Ukraine

Ask CFR Experts

Will the United States support Ukraine's opposition forces?

Asked by Isaiah Smith, from Birdville High School
Author: Charles A. Kupchan

It is in the interests of the United States to see Ukraine emerge as a stable democracy with strong economic and political ties to the European Union. The United States sides with and supports the Ukrainian opposition—inas much as many of the demonstrators in Ukraine are protesting President Viktor Yanukovych's infringements on democratic practices, his government's use of violence against the demonstrations, and his decision to conclude an economic pact with Russia rather than with the EU.

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Must Read

Reuters: Why Ukraine Spurned the EU and Embraced Russia

Author: Elizabeth Piper

"What caused the U-turn by the leadership of a country of 46 million people that occupies a strategic position between the EU and Russia? Public and private arm-twisting by Putin, including threats to Ukraine's economy and Yanukovich's political future, played a significant part. But the unwillingness of the EU and International Monetary Fund to be flexible in their demands of Ukraine also had an effect, making them less attractive partners."

See more in Ukraine; Politics and Strategy

Op-Ed

Ukraine's False Choice

Authors: Heidi Crebo-Rediker and Douglas A. Rediker
ForeignPolicy.com

With opposition to the Russian financial support gaining strength, Ukrainian president Viktor Yanukovych faces a seemingly stark choice. He can bow to Moscow and its offer of cheap gas and easy money, or to the apparent will of Ukraine's people by resurrecting its agreement with the European Union and re-engaging with the International Monetary Fund. Muddling through—as Yanukovych has done for so long—is no longer an option, write Heidi Crebo-Rediker and Douglas A. Rediker.

See more in Ukraine; Peace, Conflict, and Human Rights

Transcript

Ukraine's Orange Revolution: Film Screening and Discussion

Speakers: Steve York, Peter Ackerman, and David Kramer
Presider: Robert McMahon

This winter marks the fifth anniversary of Ukraine's Orange Revolution, when over one million citizens took to the streets of Kiev and succeeded in overturning the results of that country's presidential election. Steve York's documentary, Orange Revolution, follows the contest between opposition leader Viktor Yushchenko and his adversary Viktor Yanukovych, capturing the iconic images that defined the election and ensuing protests.

Here, after a screening of Orange Revolution, Peter Ackerman, David J. Kramer and Steve York discuss the significance of the Orange Revolution for Ukraine and nonviolent democracy movements elsewhere.

See more in Ukraine; Democratization; Political Movements and Protests