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Ukraine and Eastern Europe

Stories under this heading cover Ukraine and Eastern Europe. 

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Editor's choice
Opinion
Opinion: Safe passage for Ukrainian grain exports through the Black Sea is a humanitarian necessity

Opinion: Safe passage for Ukrainian grain exports through the Black Sea is a humanitarian necessity

Disruption of Ukrainian grain exports is causing a global humanitarian food crisis. Measures need to be taken to create a humanitarian task force to ensure safe passage for export of Ukrainian grain to the rest of the world through the Black Sea and the Turkish Straits, argues Maximiliaan van Lange in this op-ed for commonspace.eu. Russia's blackmailing of the world with global hunger and food shortages among the world's poorest people must also be severely condemned by the international community. The current circumstances, in many ways, resemble the Holodomor, the Stalin-created famine in Ukraine in 1932-1933, that killed millions. The fact that Moscow is using grain as a weapon again in the twenty-first century is despicable and abhorrent. Global cooperation is therefore necessary to resolve this crisis, beginning with an internationally agreed humanitarian escort mission in the Black Sea, otherwise the consequences will be unforeseen.
Editor's choice
Interview
Interview with Ukrainian politician and activist Hanna Hopko: "Russia will not break us"

Interview with Ukrainian politician and activist Hanna Hopko: "Russia will not break us"

One hundred days ago, on 24 February, Russia invaded Ukraine in an attempt to overthrow the country's democratic government and install a puppet regime. This objective failed, but the war goes on, especially in the Donbass region where heavy fighting is taking place. Commonspace.eu interviewed Hanna Hopko, a Ukrainian politician and activist, who previously served as Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the Ukrainian Parliament and is today at the forefront of several important humanitarian initiatives. Hopko  speaks about Ukraine's frustration with Europe's long standing failure to appreciate Ukraine properly. She speaks about the heroism of young Ukrainians who are fighting off current Russian aggression, and recalls the loss of some of her own friends who have died in battle or have been imprisoned. Hopko however remains optimistic about the future, referring to the Ukraine Recovery Plan that is already being prepared. She speaks about the country's hopes to be granted EU candidate status later this month: "Ukraine will not except any plan B. Only candidate status.  Our aspiration to apply to EU membership is a result of the long fight of Ukrainians for the right to be part of a free European family. It is based on our achievements in transformations of the country despite Russian continues efforts to break us." Read the interview in full.