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News / February 24, 2023

Defending Democracy: The Future of Ukraine


One year into Russia’s war on Ukraine, we take a look at how Ukrainians are preparing for life after war, their relentless optimism and their deep dedication to keeping the wheels of justice rolling, in this fourth and final episode of the limited series, “Defending Democracy: Ukraine”.

Last February, the International Foundation for Electoral Systems Head of Political and Legal Affairs Alisa Shushkovska fled Kyiv with her child, when rockets flew past their apartment window. But even as she navigated life as a refugee abroad, she never stopped working towards the future of Ukraine. Alisa is the fiber on which Ukraine will prevail amid this war. She takes time from her work to discuss with Adrienne what free and fair elections look like in post-war Ukraine.

Then, the powerhouse director of Ukraine’s first organization to win the Nobel Peace Prize for documenting more than 28,000 alleged Russian war crimes since 2014, Oleksandra Matviichuk, calls for a new international tribunal to hold Russian President Putin accountable. The 2022 Nobel Laureate gives Adrienne a haunting account of what she has seen and explains how she believes the international community can restore justice for the victims of this deadly aggression.

Plus, it’s often said that Ukraine is fighting two wars. Hear from President Zelenskyy’s pick to run the cabinet-level National Agency on Corruption Prevention, Oleksandr Novikov. He is a man on a mission who will stop at nothing to combat corruption, defend democracy, and protect the future of Ukraine.

Democracy! The Podcast is brought to you by the Consortium for Elections and Political Process Strengthening (CEPPS) with support from the United States Agency for International Development through the Democratic Elections and Political Processes Award.

Find this episode on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and the player below:



Special thanks to: 

  • Oleksandra Matviichuk, Director, Center for Civil Liberties (Ukraine), 2022 Nobel Laureate 
  • Oleksandr Novikov, Head of the National Agency on Corruption Prevention
  • Alisa Shushkovska, Head of Political and Legal Affairs & Senior Advisor, The International Foundation for Electoral Systems


Key Links from the Episode:  


This podcast is made possible by the generous support of the American people through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) through CEPPS. Established in 1995, CEPPS pools the expertise of three premier international organizations dedicated to democratic development: IFES, IRI, and NDI. The opinions expressed herein are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of USAID or the United States Government. 
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