Over the last several months, Ukraine has experienced street demonstrations and revolution; the ousting of an authoritarian (though freely elected) president; the annexation of Crimea by its neighbor, Russia; ongoing military clashes with separatists in two of its eastern regions; and the election of a new president, Petro Poroshenko. Amidst these events, Poroshenko is faced with the task of upholding his promises to abolish corruption, restore a battered economy, end the separatist insurgency, and foster closer relations with the European Union.
At the same time, Ukraine’s new government must also address the concerns of citizens residing in Russian-annexed territories: citizens residing in Crimea must confront serious legal, economic, political, and social changes now that they are living under Russian laws. One of the most pressing examples is the recent ban on methadone treatment in Crimea, which adversely affects more than 800 people who use drugs in that region.
- Inna Pidluska has served as deputy executive director at the International Renaissance Foundation (IRF) since 2011. A longtime advocate for civil society in Ukraine, she has held roles as co-founder and president of the Europe XXI Foundation, advocacy partner at the Ukraine Citizens Action Network (UCAN), and director of the Foreign Policy Division at the Ukrainian Center for Independent Political Research (UCIPR).
- Tatyana Margolin (moderator) is the regional manager for national foundations in the Open Society Eurasia Program. Previously, she was a joint program officer for the Law and Health Initiative and the International Harm Reduction Development Program with the Open Society Public Health Program.