Melinda Haring

  • Haring Quoted in Hromadske on Reforms in Ukraine

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  • Presidential Administration Says Law Requiring Activists to Disclose Assets Is Invalid and Unenforceable, but Ukraine’s Activists Aren’t Buying It

    For more than a year, Ukraine’s government and activists have been at odds over a March 2017 law that requires activists to disclose their assets online in the same way that public officials do. The law was roundly criticized by Ukrainian civil society as well as by the international community.

    But now, the Presidential Administration and independent lawyers say that the law is invalid and unenforceable, based on a 2012 Constitutional Court decision. No one can be forced to publicly submit information about their private life without their consent.

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  • Haring Quoted in The Washington Times on Ukraine’s Anti-Corruption

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  • Q&A: Tillerson Out, Pompeo In. What Does It Mean for Russia and Ukraine?

    On March 13, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson was sacked. US President Donald Trump plans to replace him with former CIA director Mike Pompeo.

    UkraineAlert asked its experts the following: What does Pompeo think about Russian President Vladimir Putin and his aggressive foreign policy? What does the leadership change mean for US policy toward Ukraine and Russia? Do you expect any changes? Will he support US Special Representative for Ukraine Ambassador Kurt Volker’s efforts to bring peace to Ukraine?

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  • Haring in Foreign Affairs: Can Ukraine Win Its War on Corruption?

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  • Is This Russia or Ukraine? Top Anti-Corruption Activist May Face Five Years in Prison on Bogus Charges

    In October 14, 2014, activists unveiled a three-meter high set of flesh-colored buttocks in front of Ukraine’s parliament. Giggles aside, the stunt was a serious one, meant to focus Kyiv’s attention on parliament’s foot dragging on corruption. An idiomatic expression in Ukrainian, “to be covered by an ass,” means that something awful will happen. Through a grotesque symbol that no one could look away from, activists warned parliamentarians that something awful would happen if they didn’t pass a raft of anti-corruption measures, including the creation of the National Anti-Corruption Bureau of Ukraine and a law that would require public officials to disclose their assets online.

    It worked. The bills passed, and are now seen as some of the country’s most notable reform measures.

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  • What Did Ukraine's Maidan Revolution Really Accomplish?

    Yale University history professor Marci Shore’s new book, The Ukrainian Night: An Intimate History of Revolution(Yale University Press, 2018), captures the historic period surrounding the Maidan revolution that took place in Kyiv, Ukraine, from November 2013 to February 2014, when ordinary Ukrainians took to the streets and demanded justice and dignity.

    Shore’s book couldn’t have come at a better time. Four years after the Maidan, civil society in Ukraine is exhausted, most of the reformers who served in government are long gone, and the powers that be are distracted by next year’s elections already.

    “We are very tired,” leading anticorruption activist Daria Kaleniuk admitted in Washington last year. One can count the...

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  • Ukraine’s Got Plenty of Young, Principled, Genuinely European-Oriented Politicians

    Bloomberg columnist Leonid Bershidsky recently claimed that “it’s not easy to find younger, more principled, genuinely European-oriented politicians in Ukraine, but they exist.”

    In fact, Mr. Bershidsky, it’s really not that hard. In 2017, we profiled the promising and idealistic Olena Sotnyk and Sergiy Gusovsky, a Ukrainian MP and a member of the Kyiv city council, respectively. And there are plenty more.

    For example, meet Victoria Voytsitska, a parliamentarian who more than meets Bershidsky’s definition. Voytsitska, 43, who has raven hair...

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  • People Are Wrong about the War in the Donbas, Says US Envoy

    2017 has been the most violent year of the conflict in eastern Ukraine since it began, according to Kurt Volker, US Special Representative for Ukraine Negotiations.

    "A lot of people think that this has somehow turned into a sleepy, frozen conflict and it’s stable and now we have...a ceasefire,” Volker said on December 19 during an event on peace in the Donbas at the Atlantic Council. “That’s completely wrong. It’s a crisis.”

    But negotiating an end to the conflict is difficult because of the role that Russia plays.

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  • Maybe We Were Wrong about Gas Reform

    It’s no secret that the Atlantic Council has been bullish on Ukraine’s reforms. In particular, we often cite gas reform as the one that massively curbed corruption in Ukraine since the Euromaidan. But after an hour-long conversation with Naftogaz CEO Andriy Kobolyev on December 8, I came away with a different picture.

    Since the thirty-nine-year-old soft-spoken CEO took over in 2014, Naftogaz has turned a profit for the first time in five years. It has also become the biggest user of the ProZorro e-procurement system that has saved taxpayers more than $1 billion, and it beat Russia in the Gazprom vs. Naftogaz case at the Stockholm Arbitration Tribunal earlier this year. In other words, Kobolyev has had an incredible run.

    But gas reforms have stalled. Kobolyev said that he hasn’t seen much progress since May 2016.

    “Without [further] changes, nothing is possible,” he said during our interview in Washington.

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