The Ukraine Maidan revolution from 2013 to 2014 united all levels of society against a Soviet-inspired socio-economic system people no longer accepted. Since gaining independence in 1991, Ukraine has fought constantly to end the oligarchy, corruption and financial instability that have plunged its people into poverty. The Maidan Revolution emerged in every region of the country and triggered a vast programme of structural reforms that aimed to improve the state’s institutions as well as social well-being.
Since then, the focus has been on initiating political, economic and social transitions in the country with the support of a host of national, international and multilateral actors. But the promised reforms have often faced formidable obstacles: an armed conflict, the COVID-19 pandemic, and the energy and environmental transition have presented the Ukrainian authorities with further challenges. With so much work to do and so many actors involved, it gradually became clear to all that coordination would have to be reinforced (see next article).
Russia's military attack on Ukraine on 24 February poses a major challenge to the transition process. The priorities of the Ukrainian government are changing and reforms are being delayed. In the face of the fighting, the humanitarian situation is coming to the fore, and dialogue and reconciliation processes appear to have been suspended. The challenges in the areas of peace, economy and sustainable development will undoubtedly be even greater after the war.
Switzerland’s existing engagement will continue where possible under the strictest security measures. At the same time, resources will be shifted to meet Ukraine’s changing needs and planned with reconstruction in mind.