Melinda Haring

  • The Future of Reform in Ukraine

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  • Ukraine Will Pursue Hard Reforms This Fall, Finance Minister Says

    After a week of back-to-back meetings in Washington, Oleksandr Danylyuk is tired. He gladly downs a cup of coffee before we turn on our microphones to discuss Ukraine’s economy. The affable forty-two-year old finance minister is one of the few reformers left in Ukraine’s Cabinet of Ministers and has a reputation as a doer. He’s in town for the International Monetary Fund's and World Bank’s annual meetings.

    When Danylyuk took over after Natalie Jaresko stepped down in April 2016, expectations weren’t high, but he has exceeded everyone’s expectations.

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  • Ukraine’s Got Talent: Engineer Turned Restaurateur Turned Politician Breaking the Old System

    Few would ever dream of challenging Vitali Klitschko, the three-time world heavyweight champion and mayor of Kyiv, in any kind of competition. But Sergiy Gusovsky isn’t like most people. Nearly a foot shorter and a political novice, Gusovsky went after Klitschko in the 2015 local elections. Even though the boxing champion was reelected mayor, Gusovsky grabbed a respectable 7.7 percent of the vote, and today leads the second-largest faction in the Kyiv city council.     

    It’s easy to underestimate Gusovsky. With his trim runner’s build and low-key manner, he often doesn’t register in Ukraine’s political circus. But one should not underestimate him. The engineer turned restaurateur turned politician has confidence, energy, and impatience; quietly and systematically, he is breaking Ukraine’s old system in Kyiv’s city council. He clearly has higher ambitions.

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  • Ukraine’s Internally Displaced Persons Hold a Key to Peace

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    “Ukraine’s displaced persons can and should play a role in a sustained peace process, and many are already building bridges and fostering local reconciliation,” write authorsLauren Van Metre, Steven E. Steiner, and Melinda Haring, in "Ukraine’s Internally Displaced Persons Hold a Key to Peace," a new issue brief by the Atlantic Council’s Dinu Patriciu Eurasia Center and the United States Institute of Peace. After four years of ongoing conflict, Ukraine is home to the world’s ninth-largest population of internally displaced persons (IDPs),

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  • The Tragedy of Ukrainian Politics

    It’s no secret that Ukraine’s reforms have stalled. Reformers both in and out of government agree, however, that the one change that might reignite the country’s push for reform is the establishment of an independent anticorruption court. Ukraine’s beleaguered activists have urged the government to adopt it, and the West led by the International Monetary Fund has made it an absolute condition for more assistance.

    On September 15 at the Yalta European Strategy (YES) conference in Kyiv, President Petro Poroshenko rejected the idea of an independent anticorruption court. Pointing to anticorruption courts in Kenya, Uganda, Croatia, and Malaysia, he claimed that they are ineffective. (He...

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  • Sadovyi: Stop Fighting, Start Working Together

    Andriy Sadovyi, the mayor of Lviv and leader of the Samopomich Party, hasn’t had an easy year. He was seen as the most likely challenger to President Petro Poroshenko in the 2019 presidential election before a fire at waste facility in May 2016 killed four and sullied his sterling reputation. As a result, his numbers have plunged in some polls.

    But the worst is over and Sadovyi is no longer taking a low profile. The forty-nine-year old mayor was in Kyiv for the annual Yalta European Strategy conference, a few days after welcoming lightning rod former Georgian president and Odesa oblast governor Mikheil Saakashvili to Lviv. Poroshenko’s administration canceled Saakashvili’s Ukrainian citizenship in July, but on September 10, Saakashvili re-entered Ukraine with the help of bodyguards and an enormous crowd of supporters. He gave a long press conference on September 11 on the...

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  • Stanford Program Turns Theory into Practice in Ukraine and Beyond

    Victor Liakh and Olena Sotnyk are returning from California to Kyiv bursting with new ideas and energy. They just participated in Stanford University’s 2017 Draper Hills Summer Fellowship, which brings together leaders who are advancing democracy in some of the most challenging corners of the world. This was the first year the program included two participants from Ukraine since 2009. Liakh, 43, is the president of East Europe Foundation, a nongovernmental organization in Kyiv, and Sotnyk, 34, is a member of parliament and lawyer.

    Sponsored by Stanford’s Center on Democracy, Development, and the Rule of Law, the fellows studied with top experts on democracy, including Larry Diamond and Francis Fukuyama. Fellows also met former US Secretary of State Condoleezza...

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  • Haring in The Washington Post: The Window for Reform is Closing in Ukraine

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  • Ukraine Walks Back Disclosure Law on NGOs

    Two bills that would remove Ukraine’s controversial disclosure requirements for nongovernment organizations and replace them with more extensive reporting requirements were introduced in parliament on July 10.

    In an interview, Dmytro Shymkiv said bill 6674 and 6675 would make the public aware of how tax-exempt money is being spent “as it is done everywhere else in the world” and bring Ukraine up to international standards.

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  • War in Ukraine 2.0

    Russia is targeting the most capable and dedicated parts of the Ukrainian military.

    On June 27, Colonel Maksim Shapoval, commander of an elite Ukrainian military intelligence unit, was killed when his car exploded during his morning commute in downtown Kyiv. A few hours later, a massive cyberattack took out computer systems across the city. The next day another car bomb killed a colonel in Ukraine’s Security Service while he was traveling in eastern Ukraine.

    “Russian state-sponsored terrorism is on the rise in Ukraine, which is a much more dangerous phenomena than that conducted by ISIL sympathizers in Western Europe, simply because the...

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