Ukraine’s Lessons Learned: From the Orange Revolution to the Euromaidan
Sponsored by the International Forum for Democratic Studies at the National Endowment for Democracy
- Sergii Leshchenko, Reagan-Fascell Democracy Fellow, National Endowment for Democracy
with comments by
- Nadia Diuk, Vice President, Programs – Africa, Latin America, and Eurasia, National Endowment for Democracy
- Matthew Kaminski, Editorial Board Member, Wall Street Journal
- Christopher Walker, Executive Director, International Forum for Democratic Studies
About the Event
Following its failure to consolidate the democratic gains of the much-celebrated 2004 “Orange Revolution,” Ukraine under the rule of authoritarian President Viktor Yanukovych has suffered numerous setbacks in its struggle to achieve a more democratic system.
Recent mass protests in Kyiv, dubbed the “Euromaidan,” erupted in response to the President’s iron-fisted tactics and undemocratic measures, which include a significant decline in press freedoms and use of brute force against peaceful protesters.
In his presentation, Sergii Leshchenko discussed the Euromaidan in the context of the democratization process that began in 2004, and explored the ramifications of the current protests on Ukraine’s immediate political future. His presentation was followed by comments by Nadia Diuk and Matthew Kaminski.
About the Speakers
Sergii Leshchenko is a Kyiv-based journalist, blogger, and press freedom activist who helped to launch the “Stop Censorship!” movement in 2010 in defense of free speech in Ukraine. Since 2000, he has worked for Ukrainska Pravda, Ukraine’s leading online newspaper, where he specializes in anti-corruption investigations and other political reporting. In the year leading up to Ukraine’s 2012 legislative elections, he participated in the “Chesno” campaign that called for transparency and accountability in parliament.
In 2011, Poland’s Foundation of Reporters recognized Mr. Leshchenko as the best journalist within the countries of the Eastern Partnership and, in 2012, he was awarded a John Smith Fellowship, based in London and Edinburgh, where he participated in a three-week program on good governance, social justice, and rule of law. In 2013, Mr. Leshchenko was awarded a Press Prize by the Norwegian Fritt Ord Foundation and the German ZEIT Foundation. He is the author of The American Saga of Pavlo Lazarenko, a book about investigations of former Ukrainian Prime Minister Pavlo Lazarenko conducted by U.S. law enforcement agencies. During his fellowship, Mr. Leshchenko is working on an article examining what went wrong after Ukraine’s Orange Revolution.
Nadia Diuk, a noted expert on Ukraine, is vice president of programs for Africa, Latin America, and Eurasia at the National Endowment for Democracy.
Matthew Kaminski is a member of The Wall Street Journal’s editorial board in New York.