Special Evening to Celebrate the Ukrainian Emerging Leaders Program

The event was comprised of a panel and a performance by Sviatoslav Vakarchuk, lead singer of the band Okean Elzy and visiting scholar at CDDRL, and pianist Fima Chupakhin.

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About the Event

This special evening hosted by Stanford’s Center on Democracy, Development, and the Rule of Law on November 28, 2017, brought together 200 community members to celebrate the Ukrainian Emerging Leaders Program, to raise support for the Program's pilot year and its future. The event featured a panel of experts to explore US-Ukraine relations and a special performance by Sviatoslav Vakarchuk, a visiting scholar and inaugural donor to the Program.

Francis Fukuyama, CDDRL Mosbacher Director

"The conflict in Ukraine has come to represent a conflict of values between countries that seek to become genuine democracies, and those that are kleptocratic regimes." (10:21)

Taras Shevchenko, Stanford DHSF '07

"What are the possible optimistic scenarios for strengthening development and democracy in Ukraine? Is it small improvements on what Ukraine is already doing or is it bigger steps?" (1:18:20)

Rustem Umerov, Astem.Foundation

"If we want to change Ukraine we must start with education. It is important to organize an ongoing flow of modern education for people who will create a platform for future changes in state affairs." (3:53)

Sviatoslav Vakarchuk, CDDRL Visiting Scholar

"Ambassador McFaul, if you were president of Russia, what would you do first regarding Ukraine?" (1:12:13)

US-Ukraine Relations

The panel was a discussion with experts in Ukrainian political affairs, including Ambassador of Ukraine to the US H. E. Valeriy Chaly, the CEO of Horizon Capital Lenna Koszarny and Director of the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies and former ambassador to Russia Michael McFaul, with Francis Fukuyama, Mosbacher Director of CDDRL, as the moderator.

Fukuyama explained the importance of why Ukraine, and why now. In terms of world politics today, he said, Ukraine occupies a very central role. Ukraine's development as a democratic nation is juxtaposed with the case of Russia—a country that had once tried to be democratic that has now moved seriously towards authoritarianism. This conflict between Ukraine and Russia has come to represent a conflict of values between countries that seek to become genuine democracies, and those that are kleptocratic regimes.
The three speakers contributed their expert perspectives on elements of Ukraine's democratic development. 

H.E. Valeriy Chalyi put the vital relationship between Ukraine and the US in the context of international security concerns. In particular he noted that Western support is not only vital for Ukraine’s security on its eastern flank, but that supporting Ukraine is crucial for the security of Europe as a whole. 

Lenna Koszarny discussed the positives of the Ukrainian economic situation despite misconceptions about the political situation. In particular she highlighted how far Ukraine has come in regards to economic development in the last three years.

Finally, Professor Michael McFaul provided his diplomatic insight on the relationship of US-Ukraine relations with Russian policy. He outlined how the US can learn from Putin’s perspectives on Ukrainian policy, and what governments can do to challenge Putin on these points. 



The final portion of the evening was a special benefit concert for the program. Sviatoslav Vakarchuk and New York-based jazz pianist Fima Chupakhin performed in variety of styles, from traditional Ukrainian folk songs to American jazz standards.


Святослав Вакарчук заспівав у Стенфордському університеті


Вакарчук дав камерний концерт у стінах Стенфордського університету