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People fill out ballots in booths during a regional election at a polling station in Kyiv, Ukraine, October 25, 2015. Ukrainians went to the polls on Sunday to appoint mayors and council heads to regional seats. REUTERS/Gleb Garanich

Three Things Ukraine Must Do Now If It Wants Clean Elections Next Year

Original article taken from here – The parliament renewed Ukraine’s highest election body, the Central Election Commission, ahead of the crucial 2019 general elections. On September 20, the parliament replaced all 13 CEC members who were serving on expired terms. In a swift decision—too swift in the opinion of the opposition—the Rada expanded the membership of the […]


Pragmatism Prevails over Populism in Ukraine

The original article is posted here – Successful politics is about getting things done. By that standard, October was a successful month. Not only did the government pass sweeping healthcare reform, pension reform, and judiciary reform, it also staved off populist protests. In short, pragmatism prevailed over populism. Each of the reforms passed was significant, […]


Now Is the Time for Electoral Reform in Ukraine

Original story posted here – Ukraine’s parliament has a busy agenda this autumn. Not only is a sweeping healthcare reform package needed to fix the country’s broken system, judicial reform, the creation of a special anticorruption court, and land reform are also pending. In spite of these burning priorities, now is also the best […]


The Key to Fixing Ukraine Isn’t What You Think It Is

Original story posted here – Health care reform should be a top priority for Ukraine’s Verkhovna Rada this fall because it can help transform Ukraine. As President Petro Poroshenko has said, “I am sure that healthcare…reforms would help [in] attracting investment and increasing economic growth,” and he’s absolutely right. In June, parliament greenlighted comprehensive health […]


Who Is Opposing Ukraine’s Health Reform Bill?

Original story posted here – After the Verkhovna Rada (parliament) of Ukraine failed, on the last day of its July session, to approve health reform bill #6327, a vote on the second reading awaits approval by the legislature. Addressing the Rada, on September 5, Speaker Andriy Parubiy cautiously mentioned the bill, along with pension, judicial and […]


Intelligence Reform in Ukraine Falls Short

Original story posted here – In late July 2017, the Ukrainian non-governmental advisory organization Reanimation Package of Reforms (RPR) called on President Petro Poroshenko and the National Security and Defense Council (NSDC) to immediately reform the Security Service of Ukraine (SSU). The authors of the RPR letter asserted that the SSU was unable to provide […]


IDP Electoral Obstacles & Solutions in Ukraine

According to Ukraine’s Ministry of Social Policy, there are more than 1.8 million internally displaced persons (IDPs) in Ukraine; a direct result of the ongoing conflict in the Donbas region, and Russia’s illegal occupation of Crimea. Due to antiquated, Soviet-era registration laws, IDPs, and other “mobile” groups, face challenges and difficulties in exercising their Constitutional […]


Russian Citizenship for Ukrainians: Addressing Russia’s Population Decline

Original story posted here – The State Duma of the Russian Federation passed an amendment to its citizenship laws, on July 12, easing the procedure for Ukrainians to acquire Russian citizenship. According to the new amendment, those wishing to acquire Russian citizenship would no longer need to provide Russian authorities with paper certification from Kyiv […]

James Bond is From Odessa

James Bond is From Odessa

Everyone knows the world’s most famous secret agent, James Bond. British author Ian Fleming’s hero has been a box office star for more than half a century. Bond is celebrated around the globe for his brilliant mind, wild adventures, and debonair charm. “Women want him, and men want to be him”. What most people don’t […]

Who is behind the sinister ‘CGS’ website?

Who is behind the sinister ‘CGS’ website?

Bruce Riedel is a widely known expert on the Middle East who helped guide U.S. policy in the region as a member of President Bill Clinton’s National Security Council. So he was more than a little surprised recently when an obscure website ran an article about Saudi Arabia he had never seen before — with […]