Melinda Haring

  • Biden to Ukraine: “The United States stands firmly with the people of Ukraine”

    "Today Russia is occupying sovereign Ukrainian territory. Let me be crystal clear: the United States does not, will not, [and] never will recognize Russia's attempt to annex the Crimea," US Vice President Joe Biden said in a December 8 address to Ukraine's parliament.

    The parliament gave Biden a standing ovation. Geoffrey Pyatt, US Ambassador to Ukraine, described the atmosphere in parliament as "electric."

    "Sovereign states have the right to make their own decisions and choose their own alliances," Biden said.

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  • Ukraine Takes Two Steps Forward on Corruption Fight

    On November 30, Ukraine took two steps forward in its fight against corruption. Member of parliament Mykola Martynenko resigned his position, and Nazar Kholodnytsky was appointed the nation's top anticorruption prosecutor.

    Martynenko was the deputy head of Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk's People's Front party and the head of parliament's energy and fuel committee. According to Sergii Leshchenko, an investigative journalist and member of parliament, Martynenko was "one of the most influential people in Ukrainian politics," who "used his position in parliament for his personal enrichment."

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  • Poroshenko Not Serious About Fighting Corruption, Says Anticorruption Reformer

    Bogdan Yakymiuk radiates optimism. But despite his quick smile, the thirty-seven-year old reformer is deadly serious when it comes to corruption.

    "Over 30 percent of our yearly budget is being stolen one way or another through corruption," Yakymiuk said in an October 27 interview in Washington.

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  • Ukraine Must Embrace Radical Reform Now

    If the Ukrainian government does not follow through with an ambitious reform agenda, public support will wane while dissatisfaction will increase, threatening political stability and the country's future. "There is no time for slow evolutionary changes. Radical and revolutionary reforms are the only way to success," warns a new report issued September 28.

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  • Creating 'A Piece of America' in the Carpathian Mountains

    Camp America, located at a charmingly rustic resort in Ukraine's Carpathian Mountains, welcomed twenty young Ukrainians for a week in August. For most of them, Camp America—a 24/7 English-language environment where all activities are conducted in English—was their first experience with native English speakers.

    "I like to tell our students that there are three international languages: English, music, and sport," Alexa Chopivsky wrote in a September 2 interview. "No matter what your future plans or goals, in today's globalized world, you have to speak English."

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  • Russia, Not Ukraine, is the Questionable Partner

    In its August 12 editorial, "Shaky Ukraine: Economics and Corruption Complicate Its War," the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette calls Ukraine a “questionable partner” because of “resistance to economic reform and use of Islamist Chechen forces.” Too bad neither charge is true.

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  • Retribution in the New Crimea

    In March 2015, the Atlantic Council and Freedom House published a report by Crimean journalist Andrii Klymenko showing how Russia's occupation and annexation of Crimea has unleashed an ongoing chain of human rights violations across the peninsula.

    Five days after release of the report—Human Rights Abuses in Russian-Occupied Crimea—Russia's Federal Security Service (FSB) charged Klymenko with challenging the annexation's legitimacy and threatening Russian sovereignty. Under Article 280 of Russia's criminal code, Klymenko faces up to five years in jail. Yet Klymenko wasn't told about the charges; he learned about them in April, when the FSB began searching and interrogating his former colleagues.

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  • Repression of Crimean Tatars Intensifies Under Russia, Says New Turkish Report

    Russian authorities have forced Crimean Tatars to become Russian citizens and curtailed their freedoms of speech, language, education, and residence—as well as their right to a fair trial. That's according to an independent group of Turkish scholars sent to Crimea to investigate human rights violations after Russia annexed the peninsula on March 18, 2014.
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  • Youth Platform is Transforming Eastern Ukraine

    "We brought down some Lenins in people's heads," says organizer Yuriy Didula

    Days after Ukrainian forces retook the city of Kramatorsk on July 5, 2014, Yuriy Didula and two colleagues from western Ukraine piled into a car and drove building materials into the city.

    "People in the east felt abandoned by the state," Didula said in a June 25 interview. The 25-year-old manages the Lviv Education Foundation's eastern Ukraine portfolio.

    As a student at Ukrainian Catholic University in Lviv, Didula and his colleagues developed an exchange program that brought young people from eastern to western Ukraine for Christmas and Easter. Later, as part of Lviv Education Foundation, they organized a summer leadership camp for Kramatorsk youth. Having established long-lasting friendships with students in eastern Ukraine, Kramatorsk was a natural place to pitch in.

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  • Russia Bans Freedom to Report, Says Top Investigative Journalist

    Russia's Foreign Ministry has banned US investigative journalist Simon Ostrovsky from working in Russia. On June 4, it denied a press visa for Ostrovsky, an Emmy award-winning documentary filmmaker and journalist best known for his coverage of the Ukraine crisis for VICE News.
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