Issue No. 31
December 5, 2019
FOUN Update
General Breedlove Visits Kyiv Again
By Markian Bilynskyj

Former NATO commander (SACEUR), General Philip Breedlove, recently visited Kyiv for the second time in just over a month. His first visit in September was as part of a US-Ukraine Foundation group that presented the Foundation's "Friends of Ukraine Network" initiative policy recommendations at the Diplomatic Academy during the annual, high-profile YES conference. 

This visit was perhaps more low key but certainly no less notable or substantial. Gen. Breedlove spent three days in the Ukrainian capital with colleagues from Georgia Tech's Sam Nunn School of International Affairs who are working in partnership with the Kyiv School of Economics to develop a more nuanced predictive algorithm that will provide policy makers with more accurate, empirically grounded policy options.  
While the rest of the team focused largely on organizing and managing the workshops relating to what is still a work in progress, the Foundation arranged several meetings for the former SACEUR. Among the current and former officials Gen. Breedlove met with were: ex-deputy prime minister for European integration and current Rada Chair of the Committee on Ukraine's EU Integration, Ivanna Klympush-Tsintsadze; former long-term secretary of Ukraine's national security council under President Kuchma and presidential adviser, Voldymyr Horbulin; and Aivaras Abromavicius, director General of Ukraine's arms conglomerate, Ukroboronprom.
 
Gen. Breedlove also visited with former President Leonid Kuchma. Ukraine's longest-serving president had been directly involved in the steps leading to Ukraine's assent to proceed according to the so-called Steinmeier plan for resolving the war in Donbas and was scheduled to travel again to Minsk the following day.  
 
Not surprisingly, the situation in eastern Ukraine and the controversy generated by the Steinmeier initiative - a road map that many Ukrainian critics believe has more Achilles heels than a centipede - dominated every meeting. The General expressing particular interest - and concern - over the prospective situation and possible dynamics at the border between Russia and Ukraine. Other issues discussed at the meetings were the structure of national security decision-making within the new Administration and reform of the blighted Ukrainian military-industrial complex.
 
Following their intensive Kyiv program, Gen. Breedlove and his colleagues departed for the Hague where they were scheduled to continue working with Dutch colleagues on the development of their analytical project. In summarizing his latest visit to Kyiv, General Breedlove said that:

“We’ve had an excellent, productive visit and I’m proud of the work our team and the incredible staff at KSE are doing. In addition, the meetings I had through the Foundation's Friends of Ukraine Network convinced me that the West's support for Ukraine - and that of the US in particular - is needed more than ever and I'm committed to remaining on Ukraine's team."
Ukraine Doing Right for its Veterans
Ukraine is Getting Treatment of its Veterans Right
By Debra Cagan

In the midst of the political conflict in Washington, many seem to have forgotten that there is another fight going on in the very country at the center of this political maelstrom. Ukraine is fighting for its survival against an enemy with superior equipment, training and resources. Ukraine is locked in deadly combat not with pretend militias, but with Russian commanded and controlled troops that are intent on maiming and killing, and exacting maximum damage on Ukrainian citizens without regard to those civilian populations who might stand in their way.
Above and below left: on November 6, 2019,
veterans of Ukraine participated in the Foundation's
Friends of Ukraine Network round-table discussion regarding support and advocacy for Ukraine’s veterans in the agenda of U.S.-Ukraine Relations.
This is not, as some in Washington and Europe have portrayed, just a bothersome fight between Ukraine and Russia over illegal land grabs. This is a war forced upon the Ukrainians by a country that cannot abide freedom anywhere in the neighborhood and led by a man who does not believe Ukraine has the right to be a sovereign nation. Ukraine wants to make decisions for itself and to decide politically what it wants to do, which organizations and institutions with which it might wish to associate, without being ordered by Russia and others that it cannot make those decisions.

What is even worse is that some European governments and even many people in the United States believe that Ukraine should simply fold its tents, cede its territory and slink back to these new fake boundaries forced upon it by Russia, all in the name of just making it go away. These same governments and same people have tarred Ukraine with the unfortunate brush of not being a serious country, of being so corrupt that it does not merit our support, patience and assistance. But those wielding this brush have a great deal to learn about Ukraine and what Ukraine is doing right after five-plus years of war.

Under the auspices of the State Department’s International Visitor Leadership Program, a few weeks ago Ukraine sent a group of talented, committed and exceptionally bright leaders to engage with U.S. counterparts on military veteran support and advocacy. This group of women and men included Ministry of Defense, National Guard and Parliamentary officials, leaders of NGOs and Psychologists, all of whom understand implicitly the challenges that they face and how they must “do right” on behalf of all Ukrainians.

They are leaving nothing to chance meeting with the right people here and at NATO and passing new legislation and budgets to ensure that Ukrainian veterans are not left to fend for themselves. For those doubters who continue to believe that Ukraine is not a serious country, guess again. Ukraine is a serious country. It cares about its people and works to ensure that each and every veteran, be they military or civilian are given an opportunity for a successful future.

Wars have tremendous consequences especially when the territorial integrity of your country is at stake. There have been massive casualties among soldiers and civilians alike and for those who survive the initial physical wounds of this war, there are debilitating and long-term physical and mental injuries that will have lasting effects. The UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights estimates that 13 thousand people have been killed since the onset of hostilities, a quarter of them civilian. Another estimated 30 thousand people have been wounded.

They say a nation’s mettle is not just proven by sending its people to war, but by what that nation does when its people return. By any measure Ukraine has proven its mettle. What that country, the country that passes on people’s lips these days solely in the context of political debate, has done for its veterans and civilians hurt by this war, is nothing short of amazing. And what is more remarkable is that they have accomplished so much in such a short period of time.
USUF Co-founder and External Relations Coordinator Meets With Women's Delegation
In November, USUF co-founder and external relations coordinator, Bob McConnell, met with a women's delegation from Ukraine to discuss legal issues in a rule of law country. Mr. McConnell, a former Deputy Secretary at the Justice Department of the United States, provided expert insight into the judicial process as it is played out in the court system in the U.S. and how Ukrainian law makers and legal professionals can adopt best practices and procedures for implementing necessary reforms to strengthen Ukraine's independent judiciary structure.
Made in Ukraine Tech Startup Edition
Ukrainian Start-up Raises $500,000 to “unite all data about animals in one online resource.”
By Mike Buryk, USUF Advisory Board

Animal ID , a Ukrainian startup that “brings together responsible pet owners,” has raised $500,000, according to local tech blog AIN.UA.

The project launched in 2011 as a public initiative “for systematic assistance to homeless and domestic animals in Ukraine.” Animal ID became a private startup four years later, and currently claims about 120,000 users in 15 countries.

Click here to read more.
Open World Update
Ukraine Delegation Studies Public Diplomacy Opportunities
By Adrian Karmazyn and John A. Kun

How can Ukraine more effectively explain its policies to the global community? What tools and strategies can be employed to enhance and promote Ukraine’s image abroad? How can Ukrainians best showcase their achievements, stories and culture around the world? These and related questions were the focus of a Ukrainian public diplomacy delegation that visited Washington under the auspices of the Open World Leadership Center.
The members of the delegation were Volodymyr Riznichenko (Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine), Olha Nakonechna and Tetiana Vasylenko ( Hennadii Udovenko Diplomatic Academy of Ukraine ), Iryna Prokofieva and Oleksandr Vynogradov ( Ukrainian Institute ), and Olena Kotsur (American Councils for International Education, Kyiv). Their trip was administered by the U.S.-Ukraine Foundation (USUF) in cooperation with American Councils.

Click here to read more.
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