First COVID-19 vaccine administered in Ukraine

KYIV – Yevhen Horenko, an intensive care doctor who works in a COVID-19 ward in the Cherkasy Regional Hospital, became the first person in Ukraine to receive a vaccine against the coronavirus on February 24. The previous day, Ukraine received 500,000 doses of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine from India, a day after it was officially registered for use in the country on February 22.

More contentious issues surface between Kyiv and Moscow in the Minsk Contact Group

The latest session of the Minsk Contact Group (see EDM, February 18) lifted a curtain’s corner on several disputed issues that had not been publicly aired thus far. The Ukrainian delegation had raised these issues in a position paper within the Minsk Group in November 2020 (see below) but refrained from unveiling them outside this forum until now.

Ukraine Caucus co-chairs: Nord Stream 2 pipeline must never see completion

WASHINGTON – On February 24, the co-chairs of the bipartisan Congressional Ukraine Caucus – Reps. Marcy Kaptur (D-Ohio), Brian Fitzpatrick (R-Pa.), Mike Quigley (D-Ill.), Andy Harris (R-Md.) – released the following statement after the U.S. Department of State released its report on Nord Stream 2 as mandated by the Protecting Europe’s Energy Security Act (PEESA). The following statement released by the Ukraine Caucus reaffirms the Congressional intent that mandatory sanctions must be placed on the pipeline and all those engaged in sanctionable activity. Congress continues to stand with Ukraine as that nation continues to protect Europe’s eastern flank from Russian aggression and malign influence.

Reforming territorial defense in Ukraine: danger in delay

Late last year, on December 16, the Ukrainian parliament took up a new draft bill (No. 4504) on territorial defense (, December 16, 2020). The proposed legislation, written by a group of lawmakers headed by Andrii Sharaskin, is based on recommendations from domestic experts as well as foreign advisors on how to reform Ukraine’s outdated system of territorial defense (TD).

The political struggle in Kyiv heats up

The battles at the heart of Ukraine’s political and interconnected economic systems are intensifying. The stakes are being raised and clearly the knives are out.

In this situation where, as is usual in the Ukrainian context, so much happens behind the scenes and transparency is not a given, it is important to try and make sense of what is seen and what can be gauged.

UCU awards Ukrainian doctors the Light of Justice Award

LVIV – Olha Martynenko and Ivan Venzhynovych received the Light of Justice Award from the Ukrainian Catholic University (UCU) at a ceremony here on February 17. The award recognized their moral, spiritual and ethical leadership.

Will anyone answer for the killings on Maidan?

It has been seven years since the worst day of bloodshed on Maidan (known as Independence Square) left 49 activists dead and over 150 injured. Of the only five men who face trial over the killings on February 20, 2014, three are now in hiding, with the trial of the remaining two men only just beginning again. On February 17, Ukraine’s parliament finally voted in its first reading on a bill which could make it possible to try the three fugitives in absentia.