The U.S. Department of State has recently released a report on its policy towards Ukraine. This report covers Humanitarian and Security assistance as well as the conflict in eastern Ukraine.
Perceptions of U.S. Policy
While the average Ukrainian sees Washington’s policies as positive, a large minority of the country is negative about the U.S. position in the country. In the West, however, there are positive perceptions of U.S. policy toward Ukraine across all dimensions. Even among those who do not think Russia is a major threat to Ukraine, the average view of U.S. policy toward Ukraine is ambivalent.
The United States is providing unprecedented levels of economic, humanitarian and security assistance to Ukraine. In the past five months alone, we have provided $54 billion in humanitarian assistance to Ukraine. We are also mobilizing private donations and individual giving to support the ongoing relief effort in Ukraine. This money will help those affected by the war to meet basic needs, such as food, clean water, and shelter. Humanitarian assistance will also help document human rights violations.
Security assistance between Ukraine and the United States has risen dramatically since the Russian invasion in February. In the last week alone, the United States has committed more than $1 billion in security assistance. This money is coming in the form of direct equipment transfers from the Department of Defense to the Ukrainian military to protect against a possible invasion by Russia. The United States also intends to increase that number as additional military equipment is identified in surplus military stockpiles.
Ukraine’s Economic Base & Infrastructure
Although the fighting has stopped, the lasting effects of the conflict are yet to be fully assessed. While the conflict has destroyed Ukraine’s economic base and infrastructure, it has also caused major problems for its regional and local government. The Ukrainian government has said that it will need $500 billion to rebuild and recover. However, this estimate assumes a meaningful political and economic peace and a return to the prewar level of the economy.
International NGOs have helped victims in the past, but state support has not been adequate in Ukraine. The country’s NGOs have been relying on donations from international organizations to help victims, with only a small percentage being recognized as official victims. In addition, Ukrainian law requires victims to be recognized in court proceedings, and many NGOs report systemic shortcomings in the country’s national referral mechanism (NRM).
Support Independent Unions
The strategic dialogue between Ukraine and the United States is aimed at strengthening both countries’ efforts to decarbonize the economy, expand the country’s export potential, and enhance energy security. The meeting will take place in Washington, D.C., in the presence of the Ukrainian president. Both sides will discuss ways to increase commercial cooperation in various sectors of both countries’ economies. The two sides will discuss energy and infrastructure projects, including those focused on digitalization.
The U.S. government has long been concerned about Ukraine’s military. President Donald Trump’s first impeachment was based on his views on Ukraine. These concerns, however, were put on the back burner during the months leading up to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. But reports by U.S. government officials on Ukraine over the past several months have resurrected the debate.
Human Rights Defenders Persecuted in Ukraine
In recent months, a number of activists have been persecuted and attacked by counter-protesters. During a march for international women’s day in Kyiv, unidentified people pushed and yelled at the protesters while trying to snag posters. Protesters reported the incident to the police, who did not open any investigations until lawyers intervened. The formal investigation is still ongoing as of year’s end.
The landscape of Ukraine is largely level. Although the country has many highland regions, the country is mostly flat. Ukraine’s mountains are the Carpathians, which make up 5% of the country. There is some diversity in the landscape, however. Lowlands and highlands are found in the northern and southern river valleys. The Black Sea, in particular, is surrounded by dense forests. Ukraine’s cities are a hub for trade and culture.
The country is divided into two halves, with each speaking different languages and having different political visions. Maps of Ukraine’s borders illustrate this divide, and even election results are divided along the lines. As a result, the political situation is very different in the east and west. The east tends to be more Russian, while the west is closer to its European neighbors. But there is still considerable polarisation between the two parts of the country.