Reform efforts in Ukraine have faced numerous challenges in 2020. In March, President Volodymyr Zelenskyy fired many of the reform-minded technocrats in his cabinet and replaced them with establishment figures. Anti-corruption efforts are stymied by courts backed by special interests, while oligarchs and Russian agents control blocs of lawmakers in the Verkhovna Rada, rendering legislative reform difficult. 

Once again, “business as usual” has prompted skepticism in the Ukrainian people. Local elections in late October delivered a sound rebuke of Zelenskyy’s Servant of the People party, which lost seats in regional parliaments across the country and performed poorly in major mayoral races. What explains the complicated reform dynamic in Ukraine? What can Western partners do to help Ukraine get back on track?

Speakers include Prime Minister Oleksiy Honcharuk, former prime minister of Ukraine and a distinguished fellow at the Eurasia Center; Dr. Tymofiy Mylovanov, former minister of economic development, trade, and agriculture of Ukraine; Serhiy Verlanov, former head of the state tax service of Ukraine; and Melinda Haring, deputy director of the Eurasia Center. Ambassador John Herbst, director of the Eurasia Center, moderates and Dr. Emily Channell-Justice, director of the Temerty Contemporary Ukraine Program at Harvard University’s Ukrainian Research Institute, welcomes.


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The Eurasia Center’s mission is to promote policies that strengthen stability, democratic values, and prosperity in Eurasia, from Eastern Europe in the West to the Caucasus, Russia, and Central Asia in the East.