The coronavirus has hit Ukraine hard, but the IMF has promised the country less funding than seemed likely only months ago. Self-interested oligarchs are delaying necessary new reforms and pushing back against those Ukraine has already made.
The COVID-19 pandemic is stress testing all political systems for their ability to ensure the survival of their populations. It is not just the public health systems of different countries that are being tested but the very ability of governments to fight the pandemic. Ukraine, like other of its post-Soviet neighbors, has undergone this scrutiny with mixed results. With an optional quarantine in place, it has experienced a low confirmed mortality, an even lower level of testing, and significant damage to the economy.
To help Ukraine find peace, the EU, NATO, and member states must seek new approaches to arms control discussions with Russia and European security as a whole. They should also consider a more flexible sanctions policy, such that progress in Ukraine may lead to incremental easing.
Arsen Avakov has survived Ukraine’s change of regime. President Zelensky needs him because of his links to the dark side of the Ukrainian deep state, against which the president’s young reformers are often powerless. The omnipotent minister is prepared to put aside his personal ambition to become the regime’s informal mainstay.
A Ukrainian delegation of writers and human rights activists discuss the obstacles they face in their fight for freedom of expression in the region.
Ukraine’s image is suffering from negative coverage surrounding the impeachment hearings of US President Donald Trump. Yet, while the country remains poor and corruption is rife, voters have overwhelmingly backed far-reaching political and economic change, and a new generation of leadership is committed to delivering it.
Konstantin Sonin is a professor at the University of Chicago’s Harris School of Public Policy and an adjunct professor at the Higher School of Economics in Moscow.
The Russian and Ukrainian leaders’ first face-to-face meeting took place at the Normandy Four summit in Paris on December 9
The team discuss the implications of the UK general election, and Ben meets Ukrainian opposition politician Svyatoslav Vakarchuk, founder of a new political party, Golos.
Thomas Raines, Head, Europe Programme, Chatham House
Svyatoslav Vakarchuk, Politician, Musician and Activist
Agnes Frimston, Deputy Editor, The World Today
Ben Horton, Communications Manager, International Affairs