UkraineAlertFeb 23, 2023
Invasion anniversary: Does Putin still have a pathway to victory in Ukraine?
By Peter Dickinson
Vladimir Putin's decision to invade Ukraine is widely seen as one of the biggest geopolitical blunders of the modern era, but as the war enters its second year, could the Russian dictator still have a pathway to potential victory?
UkraineAlertDec 26, 2022
Eight reasons for Ukrainian optimism in 2023
By Brian Mefford
Ukrainians have experienced an incredibly traumatic year but the country enters 2023 with reason for cautious optimism that Vladimir Putin's criminal invasion can be decisively defeated, writes Brian Mefford.
Brian Mefford is a nonresident senior fellow at the Atlantic Council’s Eurasia Center, based in Kyiv, Ukraine. Named by the Kyiv Post newspaper as one of the 20 “Most Influential Expats in Ukraine,” Mefford has lived and worked in Eastern Europe continuously for more than 24 years. He is currently the owner and founder of Wooden Horse Strategies, LLC, a governmental relations and strategic communications firm based in Kyiv. For his humanitarian efforts to help Ukraine during the war, he was named a “Philanthropist of the Year” by the Association of Charities of Ukraine in 2023.
Mefford started his work in Ukraine with the International Republican Institute (IRI) in 1999, as a resident program officer. For over a decade, Mefford trained, advised, and consulted with thousands of political activists and governmental officials in Eastern Europe, the Balkans, Caucasus, and Iraq. In 2009, Mefford managed an international consulting team working for Ukrainian President Victor Yushchenko.
Born in California, he is a graduate of Southern Arkansas University in Magnolia, Arkansas, with a bachelor’s of business administration degree with an emphasis in finance. After university, Mefford worked in banking and local politics, serving as an alderman and school board member. He was appointed as a member of the Governor’s Advisory Council for Gifted and Talented Education in 1997 by Governor Mike Huckabee. Mefford speaks English, Ukrainian, and Russian.