Today, Ukraine is fighting to save its young democracy against an unprovoked and unjustified Russian invasion. Long plagued by corruption and a weak rule of law and traditionally separated by language and religion, Ukrainians have united in defense of their national sovereignty and, with international assistance and support, managed to stifle early Russian military advances. But to stave off Russian aggression in the long term — as well as rebuild in the aftermath — Ukraine will need to maintain this unity. USIP provides analysis and support for policies that can help sustain Ukrainian democracy in the face of Russia’s invasion and facilitate the dialogue and diplomacy that will be required to ultimately defeat it.
Read more about the current situation in Ukraine
The conflict in the Middle East is helping divert attention away from Russia’s war in Ukraine. And despite rumors of peace talks, USIP’s Heather Ashby says neither side seems willing to budge: “I don’t think people should be optimistic that there will be negotiations … even with a third party trying to bring the sides together.”
Amid Russia’s ongoing war on Ukraine, Hamas’s terrorist attack on Israel and Israel’s military response in Gaza has significant and challenging repercussions for both countries and for U.S. support for Ukraine’s defense. Both Ukraine and Russia are seeking political and diplomatic support from the international community, which is watching closely to see who supports and who condemns Hamas and Israeli actions. At the same time, the war in Gaza threatens to take global attention and resources away from Ukraine’s efforts to defend itself. This change in focus could lead to a diminution of economic and military assistance for that embattled country.
Ukraine this year faces a new version of a recurrent problem: How can countries sustain and strengthen democracy amid war or upheaval? Ukraine is postponing parliamentary elections this year that election experts say would be dangerous to hold under Russia’s continued military assault. In such straits, how might any democracy, whether established or emerging, renew the accountability and representativity of its government? Ukrainian officials and civic leaders say the country has no perfect option, but can do it through a combination of reforms and commitments already underway.
Russia’s massive assault on an independent Ukraine menaces not only Eastern Europe, but the human effort, since World War II, to build global peace through the international rule of law. USIP provides analysis and support for policies that can help sustain the democracy, dialogue and diplomacy that will be required to ultimately defeat this threat.
USIP’s Religion, Peace and Conflict Country Profiles (RPACCs) are concise analytic overviews of the religious landscape in countries at risk of, currently experiencing or recovering from violent conflict. RPACCs are intended to be used primarily by policymakers and practitioners looking to develop rapid familiarity with the nature and status of religion in a given country of interest as well as to understand how religion intersects with conflict and peace dynamics. The RPACC series is an outgrowth of USIP’s previous work on Religious Landscape Mapping in Conflict-Affected States.