The war raging in Ukraine’s South East since 2014 had already been the deadliest conflict in Europe since the 1990s. Until 2021, over 14,000 deaths were recorded – result of Russia’s illegal annexation of Crimea and its arming and aiding of so-called “separatists” in the Donetsk and Luhansk regions. With the Russian full-scale invasion of 24 February 2022, the war has significantly escalated. This day marks a historic turning point for Europe. Germany’s Chancellor Olaf Scholz correctly invoked the term “Zeitenwende” to describe the sea-change for European security.
In this arduous moment of Ukraine’s history, our work is focused on supporting Ukraine’s efforts at both governmental and societal levels to sustain resilience, ensure military, political, economic, and humanitarian assistance, as well as to plan the reconstruction.
The war has accelerated Ukraine's push to join the European Union and NATO. FES is committed to supporting Ukraine’s European integration and bringing its society closer to the EU. We support societal contacts with Ukraine’s neighbours whose support is crucial, not least because of their accommodation of a huge number of refugees. Baltic and Central European EU member states are also an important inspiration for Ukraine’s future reform path.
Additionally, Ukrainian diplomacy has become significantly more active in the Global South. FES Ukraine provides support to expert diplomacy and aims to help Ukraine’s civil society be better heard and known both in Europe and other regions of the world. Engaging Ukraine in shaping the future European and global order will be key to achieving lasting peace.