Melinda Haring

  • How One University Defied Putin and His Armed Mob

    On July 7, 2014, Russian-backed separatists entered Donetsk and occupied four dormitories at Donetsk National University; armed gunmen expelled students from their rooms in the middle of the night. Nine days later, the separatists seized the entire university. During that summer, separatists stole at least seventeen university vehicles and converted student dorms into barracks for their fighters.

    At the time, students, administrators, and faculty fled. There was no time to think about packing up the library or the laboratory. But eventually, the university, one of Ukraine’s best, relocated to central Ukraine, to the city of Vinnytsia.

    Remarkably, two years after the invasion, the university has almost completely re-established itself.

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  • Haring and Polyakova Quoted by Christian Science Monitor on Tensions in Crimea

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  • Haring Joins NPR to Discuss How the Trump Campaign Weakened The Republican Platform On Aid To Ukraine

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  • Haring Quoted by Democracy Digest on Post-Maidan Ukraine

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  • Haring Joins Voice of America to Discuss Press Freedom in Ukraine, the Murder of Journalist Pavel Sheremet, and the Need to Increase International Broadcasting Assistance to Ukraine

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  • Ukraine’s Deadly Profession: Three Journalists Attacked in July

    On July 20, investigative journalist Pavel Sheremet was assassinated in Kyiv. Sheremet hosted a morning show at Radio Vesti and was a top reporter at Ukrainska Pravda. A crusading journalist and native of Minsk, Belarus, he had already been expelled from both Belarus and Russia. He was killed by a car bomb.

    It would be easy to dismiss Sheremet’s murder as an outlier. Unfortunately, it’s anything but. His death is merely the most drastic example of the steady deterioration of press freedom in Ukraine in recent months.

    One day before Sheremet’s murder, Maria Rydvan, the editor of Forbes Ukraine, was stabbed three times in Kyiv; she had been walking in the park of the Kyiv Polytechnic Institute. Fortunately her injuries were only minor.

    On July 25, the...

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  • Worried About Brexit? No, Scared, Says Ukraine’s Former Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk

    “I’m not worried [about Brexit]. I’m scared,” said Arseniy Yatsenyuk at the Atlantic Council on June 30. In one of his first public appearances in Washington since stepping down as Ukraine’s prime minister on April 14, Yatsenyuk urged Europe to get its act together. Brexit, he said, is a “huge geopolitical crisis”: the United Kingdom’s exit from the EU could split the union, weaken Europe, trigger a domino effect, and undermine trust and confidence in the European idea among Ukrainians. “We need a united Europe,” he said.

    Like other reformers, Yatsenyuk is counting on Ukrainians’ strong desire to join Europe as a means to incentivize continued legislative reform and clean up the country.

    Ukraine has another stake in the EU game, as well, Yatsenyuk pointed out. The EU will extend its punishing sanctions on Russia, although there...

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  • Europe's Short Memory and Ukraine's Long Crisis

    “People have forgotten that there’s a real humanitarian situation and a real need in a European country,” said Jock Mendoza-Wilson, director of international and investor relations at System Capital Management, during a recent Atlantic Council panel examining the crisis in Ukraine.

    In fact, he said, six hundred thousand people on Ukraine’s contact line live in “appalling conditions” without electricity and gas, have intermittent water, face shelling and small arms fire on a daily basis, and don’t have access to a food market. “They are in extreme need,” he said. “From the distance of Washington, DC, it may look like there’s not an active conflict...but it’s real and immediate.”

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  • Odious Film about Russian Whistle-Blower Screens at Newseum

    On June 13, the Newseum did what the European Parliament was too principled to do: it showed The Magnitsky Act, Russian filmmaker Andrei Nekrasov’s controversial new film about Sergei Magnitsky.

    Magnitsky was a Russian tax lawyer who investigated a tax fraud scheme on behalf of his client, British-American financier William Browder. In 2008, Magnitsky accused law enforcement and tax officials of involvement in a scheme that used Browder’s company, Hermitage Capital, to defraud the Russian treasury of $230 million. He died in prison in November 2009 after allegedly being tortured.

    The Magnitsky Act, a two-hour documentary of sorts, portrays Magnitsky as an accomplice rather than a victim.

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  • Has Ukraine Passed the Tipping Point Yet?

    How are Ukraine’s reforms coming along? It depends who you ask. During a recent visit to Kyiv, I heard a wide range of views.

    “Reforms are painful, slow, and haven’t passed the tipping point yet,” said Orysia Lutsevych, manager of the Ukraine Forum at London’s Chatham House, during the Kyiv Security Forum on April 14-15. “It’s very important for the West not to be discouraged,” she urged, adding that the West needs to keep a wider view on what’s happening in cities outside of Kyiv, like Odesa and Lviv. “These places are real laboratories of change,” she said.

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