Former Ukrainian President to Speak at U-M about Democracy


By Rachel Brichta
Sep 19, 2013 Bookmark and Share

Viktor Yushchenko

DATE: October 3, 4:00 PM

The Weiser Center for Emerging Democracies at the University of Michigan will host Viktor Yushchenko, President of Ukraine from 2005–10, for a lecture titled, “Shades of Orange: A Decade of Ukrainian Democracy,” on Thursday, October 3 at 4:00 PM. Yushchenko came to office as the result of the 2004 Orange Revolution, which brought millions of Ukrainians to the streets for weeks to demand freedom, justice, and rule of law. His presidential term saw free, transparent, and fair elections; media freedom; reduced government debt; vast growth in foreign investment; and consistent efforts to integrate Ukraine into global economic institutions and the Euro-Atlantic community. A decade after the Orange Revolution, there is an ongoing struggle for Ukraine to remain on the path to democracy amid difficult political conflicts. “The Weiser Center for Emerging Democracies focuses on the conditions under which democracies can flourish—and as a critical player in the Orange Revolution and beyond, President Yushchenko will offer a unique perspective on the challenges of building democratic governments, ” said Anna Grzymala-Busse, Weiser Center Director.

President Yushchenko’s lecture is the feature event marking the fifth anniversary of the Weiser Center for Europe and Eurasia and the Weiser Center for Emerging Democracies, which were inaugurated in 2008 thanks to the generosity of Ambassador Ronald Weiser and Eileen Weiser. In its first five years, the Weiser Center has supported faculty research, awarded graduate fellowships, fostered relationships with scholars from Europe and Eurasia, and sponsored hundreds of events for U-M and community audiences.

During President Yushchenko’s visit to U-M, he will meet with students in the Slavic Department to discuss current events in Ukraine. Exhibits highlighting Ukraine will be ongoing throughout the month of October, featuring Ukrainian artwork, traditional handiwork, and memorabilia from Yushchenko’s presidential campaign. For a full list of events, visit www.ii.umich.edu/wcee.

PLACE: Rackham Amphitheatre, 915 E. Washington, Ann Arbor

SPONSORS: Weiser Center for Emerging Democracies; Center for Russian, East European, and Eurasian Studies; Department of Slavic Languages and Literatures; College of Literature, Science, and the Arts; International Institute; Rackham Graduate School; Ukrainian Future Credit Union


The Ronald and Eileen Weiser Center for Europe and Eurasia (WCEE) supports faculty and student research, teaching, collaboration, and public engagement in studying the institutions, cultures, and histories of these regions. WCEE is housed in the University of Michigan International Institute with the Center for European Studies (CES); the Center for Russian, East European, and Eurasian Studies (CREES); and the Weiser Center for Emerging Democracies (WCED). Named in honor of Ronald and Eileen Weiser and inspired by their time in Slovakia during Ambassador Weiser’s service as U.S. ambassador from 2001-04, WCEE began operations in September 2008. For more information, visit www.ii.umich.edu/wcee.

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