed to achieve success on the path of economic growth.

A developed civil society in the countries of Western civilization controls the power within the framework of a clear legal field. This is a form of direct democracy and a means of direct power of the people, which ensures generally harmonious interaction between the government and society. It is this level of democracy that is able to create conditions for a dignified life for people and to make the authorities accountable to citizens for their activities


The main tool of civil society is public organizations of various scale and profile of activity, of which there are more than one and a half million in the USA, for example. In Switzerland, which is a model of European democracy, this tool is further strengthened by the constant conduct of various types of population surveys from the point of view of determining the need to make certain decisions in the interests of communities (cantons). Undoubtedly, this explains the long-term (for 500 years) absence of significant social upheavals and any sharp confrontations between the government and the people in Switzerland, as a result of which the country has made significant progress in the economic direction and a peaceful democratic life.

These sociological surveys have both a state (for example, federal referendums, which are usually held 3-4 times a year) and a regional (in cantons) nature. In the latter case, at the cantonal and municipal level, several hundreds of different types of population surveys and even plebiscites are held every year, which allows local authorities to dynamically monitor the attitude of citizens to general public issues, and predict majority dissatisfaction with one or another administrative decision.

In the history of Ukraine, the sprouts of direct democracy appeared much earlier than in Switzerland in the form of general public meetings - "Viche" (Kyiv - 1068). Unfortunately, due to the constant aspiration of the boyars and princes to authoritarian rule, who saw a direct threat in the manifestation of popular opinion, "Viche" gradually faded away, but over time it was revived in a different form - the Cossack and military councils in the 15th-18th centuries (primarily in the Zaporizhzhya Sech period).


In modern Ukraine, a form of truly direct democracy in the form of a referendum was implemented only once in 1991, and another attempt in 2019 turned out to be extremely unsuccessful.

Comprehensive corruption and the mafia structure of state power formed during the years of Independence had the most negative impact on the main tool of civil society - Public organizations, which began to emerge from the unspoken (but direct) initiative of various structures of state power to simulate public support for the existing power mechanism. The absolute majority of such public organizations from the very beginning, or very quickly became tame and completely controlled by the corrupt government, and therefore essentially sham, formal and ineffective. First of all, this refers to the most created and widespread "democratic" and in fact formal and distorted civil toolkit in the form of advisory and consultative bodies (that is, without any powers of influence on incompetent actions of the authorities) at state power structures - the so-called "Public Councils", which in the direct sense were intended for direct and unconditional support (service) of all illegal and corrupt actions of the authorities. So, it can be confidently stated that in Ukraine for a long time the authorities tried to significantly distort such an important tool of civil society as Public Organizations. Thoroughly corrupt authorities at all levels of state administration with the help of fake "activists" restrained or led civil society away from the democratic path, which periodically became the cause of critical social upheavals in the form of powerful protests and "Maidans".

Conclusion: with civil society in such a democratically undeveloped state, despairing of progressive changes, total distrust of state power and powerful state corruption, it will not be possible to build a successful post-war Ukraine and actively move towards the civilizational achievements of the European Union. It is necessary to find your own way of democratic development of Ukraine with a democratic civil society of a new type, built on a certain use of the experience of Western countries (including Switzerland), but not by copying them, but by scientific adaptation to the historical mentality of Ukrainian communities, which for many centuries were in a state of semi-statehood, national oppression, communist terror, repression, forced evictions, deportations, famines, genocide. and as a consequence of the impunity of Russian imperialism, and then communist and racist authoritarianism - a full-scale criminal military terrorist attack with the main goal - the total destruction of Ukraine as a state as a whole and everything Ukrainian with its population in general.


The peculiarity of one's own path of civil society formation is related to the direct form of evaluation by citizens of the final results of the actions of the power structures. Then, finally, it will be possible to solve two groups of large-scale problems of a strategic nature quickly enough.

The first is to force local authorities to take into account the priority needs of communities by measuring the quality of life of citizens (QOL) with the help of the people themselves. The use of digital LFS as the final results of the activities of government structures at the local, regional and national levels will help to establish a strong responsibility for their actions before people.

The second is to involve the absolute majority of citizens in active participation in the objective assessment of the results of the government's actions, and thereby increase their civic status, thanks to the latest digital technologies, and not thousands of rallies and Maidans. Bearing in mind that today the majority of the population of Ukraine feels only a small "screw" and an object of manipulation by dishonest politicians in the corrupt system of public administration.

The solution of these problems will contribute to the formation of conditions when manual, dummy public organizations will not be needed at all, precisely in the structures of state power. The government will need valid, active and patriotic public organizations - assistants for effective constructive interaction with society, because the direct assessment of the results of its actions will significantly affect the revival of trust in the government, will give it the opportunity to be successful not only in a useful social sense. But also in the personal career growth of competent, conscious and patriotic officials. An important consequence of such constructive feedback between the government and the community will be a powerful anti-corruption safeguard for dishonest representatives of the government.

In our opinion, the state power in Ukraine is so systematically corrupt that there is no alternative to the purposeful formation of an "evaluative" civil society. That is why we consider it extremely important to implement in the post-war victorious Ukraine a unique system-creating democratic sociologist developed and already experimentally implemented at the time by the "DIGITAL VICHE INSTITUTE FOR THE FORMATION AND DEVELOPMENT OF CIVIL SOCIETY" and the "INTELLECT CLUB OF CIVILIZATION DEVELOPMENT OF UKRAINE" modern technology - "Digital Life". It is based on accelerated civilizational development and the significant deepening of democracy in Ukrainian society thanks to the conduct of an annual independent civil sociological survey of the population in communities similar to local referendums, but with a widespread nomenclature of questions about the quality of life of citizens and answers in the form of digital definitions on a qualitative factor-criteria basis, the results which must be legally obliged to be taken into account and implemented by state structures in the planning of the socio-economic development of each individual community.


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