#BlueStarBrief March 2022

This Month in the #BlueStarBrief
As many readers know, Blue Star Strategies has been working in Ukraine for the last two decades.  For us, Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is more than a headline.  We have many friends in Ukraine, people with whom we have been honored to work and to come to know.  We watch as Russian missiles destroy their homes, homes we were privileged to enter.  We watch as universities, hospitals, schools, and other institutions – institutions where we partnered for conferences and symposia – are destroyed by Russia’s indiscriminate bombs. While some of our friends have been able to leave, many more remain.  And, while the press speaks of 2 million refugees, they neglect to say that 40 million Ukrainians remain in their country, fighting for their freedom and their way of life as they struggle to stay alive.  This issue of the Blue Star Brief will provide an update on Ukraine – knowing the situation is changing every minute of every hour.  We will continue to do whatever we can to help the people of Ukraine, and we hope you will do the same.

Here's what we have for you in this month's #BlueStarBrief:

An Overview of the Reactions to the Russian Invasion from the U.S. and the EU

An Op-Ed from Andrew Evans, Friend and Former Colleague of Blue Star Strategies in Ukraine

Ways to Support Ukrainian Defenders Via the Ukrainian Freedom Fund

Reliable Sources for Current News and Analysis as Fighting Continues
No Mere Bystander - Europe Acts on Ukraine
By Étienne Bodard

Russia’s egregious invasion of Ukraine has prompted a global wave of anger and condemnation. Nowhere is this more apparent than in Europe, where many countries spent decades under Russian occupation. The invasion has prompted members of the European Union (EU) to react at an unprecedented speed to impose massive sanctions on the Russian leadership and economy. The jury is still out on the long-term consequences these measures will have on the conflict and on the Kremlin. However, the speed and scale of the EU’s response show that Europeans are determined not to be mere bystanders in this war.

Read more about Europe's response so far, and what is likely to come next, here.

A United Front - U.S. Actions Against Russia

Russia’s unprovoked invasion of Ukraine and its recognition of the independent Donetsk and Luhansk People’s Republics has prompted one of the largest internationally coordinated sanctions packages in history. While U.S. sanctions against Russia are not a new measure (the U.S. has used sanctions in response to Russia’s invasion of Crimea in 2014, election interference in 2016, and general threats to regional stability over the past decade), the current package of sanctions from the U.S., Europe and other NATO allies demonstrates a strong, united front against Russia’s continued escalation of hostilities in Ukraine and their violence against civilians and non-military institutions.

Read more about the existing U.S. sanctions package, reactions to Russia's invasion of Ukraine in the U.S., and the conversation about next steps here.

What I Want You to Know About Ukraine
By Andrew Evans

Andrew Evans, who has lived and worked extensively in Ukraine, reflects on his experiences in Ukraine, Ukraine's long history of "repeated invasion, massacre, exploitation, and oppression by its closest neighbor and largest foe: Russia," and what he thinks westerners should know about Ukraine as they watch the conflict unfold.

Read Andrew's piece here.

The Ukrainian Freedom Fund

The Ukrainian Freedom Fund, first established in Kyiv in April of 2014 in response to Russia's invasion of Crimea and Donbas, is an NGO committed to supporting a free, independent, and democratic Ukraine. The UFF facilitates donations from around the world, which it uses to purchase and distribute equipment and supplies to Ukrainian Defense Forces, as well as wounded soldiers and their families. The UFF has the endorsement of the National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine and the National Guard of Ukraine, along with several other Ukrainian and international entities.

To read more about the Freedom Fund and make a donation, click here.

Reliable Sources for Updates and Analysis

Thank you for reading this month’s #BlueStarBrief.

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