Reconstruct Ukraine to launch ‘new wave of democratic progress’


Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelenskiy is among five people named as recipients of the John F. Kennedy Profile in Courage Award for acting to protect democracy, AP reports.

Mr Zelenskiy was chosen because of the way he has “marshalled the spirit, patriotism and untiring sacrifice of the Ukrainian people in a life-or-death fight for their country”, as Russia pours in troops and assaults cities and towns, the John F Kennedy Library Foundation said.

Stanford University’s Larry Diamond has argued that Russia’s invasion of Ukraine could  inadvertently “launch a new wave of democratic progress.”

But that won’t happen on its own, according to the Atlantic Council’s editor of The National Interest. The government in Kyiv and its partners should start planning for a postwar reconstruction that would allow Ukraine to become precisely what Russian President Vladimir Putin fears most: a Slavic success story on his border, they write for Foreign Affairs. RTWT

Freedom House and artist Charlie Hewitt are collaborating on the use of digital billboards to gather financial support for Ukrainian human rights defenders and journalists.

A 2015 poll conducted in the Donetsk and Luhansk regions of Ukraine by the International Republican Institute’s Center for Insights in Survey Research found that 82% of Russian-speaking people felt under no pressure or threat from Kyiv and 71% did not support a military intervention by Russia.

“Despite Russia’s continued efforts to drive a wedge between the Donbas and the rest of Ukraine and its continued violations of the Minsk Agreement…. the people of Ukraine, including those living in the Ukrainian-controlled areas of the Donbas, want to preserve the territorial integrity of their country,” said Stephen Nix, IRI’s director of Eurasia programs.

Former National Endowment for Democracy (NED) board member Francis Fukuyama believes that the Ukraine war is a turning point for Western-style democracy (above). People will eventually turn their backs on authoritarian, populist and nationalist ideologies and leaders, in his estimation, and relearn how to tolerate differences.

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