The Resilient Ukraine programme: Rewarding Crisis Simulation Workshop took place in Sumy

January 28, 2022

Around 20 participants representing various Ukrainian law enforcement agencies, local authorities, territorial defence units and media from the northeastern city of Sumy took part in the workshop.

For two days, the 26 and 27 January, participants from the Sumy Regional State Administration, police, emergency service, border guard service, territorial defence and media worked on a simulated scenario to resolve an information crisis.

As mutual trust and willingness to cooperate is regarded as the key to community resilience, the main objective of the workshop was to build and strengthen horizontal ties between local authorities, security and civilian sectors.

Dmitri Teperik, Director of the Resilient Ukraine programme, assures that the basis for resolving any crisis at the local level is strengthening ties between professionals from various organisations and institutions, particularly those who prepare and take decisions. “Many crises in the history of Estonia have been much easier to resolve through the cooperation of different parties in the communities, when emergency services, police, representatives of local authorities and journalists began to work together for a common goal. We want to develop this approach in Ukraine taking into account the Estonian experience,” said Dmitri Teperik.

The workshop was also attended by observers from the European Union Advisory Mission (EUAM) Ukraine, which provides strategic advice and practical support for specific reform measures to Ukrainian authorities in the civilian security sector.

Ove Pettersson, EUAM Adviser and Trainer on Community Policing, emphasised that the training was realistic and elaborate. “The incidents and events prepared for this crisis simulation workshop are very similar to real life. As the events in the play kept unfolding, we observed, that the participants increasingly felt themselves outside their daily comfort zones. The realism of the lifelike scenario had a significant effect,” commented Ove Pettersson.

Dmytro Sheludko, EUAM Regional Operations Officer, noted the professional approach of the law enforcement agencies’ workshop participants in their dealings with operational level tasks. “Working together in a crisis scenario at the regional level unites the group and strengthen their mutual ties. We saw that these ties actually improved resilience, and, as a spin-off, also lead to more robust crisis preparedness,“ concluded Dmytro Shedulko.

At the end of the workshop, the participants were presented with certificates at a closing ceremony, with participation of the Head of the Sumy Regional State Administration Mr Dmytro Zhyvytskyi and the Ambassador of Estonia to Ukraine H.E. Kaimo Kuuska.

From January to May 2022, similar crisis simulation workshops will take place in seven additional Ukrainian cities: Dnipro, Mariupol, Zaporizhia, Mykolayiv, Kherson, Odesa and Kharkiv.