On April 26, the U.S.-Ukraine Foundation and FOUN hosted a meeting with the former president of Ukraine, Viktor Yushchenko, and former first lady, Kateryna Yushchenko.
President Yushchenko spoke about the war, how he sees Ukraine winning it, what the impact will be on Russia and the world, and how reconstruction efforts will occur in Ukraine.
U.S.-Ukraine Foundation’s round table Rescuing and Giving Comfort to Captive Children and Women, Bringing Perpetrators to Justice, and Ukrainian American Bar Association’s Special Conference Worldwide Impact of Russia’s War on Ukraine highlighted issues of importance, pressing challenges and the need to continuing advocacy and aid for Ukraine.
Round table Rescuing and Giving Comfort to Captive Children and Women, Bringing Perpetrators to Justice discussed the critical issues of women and children who are held captive by the russian federation, highlighted the initiatives taken by civil society and international organizations to find and bring back deported Ukrainians. The round table had three panels to tell about the activities in Ukraine, advocacy efforts of international organizations and specifically what has been done and what can bedone in Washington, the UN, the EU in support effort in Ukraine.
Featuring Partners: Save Ukraine (Mykola Kuleba) and FindMyParent’s (app Reunite Ukraine)
On April 29, USUF President Nadia McConnell spoke at the Ukrainian American bar Association’s Special Conference: Worldwide Impact of Russia’s War on Ukraine. The panel discussed the roles of non-profit organizations in helping Ukraine and shaping bilateral relations to advance the victory as well as new challenges and prospects and strategies on rebuilding and strengthening Ukraine after the war.
Ukrainian Mayors Visit to the United States
The Open World program of the Congressional Office of International Leadership and USAID-supported Ukraine Governance and Local Accountability project (HOVERLA) brought 14 Ukrainian mayors to visit USA in April.
Nine mayors and deputy mayors visited local communities in Modesto, CA and Norfolk, VA while five their colleagues attended the Cities Summit of the Americas in Denver, CO. USUF helped organize a round table with Open World participants to discuss ways and hindrances for the U.S. support to rebuild Ukrainian economy.
Village Council Heads of Shatsk, Volyn Oblast and Zarichne, Serhii Karpuk and Bohdan Kvachuk and Mayors of Haivoron, Kirovograd Oblast and Huliai-Pole, Zaporizhzhia Oblast Roman Voluiko and Serhii Yarmak were hosted by Modesto Sister Cities, CA and visited Modesto, Weatherford, Stanislaus County to exchanged their cities stories and experiences with counterparts in California and plead for continued support against the Russian invasion.
Mayors Yuriy Bova of Trostianets, Sumy oblast,Oleksandr Kodola of Nizhyn, Chernihiv oblast, Ivan Fedorov of Melitopol,Zaporizhzhia oblast, Vitaliy Klichko of Kyiv City, and Ihor Terekhov of Kharkiv spoke in Denver about drastic changes their cities went through, wartime challenges, efforts to restore damaged infrastructure, shelter and integrate internally displaced people from other regions as well as support economic development and develop plans for recovery after the war. At the end of the trip USUF President Nadia McConnell met with Mayor of Kharkiv Ihor Terekhov to discuss Foundation’s effort on expanding partnership circle to engage more local communities to helping Ukrainian towns in their restoration.
International attention is building up to address the problem of forceful deportation of Ukrainian families and children to the Russian federation. On May 4, 45 Participating States of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) issued a statement urging Russia to cease the practices of forcible transfer of Ukraine’s children and take the necessary measures to return them to Ukraine, immediately. The statement was based on findings of the Special Mission createdat the March 30 request of OSCE participating States to invoke the Moscow Mechanism - a confidence and security-building measure that allows to establish an ad hoc mission of independent experts to investigate a particular question or problem related to the human dimension of the OSCE in the territory of an OSCE State. The Special Mission worked for about a months and released a report on April 28 confirming serious cause for concern over the continuing impacts of Russia’s ongoing aggression on the civilian population in Ukraine, including children. The mission’s report indicates that Russia has “manifestly violated the best interests of children repeatedly” since 2014 and that “the practice of the forcible transfer and/or deportation of Ukrainian children to the temporarily occupied territories and to the territory of the Russian Federation may amount to a crime against humanity.” Furthermore, Russia “creating various obstacles for families seeking to get their children back” constitutes “a violation of the Geneva Conventions that exacerbates the gravity of other violations”.
Special Mission’s report and OSCE Participating States statement can be found here:
The U.S.-Ukraine Foundation’s Friends of Ukraine Network (FOUN) has finalized its Priority Recommendations for U.S. Assistance to Ukraine 2023.
Read/Download the Recommendations
The Recommendations of FOUN’s Task Force on National Security and the Task Force on Reimagining, Reconstruction and Recovery of Ukraine will now be presented to key offices in the Executive Branch and to Members of Congress as well is key congressional committee staff. FOUN will also start it annual process of arranging meetings to discuss and promote its Recommendations.
In April, FOUN National Security Task Force members continued discussing the impact of the security leaks, whether Europe wanted Ukrainians as living partners or dead heroes, the reasons why the U.S. administration have not been supplying sufficient amounts of military aid to Ukraine, how it could affect the outcome of the war in Ukraine, regional security and global economic situation as well as what could and should be done to improve the situation.
In preparation to the NATO’s summit in Vilnius in July, two members of FOUN, Ian Brzezinski and Alexander Vershbow recently published a “Memo to NATO Leaders” as part of the Atlantic Council’s “Memo to …” series that reminds that Russia’s aggression is not simply an attack on Ukraine but rather an attack on NATO’s core interests. The Memo urges for decisive actions on Ukraine reminding that European security requires a Ukraine anchored to NATO.
Ukraine Should Take Crimea From Russia. It would be a just outcome and serve America’s interests.
Article by Luke Coffey, the Wall Street Journal, Apr 17
As Russia’s war against Ukraine drags on, the risk that fatigued Western policymakers will become desperate to end the fighting at any cost will grow. There is already some suggesting that Kyiv should accept a special status for Crimea that leaves Russian troops there. Such an outcome would amount to geopolitical negligence. Any settlement that doesn’t return Crimea to Kyiv’s control signals to other belligerent powers that military land grabs will be tolerated—setting a dangerous precedent for the 21st century. The peninsula’s political closeness to southern Ukraine was built on economic and cultural ties of a sort that Crimea hasn’t ever had with Russia. If Moscow keeps control of Crimea, Russia’s military bases there could launch attacks against the rest of Ukraine and assault otherwise lucrative global commercial shipping, including the export of grain to Africa and the Middle East. All Kyiv needs to regain control over the peninsula is Western weapons and munitions.
Luke Coffey is a Member of the FOUN Security Task Force.
April 26th is a dark day in the history of Europe, as we commemorate the Chornobyl Nuclear Disaster that took place 37 years ago. The world’s worst nuclear leak had a horrific human impact: it resulted in a variety of terrible health disorders for those affected and left thousands of people homeless.
Today, we face a possibility of a nuclear disaster once again, as Russia occupies the largest nuclear power plant in all of Europe in the city of Zaporizhzhya. Russia possesses a real threat not only to Ukraine but to many countries beyond its border by opening fire in and around the power plant.
Today, we not only remember the tragedy of Chornobyl but invite everyone to take action against the threat of a future similar catastrophe.
PROMINENT DATES IN MAY
May 8 - Day of Remembrance and Reconciliation (WWII)
On May 8, Ukraine joins Europe in marking the Day of Remembrance and Reconciliation to honor the victims in World War II. While Russia claims the victory for itself and has officially denied the Ukrainian role in the fight against the Nazis, Ukraine paid the biggest price for victory in the Second World War among the former USSR republics. As a vital contributor to the Red Army and a key provider of industrial resources in the USSR, Ukraine incurred the largest number of casualties during WWII.
May 11 Fake referendum conducted by Russia in Donetsk and Lugansk, 2014
May 14 Mother’s Day (U.S. and Ukrainian)
May 17 Remembrance Day for the Victims of Crimean Tatar Deportation, 1945
May 18 Vyshyvanka Day
May 20 Europe Day (Ukraine)
May 29 U.S. Memorial Day