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At Risk and in Need: Recommendations To Help The Most Vulnerable People Displaced From Ukraine

June 8, 2022

The war in Ukraine has led to the largest refugee crisis in Europe since World War II, and one of the fastest large-scale displacements in history.The international community has provided an unprecedented level of support to people fleeing Ukraine, but despite this response, vulnerable populations are at risk.In this policy brief HIAS examines the serious protection risks that certain groups -- women and girls; unaccompanied and separated children; LGBTQ individuals; people with disabilities; and non-Ukrainian refugees, asylum seekers, and stateless persons -- are experiencing. HIAS recommends ways the EU, U.S., and UN agencies can address these gaps, including funding local civil society organizations and increasing efforts to combat trafficking, exploitation, and abuse.

Interim security insights and implications from the first two months of the Russia-Ukraine war

May 12, 2022

Russia's ongoing struggles during its invasion of Ukraine have led some to suggest that the Russian military lacks the capability to credibly threaten the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and its member states. However, narrowly focusing on Russia's tactical and operational struggles, while omitting the flawed Russian strategic decisionmaking which underpinned the invasion, is a dangerous approach. While Russia's significant losses in this war will clearly degrade its ability to conduct large scale offensive operations against NATO in the short term, it is too soon to write off the medium to long-term threat posed by Russia. Therefore, as the Russian invasion enters a new phase, it is useful to determine what lessons should and should not be derived from this conflict. In our subsequent analysis, we analyze these initial insights and provide policy recommendations for NATO to enhance its conventional capability and strengthen its ability to credibly deter future Russian aggression.

Americans’ Concerns About War in Ukraine: Wider Conflict, Possible U.S.-Russia Clash

May 10, 2022

Pew Research Center conducted this study to better understand Americans' attitudes about the Russian invasion of Ukraine as well as the Biden administration's response to the invasion. For this analysis, we surveyed 5,074 U.S. adults in May 2022. Everyone who took part in this survey is a member of the Center's American Trends Panel (ATP), an online survey panel that is recruited through national, random sampling of residential addresses. This way nearly all U.S. adults have a chance of selection. The survey is weighted to be representative of the U.S. adult population by gender, race, ethnicity, partisan affiliation, education and other categories.

How Russia’s Invasion of Ukraine Is Affecting Global Agricultural Markets

May 2, 2022

The war in Ukraine has roiled commodity markets and raised concerns about global food security. Ongoing fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic and other factors had already driven up food prices before Russia's invasion. Poor harvests in South America, strong global demand, and supply-chain issues reduced grain and oilseed inventories, driving prices to their highest levels since 2011–13. Vegetable oil prices have also been at record levels, reflecting a short South American soybean crop, reduced palm oil supplies due to harvest problems in Malaysia, and sharply increased use of palm and soybean oil for biodiesel production. Prices of key energy-intensive inputs such as fuel, fertilizer, and pesticides have also been at near-record levels.Russia's invasion of Ukraine will further disrupt global markets, hurt global grain supplies in the short term, and, by disrupting natural gas and fertilizer markets, negatively affect producers as they enter a new planting season. This could further increase already high food prices and have serious consequences for low-income net food–importing countries, many of which have seen an increase in malnourishment rates3 over the past few years in the face of pandemic disruptions.

IRC assessment of humanitarian needs of refugees fleeing Ukraine in Poland

April 1, 2022

Months of escalating hostility towards Ukraine have culminated in an estimated 4 million refugees having fled the country. As of March 26, 2022, 2.2M people have fled to neighbouring Poland.Many have been welcomed by the Ukrainian diaspora in Poland, many more are being hosted by Polish families, and the rest reside in recently established shelters and reception centers. While the Polish government, Polish NGOs, UN agencies, and local civil society actors have provided multisectoral relief across the country, this rapid needs assessment aims to better understand the priority needs, vulnerabilities, and barriers to accessing information, services, and humanitarian support that people fleeing the conflict in Ukraine face in Poland, including those experienced by groups with heightened vulnerability. This assessment will be used to inform the IRC's strategic response to these displaced populations in Poland and will be widely shared with the overall humanitarian community, including with Polish civil society and governmental bodies who have provided rapid and much needed relief to people fleeing the conflict in Ukraine. 

Zelenskyy inspires widespread confidence from U.S. public as views of Putin hit new low

March 30, 2022

Weeks after Russia invaded his country, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy draws overwhelmingly positive ratings from the American public for his handling of international affairs. Around seven-in-ten Americans (72%) have a lot or some confidence in Zelenskyy, higher than any other international leader asked about in a new Pew Research Center survey.

Seeking Accountability and Justice for Crimes Committed in Ukraine

March 29, 2022

Russia's invasion of Ukraine is a clear violation of the U.N. Charter and threatens to upend the rules-based international order established after World War II. With each passing day, there are a growing number of reports of indiscriminate attacks by Russia that likely constitute war crimes. Global outcry over Russia's alleged atrocities has included war crimes accusations at the highest levels, with President Joe Biden calling Russian President Vladimir Putin "a war criminal."To ensure accountability for crimes committed—and to attempt to deter future ones—it is imperative that the international community act swiftly to pursue justice; establish accountability mechanisms where needed for those committing crimes in Ukraine, including war crimes, crimes against humanity, and the crime of aggression; and enforce penalties. While these steps are unlikely to alter Putin's current course, if Russian soldiers and lower-level leaders see that there is a unified and determined effort to ensure they will be held accountable for atrocities committed against the Ukrainian people, they may change their calculus in carrying out Putin's orders. The international community's message must be clear: Russia's acts of aggression and any human rights violations against the Ukrainian people will not go unpunished.

After a month of war, Ukrainian refugee crisis ranks among the world’s worst in recent history

March 25, 2022

Russia's invasion of Ukraine has created one of the biggest refugee crises of modern times. A month into the war, more than 3.7 million Ukrainians have fled to neighboring countries – the sixth-largest refugee outflow over the past 60-plus years, according to a Pew Research Center analysis of United Nations data.

PPIC Statewide Survey: Californians and Their Government (March 2022)

March 24, 2022

The world order was upended when the Russian military invaded Ukraine, an action that has caused widespread death and destruction. In response, the international community imposed harsh economic sanctions on the Russian government. Californians felt the shock waves through rising prices at the gasoline pump that added further fuel to inflation fears. In recent weeks, COVID-19 cases have plummeted and the omicron surge has given way to an easing of mask and vaccination restrictions. Meanwhile, statewide and legislative candidates for the California June primary made their plans known by the March 11 deadline. This report presents the key findings of a statewide survey on state and national issues conducted by the Public Policy Institute of California from March 6 to 17, 2022.

Crisis in Ukraine: Humanitarian and Human Rights Imperatives

March 21, 2022

The Refugees International Investigation:From March 2 through March 9, 2022, a Refugees International (RI) team traveled to Poland in the wake of the renewed Russian invasion of Ukraine. The team traveled some 600 miles in eastern Poland, visiting border crossings and reception areas in cities hosting people who had fled Ukraine. They met with refugees; members of Polish civil society; and United Nations, U.S. government, and Polish officials.The Ukraine Crisis:As a result of the Russian invasion, Ukraine is in a human rights and humanitarian crisis. About 6.48 million people are estimated to be displaced within the borders of Ukraine, and more than 3.3 million people have fled Ukraine, becoming refugees. The vast majority of refugees are women and children, who are at particular risk of trafficking, sexual exploitation, and gender-based violence. More than 2 million of the refugees are in Poland.The Global Response:The speed and breadth of the international response to the crisis has been unprecedented and generous, with the European Union, the United States, and other donor governments contributing generously to aid efforts. The EU is providing legal status and protections to people who have sought or are seeking refuge from the war in EU countries. A very welcome development, it stands in sharp contrast to European responses to refugee flight from outside the continent—but should be the norm.Refugees in Poland (And Elsewhere in the Region):In Poland and other receiving countries, the UN, EU, and other donors must support governments and civil society to meet refugees' reception and integration needs in the immediate and longer term. These include safe accommodation, medical and mental healthcare, and access to education and employment. An effective response will be grounded in local civil society organizations, investing in their capacity to scale existing services. Swiftly developing government initiatives to responsibly collect and share information about aid efforts within and across borders is necessary to strengthen protections and avoid trafficking, exploitation, and other rights abuses in the region.Unfortunately, non-Ukrainians—in particular Black and brown individuals—who have fled Ukraine have faced greater obstacles in reception and integration, with problems emerging on both sides of borders. The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), the EU, and other leaders have publicly urged that everyone fleeing Ukraine be allowed into the EU, regardless of race or nationality.The Humanitarian Crisis within Ukraine's Borders:Even as States take on the responsibility of welcoming refugees fleeing Ukraine—a challenge Europe can manage—they must give urgent attention to what is emerging as a far more formidable challenge: the humanitarian emergency within Ukraine. Conflict, and especially the Russian bombardment of civilian institutions and inability of civilians to flee in safety, has created an overwhelming internal crisis, exacerbating an already dire situation. Moreover, several factors suggest that the situation will become even more desperate. In particular, as the Russian military's offensive has become frustrated, it is laying siege to population centers and creating enormous suffering.War Crimes and Crimes Against Humanity in Ukraine:Refugees International is persuaded that the Russian military and the Russian government are responsible for war crimes and crimes against humanity in Ukraine. They must end such abuses and must be held accountable for a broad range of widespread, indiscriminate, and what clearly appear to be cruel, deliberate, and unprovoked attacks against civilians in Ukraine and against civilian institutions.

Public Expresses Mixed Views of U.S. Response to Russia’s Invasion of Ukraine

March 15, 2022

Three weeks into Russia's military invasion of Ukraine, nearly half of Americans (47%) approve of the Biden administration's handling of the Russian invasion, while about four-in-ten (39%) disapprove; 13% say they are not sure.Roughly a third of Americans (32%) say that the United States is providing about the right amount of support to Ukraine as it fights to hold off the Russian invasion. A larger share – 42% – say the U.S. should be providing more support to Ukraine, while just 7% say it is providing too much support. About one-in-five (19%) say they are not sure.The new Pew Research Center survey, conducted March 7-13, 2022, among 10,441 U.S. adults on the Center's American Trends Panel, finds wide partisan differences in views of the administration's handling of the crisis and the level of support the U.S. has provided to Ukraine.

The Brookings Sanctions Tracker

March 14, 2022

The world's democracies are employing financial and economic countermeasures in the fight against Russia's invasion of Ukraine on Feb. 24. The extent of these sanctions is staggering. To analyze the scope and potential impact of these sanctions, it is essential to systematically monitor and track them—which is why we are launching the Brookings Sanctions Tracker.  Our goal is for this tracker to serve as a timely and user-friendly tool for civil society organizations, policymakers, and others who seek to analyze the current landscape of specific restrictive measures imposed against Russia (both on an individual nation basis and across the international community), generate analysis on trends and gaps, and inform recommendations on how to combat corruption, advance accountability, and defend democracy.  

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