How are Ukraine’s reforms coming along? It depends who you ask. During a recent visit to Kyiv, I heard a wide range of views.
“Reforms are painful, slow, and haven’t passed the tipping point yet,” said Orysia Lutsevych, manager of the Ukraine Forum at London’s Chatham House, during the Kyiv Security Forum on April 14-15. “It’s very important for the West not to be discouraged,” she urged, adding that the West needs to keep a wider view on what’s happening in cities outside of Kyiv, like Odesa and Lviv. “These places are real laboratories of change,” she said.
Olena Haluskha, international relations manager at Ukraine’s Reanimation Package of Reforms, agreed with Lutsevych that the 2015 reforms aren’t yet irreversible, but contends that part of the problem is that “reforms aren’t properly communicated.”
There’s some truth to that statement. When I quizzed a 36-year-old small business owner from Kyiv about the 2015 reforms one afternoon, she furrowed her brow and asked, “What reforms?”