Dr. Olexiy Haran

Head of Research, Professor of Politics 

Biography: shorturl.at/CLSU9

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2 November 2020

Not taking sides

In Ukraine, Olexiy Haran, a political scientist at the National University of Kyiv-Mohyla Academy, Research Director Democratic Initiatives Foundation (DIF), said Ukrainians, perennially fearful of an escalating conflict with Russia, were "grateful" for Trump's eventual decision to authorize the sale to Ukraine of a Javelin, shoulder-mounted anti-tank missile system. It was an allegation that Trump, during a phone call with Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelensky, explicitly linked this purchase to a demand that Ukraine investigate Biden and his son over unsubstantiated corruption claims that formed the basis of the impeachment inquiry into Trump. 

However, Haran said Ukrainians also recognized that Biden would be a more "predictable" leader for their government to deal with. "The important thing for Ukraine is, we can't take sides in who should be the next U.S. president," he said. 

Haran added that, whatever the outcome of the vote on Nov. 3, Ukrainians wanted to see an end to their country's name constantly being associated with corruption and foreign scandals that most Ukrainians view as originating with pro-Russian oligarchs.