A dedicated foreign service officer who held three ambassadorships in the countries of the former Soviet Union, Marie Yovanovitch most recently served as the US ambassador to Ukraine, where she was targeted by a “smear campaign” and abruptly recalled from her post in Kyiv. She has been a tireless advocate for democracy, political reform, and anti-corruption efforts and has held senior roles in the US State Department.
Now, Ambassador Yovanovitch retells her powerful story from the beginning in her new memoir. Starting with her family’s roots in the Soviet Union to her grueling return to the United States from Ukraine, she recounts the pressure she faced and the courage she called on during the first impeachment inquiry of former President Trump.
In a one-on-one discussion with Melinda Haring, deputy director of the Atlantic Council’s Eurasia Center, Ambassador Yovanovitch discusses her memoir, Russia’s war on Ukraine, what the West needs to do next, and why Ukraine must win. Ambassador John Herbst, senior director of the Atlantic Council’s Eurasia Center and former colleague of Ambassador Yovanovitch in Ukraine, provides introductory remarks.
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Europe in crisis
War in Ukraine
In February 2022, Moscow launched an all-out invasion of Ukraine after a months-long military build-up, threatening the country’s sovereignty and its future. This existential moment for the country follows the 2014 Maidan revolution, a nexus for Ukraine’s Europe-focused foreign policy and reform efforts. The ensuing Russian invasion and occupation of Crimea, aggression in Ukraine’s east, and Kremlin disinformation efforts, cast a shadow over Ukraine’s independence.
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Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy told the UN this week that Russia is committing genocide in Ukraine. Efforts to legally prove genocidal intent will likely focus on the genocidal rhetoric of Putin and other Russian leaders, writes Taras Kuzio.