About Us

Greetings! We are the team of Civil Network OPORA. On this page we are going to tell you more about us, our values, focus areas and activities, dreams, and aspirations. 

Since the inception of OPORA, we envisioned a modern Ukraine grounded in democracy and fair elections. Over time, we have progressed and expanded, acquiring competencies and mastering innovative tools. We swiftly respond to emerging challenges and needs of our country. We value our reputation and believe in the future of a free and innovative Ukraine.

Our vision: We develop in society the practices of responsible decisions and actions through the advocacy of fair rules to enhance security and democracy in Ukraine.

Our mission: We act on the good side!

A proactive approach, responsibility, and solidarity were the foundations that brought young people together after the Orange Revolution, when our organization was born. These core values withstood the test of time. After the full-scale Russian invasion, they transformed into the following three key areas: participation, security, and justice.

Our activities:

On February 24, 2022, each of us questioned our ability to contribute to Ukraine's victory. We explored the skills and expertise OPORA was able to to invest in the future.  

Our lawyers upskilled to become experts in international humanitarian law, drawing upon the best available experience and practices globally. We started tracking hate speech, events, statements, and decisions on the Russian Federation’s territory that directly impact Ukraine. OPORA is doing its utmost is assisting Ukraine in following legitimate pathways to transition to a civilian governance system after the war, aiming to resume and reform all democratic institutions. 

The expertise we built in the previous years and during the full-scale invasion was in demand during international testimonies, including ones in the US Congress, the Senate of Canada, and the European Parliament.


Documenting Russian War Crimes 

Proper documentation of testimonies through law-enforcement bodies is crucial, as it transforms data into admissible evidence in international courts and tribunals to prosecute individuals guilty of crimes against Ukrainians. OPORA was one of the first organizations to collect, verify, and submit a report to the OSCE under the Moscow mechanism. In addition, OPORA experts joined the International Council of Experts on Crimes Committed in the Armed Conflict at the Prosecutor’s General Office. We established a collaborative relationship with the Prosecutor's Office of the Republic of Poland.

In August 2022, we launched a Center for Assistance in War Crime Documentation in Poland. The Center’s lawyers and psychologists visit sites of residence of temporary protection seekers from Ukraine and collect their pre-testimonies on war crimes. All the collected information is forwarded to the Polish Prosecutor’s Office, the competent authority for conducting the official investigations. 

Center’s website: https://warcrimescenter.org/


Establishment of the Special Tribunal

A pivotal element in OPORA's work is international advocacy for the establishment of the ad hoc Tribunal on the Crime Aggression for Vladimir Putin and other Russian officials. To prevent new invasive wars in the world, we need to hold Russia accountable for its aggression against Ukraine. However, existing international legal instruments prove inadequate for this purpose. Therefore, we advocate for the creation of the Special Tribunal on the crime of aggression through different civic diplomatic and information networks, such as the International Center for Ukrainian Victory, co-founded by OPORA.

ICUV website: https://ukrainianvictory.org/


Analysis of Russia’s Impact on Political Processes in Ukraine

Russia's internal political discourse affects the processes in our country. That is why OPORA analysts explore Russian authorities' communications, the occupiers' activities, and the outer world's reaction. In the future, the information we collect will become the chronicles of narratives of the aggressor state and the country defending democracy. Studying the war speech used in Russia on the government level helps better understand the prospective change in the attacking country's political course.

OPORA is structurally exploring the social and political situation in the territories temporarily occupied by Russia. Our objective is to be nonpartisan and avoid manipulations in reflecting the status quo in the TOTs: pressure, threats, abduction, total propaganda, and difficult humanitarian situations. We are trying to identify the aggressor's strategy to undermine the resistance to the occupation, discredit the Ukrainian state, and integrate the occupied territories into the RF political and economic space.

In addition, OPORA examines the information space in the temporarily occupied territories and Russia’s impact.


Elections: Observation, Advocacy, Reform

Elections, as a tool of democracy, are the basis for the organizations' activities. It is about monitoring during the election day and also about having the underlying legislation for the organization and conduct of elections, professional engagement of all electoral actors, and recommendations to improve the legal framework for the next elections.

OPORA conducted ab. 20 observation campaigns over different types of elections and trained almost 26,000 qualified election observers. We were the first to run the Parallel Vote Tabulation in Ukraine based on a statistical sample. This experience enhanced our expertise and visibility in the area of elections.

OPORA also monitors the investigation of electoral fraud. We trained over 70,000 police officers to respond to violations since the liability for electoral fraud is an integral part of justice and the completion of the electoral cycle.

Our crucial mission for elections is to ensure the rights of Ukrainian citizens to elect and be elected. As a human rights organization, we have worked on the Electoral Code for many years, providing rights to internally displaced persons, gender quotas, and the right of people with disabilities to vote independently.

OPORA prioritizes the voting rights of citizens even during the full-out war when millions of people became refugees and the electoral infrastructure suffered destruction. Supporting the establishment of conditions for fair, democratic, and transparent elections is our No 1 task. 

OPORA co-founded the European Platform for Democratic Elections (EPDE). We are members of the European Network of Election Monitoring Organizations (ENEMO) and the Global Network of Domestic Election Monitors (GNDEM), presided over by Olha Aivazovska, OPORA Chair of the Board.


Internet Technologies and Security: Monitoring of Social Media and Disinformation

OPORA studies how malicious users engage social platforms to affect social and political life in Ukraine and worldwide. Social media is a crucial source of news updates for the Ukrainian people and a key field for the information war waged by Russia. 

OPORA has developed new methods to study social media. We are exploring the dynamic media space on a rolling basis. We are harvesting detailed data about various cases to create optimal solutions for regulating social media. Our focus areas are monitoring of election campaigning and political parties' finances, advocacy for changes to electoral law concerning social media, the study of the coordinated networks of accounts, scrutiny of the disinformation and "black PR," analysis of best legislative practices in combating disinformation and regulating social media, mapping disinformation actors and platforms on the Internet, researching media space in the temporarily occupied territories of Ukraine.

Since 2020, OPORA has been working with the National Agency for Corruption Prevention in political finance in an online space and sharing our experience and expertise in exploring social media with public authorities.


Parliamentary Monitoring 

OPORA largely contributed to enhancing transparency, openness, and accountability of the parliament and its institutions. We convinced the leaders of the Verkhovna Rada to launch websites for all parliamentary committees and establish their unified structure. It included the list of data that shall be made public as it is helpful for citizens, the non-governmental sector, the media, and various groups of stakeholders. 

OPORA is one of the 5 Ukrainian NGOs that initiated the Declaration of Parliamentary Openness. We developed services that presented information about the work of MPs in an open format and helped analyze it. 

In addition, the OPORA team studies the allocation of subventions for social and economic development in relation to electoral districts. We documented the non-integral use of budget funds directly for the pre-election campaign. OPORA drafted and sent annual fundamental recommendations for the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine to change the system for allocating such funds.


Self-Government and Community-Centered Decisions

OPORA analyzes the political situation in different regions of Ukraine, assesses social and economic challenges local authorities face during the full-out Russian invasion, and their impact on the political situation. We study the changes in the structure of communities and their replenished population's social, medical, and educational needs. By understanding the possible impact of changes on social cohesion, we can have a clearer vision of the strategy to solve potential issues.

In 2023, we developed the methodology to audit security in individual communities. Using the cross-questionnaire for self-assessment, communities could provide frank answers about their current ability to resume democratic self-governance practices after the war and about when electoral processes could be restarted.


New Demographics 

OPORA researches how new groups of population and mass migration processes alter the country’s fabric. We study migration in individual communities all over the government-controlled areas in Ukraine, and internationally. 

Based on data from various public institutions, international organizations, and Ukrainian businesses, OPORA traces the trends in migration processes in relation to mass missile strikes, seasons of the year, reconstruction processes, etc. Based on Big Data and OSINT, we can suggest better solutions and policies to resume democratic procedures after the cessation of hostilities.

Intersectoral cooperation, new quality analytics, ongoing public opinion monitoring help OPORA to develop better solutions, find like-minded partners to implement them, and introduce new rules on the way to growth.

OPORA is a highly mobile organization that can set up a broad professional network of thousands of well-trained and result-oriented civil observers. OPORA is people of different backgrounds and jobs who invest their time and genuinely demand justice in the protection of political rights and civil liberties. OPORA is also people who permanently work on the grounds and develop a favorable environment in their communities. 

Today, several OPORA representatives defend our freedom and principles in the Armed Forces of Ukraine.

Ukraine’s Resilience Formula 2023: societal resilience + inclusion of everyone + conscious sacrifice multiplied by Defense Forces. 

We are grateful to our partners in Ukraine and the international community for their support in implementing ideas and for their trust and readiness to hear us.

Together we make history happen and act on the good side!