Global Terrorism Index and Ukraine

Author : Bohdan Petrenko

Source :

Perhaps improving the terrorist rating will lead to the fact that Ukraine's problems will lose relevance in the world agenda
22:38, 20 November 2017

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Ukraine has improved its terrorist index from 11th position in 2016 to 17th place in 2017. Undoubtedly, this is not the 51st place that our country had in 2014 (according to the results of the pre-war 2013). Moreover, we reserve a dubious leadership in Europe (if we would not take into account Turkey with its 9th place).

The general trend is reducing the number of deaths from terrorism in the world by 13% (or 22%, compared to the peak of 2015). Some countries, where terrorism used to go off scale, showed even better indicators. Thus, in Syria, Afghanistan, Nigeria and Pakistan, there was an average decrease by 33%, and in Nigeria - in general, by 80%. Researchers attribute this to the diminishing influence of the "Islamic state".

Regarding Ukraine, then, according to the representative of the Institute of Economics and Peace, Daniel Hyslop, who presented this rating, terrorist actions are carried out by only one group - DNR, and they are directed mainly against the Ukrainian law enforcers.

Actually, we need to draw several conclusions. First, Ukraine is still at risk with a high impact of terrorism. Therefore, a slight improvement does not indicate a reduction in risks.

Secondly, there are questions about DNR. They are accused of the greatest number of deaths. On the one hand, where did the "LNR" go? Researchers do not notice "Luhansk terrorists"? On the other hand, concentrating precisely on the "DNR" as terrorist organization leads to withdrawal of Russia from the process. This is not the first such case on the part of researchers - in the 2015 rating, the "DNR" was found guilty of a downed Malaysian liner. Although later the investigation proved that Russian servicemen directly participated in this crime.

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Thirdly, world ratings differ from internal indicators. In particular, according to the Prosecutor General's Office, in the past, 2016, 1,865 criminal cases were registered under the article "terrorist act", which is 43% more than in 2015. This year we had a slight tendency to improve - "only" 1119 acts for 9 months. But this is not the end of the year. And even if the trend continues, the indicators are likely to be higher than in 2015.

What should we note? First of all, the world pays attention only to significant terrorist attacks in the conventional "uncivilized world." Although the cases of single terrorist attacks in the "civilized" (attacks with a knife) are the subject of consideration. As an example of such a prejudiced attitude  -  less than a percent of those killed by terrorism noted in regard to Western Europe in 2016. However, the same France has indicators of terrorism at 5.96 points, and the difference, compared with 6.55 in Ukraine, is insignificant. That is, the world periphery is less interesting for developed countries and researchers who work there. Especially when threats on this "periphery" are localized and do not have a way out of it. Perhaps, therefore, terrorist attacks directed against individuals, in particular against Pavlo Sheremet, were not noted in 2016.

Hence we see misunderstanding of real processes and threats, which exist even in Ukraine, by the whole world. To this we can add the lack of an external information policy of our state.

Reducing the terrorist rating will also reduce the position of "problems" in the world agenda. And accordingly, world’s efforts to build peace and put pressure on the aggressor will also decline. Thus, we risk being in the situation of legitimization of Russian occupation and pro-Russian terrorist activity on the territory of our country.

The positive is that Ukraine will be less perceived as a country with terrorist threats. But the fact that we continue to be at risk indicates that we do not yet have to expect any positive effect (investment or political).

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