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October 17, 2014

A Way Forward for Ukraine

Ukraine is fighting more than a war with Russian-backed rebels: it is also fighting for democracy. Now more than ever Ukraine is at the tipping point of either becoming a rights-respecting democracy, or a repressive and corrupt regime that takes after Russia.

The United States has an active interest in helping to craft the former, as the crisis in Ukraine represents the greatest threat to European stability since the Cold War. But the war in the east must not become an excuse to curtail the freedom of LGBT citizens or limit free association and free speech. Doing so will only arouse more political unrest and instability, possibly escalating violent conflict.

The legislative elections in the Ukraine next week may show which direction the country is taking.

Human Rights First has devised a blueprint showing how the United States can help Ukraine become a vibrant democracy. The citizens of Ukraine are more than ready for a stable, transparent democracy that promotes the rule of law and a robust civil society. The United States should support them by implementing financial policies that impede corruption, offering technical support to law enforcement agencies, and pushing for access for international monitors in Crimea.