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Spotlight on Poland: Negative Views of Russia Surge, but Ratings for U.S., NATO, EU Improve

June 22, 2022

The Russian invasion of Ukraine has led to a dramatic shift in attitudes in Poland, a key European partner and one which only three decades ago was part of the former Soviet Union's Eastern Bloc. Negative attitudes among Poles towards Russia are at all-time highs since Pew Research Center began tracking opinion on this question in 2007, with virtually unanimous negative opinions of the Russian state. Currently, 94% see Russia as a major threat, up from 65% who said this in 2018, and 94% have no confidence at all in Russian President Vladimir Putin -- also an all-time high. The sharp decline in positive attitudes toward Russia has benefited Poland's western allies, specifically the United States, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and the European Union (Poland is a member of both NATO and the EU). Around nine-in-ten Poles have a favorable view of the U.S., NATO and the EU, all of which represent the highest shares since 2007. In terms of Poland's relationship with the U.S., the increase in favorable attitudes toward America coincides with a strong 82% confidence rating for U.S. President Joe Biden, a marked increase from the 51% who had confidence in former President Donald Trump in 2019. In addition, roughly two-thirds in Poland see having a close relationship with the U.S. as more important than having one with Russia. Only 1% want a closer relationship with Russia, while 28% volunteer that both are equally important. Just three years ago, more than half of Poles (53%) offered that both relationships are equally important.

International Attitudes Toward the U.S., NATO and Russia in a Time of Crisis

June 22, 2022

This Pew Research Center analysis focuses on public opinion of the United States, Russia and NATO in 17 countries in North America, Europe, the Middle East and the Asia-Pacific region. The report draws on nationally representative surveys of 19,903 adults from Feb. 14 to May 11, 2022. All surveys were conducted over the phone with adults in Canada, Belgium, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain, Sweden, the United Kingdom, Japan, Malaysia, Singapore and South Korea. Surveys were conducted face to face in Poland and Israel and online in Australia.Data collection began a week prior to Russia's invasion of Ukraine in Canada, France, Germany, Italy, the UK and Japan. All other countries began fieldwork the same day as or shortly after the invasion. Due to the time it takes to translate, program and test questions on our international surveys, we prioritized gathering data at the start of this significant international event rather than delaying, or pausing, fieldwork to add questions specifically about the war or the actions taken by world leaders in response. Analysis focuses on ratings of Presidents Joe Biden and Vladimir Putin, the countries they lead and NATO as the war in Ukraine was unfolding. In this report, the data is discussed in the context of over a decade of cross-national trends.Views of Russia and NATO also include data from the United States. We surveyed 3,581 U.S. adults from March 21 to 27, 2022, after the start of the war in Ukraine. Everyone who took part in this survey is a member of the Center's American Trends Panel (ATP), an online survey panel that is recruited through national, random sampling of residential addresses. This way nearly all U.S. adults have a chance of selection. The survey is weighted to be representative of the U.S. adult population by gender, race, ethnicity, partisan affiliation, education and other categories.

Attacks on Hospitals from Syria to Ukraine: Improving Prevention and Accountability Mechanisms

June 14, 2022

When Russia invaded Ukraine on February 24, 2022, it soon began implementing one of its frequent--and criminal--tactics that it had already been using in its military intervention in Syria: bombing healthcare and medical facilities. Syrian government forces first began targeting health workers in Syria in 2011 at the start of the Syria crisis, and Russia joined them in targeting the healthcare system upon its official entrance to the conflict in 2015. Over the course of the conflict, over 90 percent of 601 recorded attacks on medical facilities were attributable to either Syrian or Russian forces. In Ukraine, Russia has reportedly perpetrated more than 200 attacks on healthcare facilities and ambulances since the start of the invasion. The well-documented pattern of targeted attacks on healthcare in Syria and Ukraine undermines long-established and hard-won provisions under international humanitarian law intended to protect civilians during conflict. Despite the scale of the problem, which extends beyond Syria and Ukraine, there has been no prominent criminal prosecution of any alleged perpetrators of attacks on healthcare in any conflict, no establishment of a UN mandate dedicated to this issue, and no task force created by national governments specifically aimed at prevention of and accountability for these crimes. The international community's failure to compel meaningful action to stop the criminal practice of targeting healthcare in conflict after conflict has resulted in continued deaths of health workers and civilian populations.In a new issue brief by the Atlantic Council Strategic Litigation Project's Elise Baker and Gissou Nia, the two propose recommendations to UN bodies, the World Health Organization, national governments and other institutions and decision makers for concrete actions to prevent future attacks and advance accountability for past ones.

“Anyone can die at any time”: Indiscriminate attacks by Russian forces in Kharkiv, Ukraine

June 13, 2022

From the beginning of their invasion of Ukraine in February 2022, Russian forces launched a relentless campaign of indiscriminate bombardments against Kharkiv, Ukraine's second-biggest city. They shelled residential neighbourhoods almost daily, killing and injuring hundreds of civilians and causing wholesale destruction, often using widely banned cluster munitions.

U.S. Gun Policy: Global Comparisons

June 10, 2022

The United States is witnessing another year of record gun violence, raising domestic and international scrutiny of its comparatively loose gun laws and placing pressure on lawmakers to enact meaningful reforms.

Documentation and Benefit Eligibility for Ukrainians

June 8, 2022

Since the start of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the number of Ukrainians seeking safety in the United States has rapidly risen. This fact sheet outlines the three main legal pathways and their corresponding benefit eligibility, that Ukrainians are utilizing in the United States. These include 1) Temporary Protected Status (TPS); 2) Humanitarian Parole and the Uniting for Ukraine Program; and 3) the Lautenberg Program.

Charity in times of war

June 6, 2022

The full-scale Russian invasion of Ukraine in one way or another has significantly affected all life processes in the country. The charity and civil society were no exception and were among the first mechanisms that managed to quickly mobilize and adapt their work to the challenges of wartime.In the short period since February 24, many changes have taken place in the field of charity. Many new volunteer, community-based and charitable organizations and initiatives have been established. The existing organizations changed the focus of their main activity. At the same time, there is an unprecedented increase in the number of donations and support for the sector.In addition to the changes, there are a number of challenges faced by representatives of Ukrainian charity – including logistical difficulties, loss of staff due to evacuation, inability to continue ongoing projects or consolidate efforts and resources to implement statutory activities due to a general change in priorities.However, all changes and developments should be thoroughly systematized and verified to assess their feasibility and scale. Consistent research and relevant data enable choosing the most appropriate strategy for working with the sector, which certainly needs support.Keeping our hands on the pulse of Ukrainian philanthropy, we at Zagoriy Foundation decided to conduct a qualitative study of the sector during the full-scale war to identify and describe the main changes and trends and contribute to effective development and support of the sector.

How Best (Not) to Address the Ukraine Crisis

June 6, 2022

Russia's invasion of Ukraine has disrupted global wheat, corn, and other markets. Given relatively low global stocks for major staple foodstuffs, many analysts predict that food insecurity will increase among poor households in low-income countries. Understandably, many world leaders, including the Biden administration, are concerned about how to best address a potential global hunger crisis. However, in the rush to "do something," leaders need to consider the most efficient policies to address the crisis and avoid ill-considered policies that may do little to address the actual problems and could result in unintended consequences that may linger well past the crisis itself.The most effective way of addressing global food supply concerns would be an immediate end to the war and rebuilding critical infrastructures such as rail lines, storage facilities, and port facilities to allow Ukraine's agricultural sector access to global markets. To that end, the UN secretary general's efforts to end the blockade of Ukraine grain shipping and support the establishment of a blue corridor by sea or a green corridor overland to move foodstuffs from Ukraine should be supported. Unfortunately, the likelihood of a quick end to the war looks increasingly faint, and Russia has given no signs that it would consider granting safe passage of Ukraine food exports through the Black Sea.The Biden administration has recently put forward a set of proposals aimed at increasing US agricultural production, lowering fertilizer costs, and providing humanitarian food aid to those hurt by the sharp increase in agricultural prices. Here we consider these proposals and other questionable policies such as opening the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) and conclude by discussing policies that could provide more immediate relief by addressing and mitigating constraints in the vegetable oil market.

Flying Towards Climate Failure: An Analysis of the Seven Biggest European Airline Groups

June 2, 2022

Globally, aviation is a major contributor to rising greenhouse gas emissions (GHG). In recent years, annual emissions from aviation have increased by 4-5%, up to the start of the COVID crisis in 2020. Although the pandemic has led to a temporary decline in aviation emissions, air travel is projected to return to its skyrocketing pre-pandemic levels as early as 2024. Without political action to counter its growth prospects, the aviation industry will become one of the biggest emitting sectors globally and by 2050 it will have consumed up to a quarter of the global carbon budget for achieving the 1.5°C Paris Agreement goal.Under pressure for their skyrocketing emissions, some actors in the aviation sector have recently pledged to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050. But no company in the sector has pledged to effectively cut greenhouse gas emissions in order to achieve real-zero decarbonisation. Instead, the industry and political leaders are relying on excessive optimism about false or technological solutions, such as carbon offsetting, electric planes and alternative fuels that are either ineffective, harmful for the environment or a long way from being viable in the coming decades or easily available at the required volumes. Researchers have highlighted that these "technology myths" are stalling the necessary progress in climate policy for aviation. While other transport sectors, such as rail and road, can – to a certain extent – directly use electricity based on renewable sources such as solar and wind power, similar solutions do not yet exist for aviation. The goal of real-zero emissions will not be achieved without a significant reduction in flights.

Shocked into action: Answering multiple threats to security, European countries are accelerating the shift from fossil fuels towards renewables.

June 1, 2022

In this report, CREA and Ember analyse European national responses to the gas crisis and Russia's war on Ukraine. They show that the majority of European countries have significantly stepped up their ambition in terms of renewable energy deployment since 2019, while decreasing planned 2030 fossil fuel generation to shield themselves from geopolitical threats.

Russia, the use of force and self-defence – The continued relevance of Public International Law

June 1, 2022

In a speech delivered by Russian Federation President Vladimir Putin, justifying his invasion and attack on Ukraine on 24 February 2022, he claimed that he was lauching a 'special military operation' in self-defence due to the expansion of NATO eastward, and the increasing military, technology and other capabilities of Western states posing a security threat to Russia (Putin, 2022). He also argued that the Russian Federation was acting in collective self-defence with the Ukrainian regions: Donetsk and Luhansk, which had declared independence earlier in Feburary 2022 and had been unilaterally recognised by Russia. Without providing evidence Putin claims, that the Russian-speaking population of Donetsk and Luhansk are "facing humiliation and genocide, perpetrated by the Kyiv regime" (Putin, 2022). He alleged that the 'special military operation' was not an occupation, nor did it intend to interfere with the interests of the Ukrainian people, but rather that it was a response to the hostage-taking of Ukraine by neo-Nazis and Western powers. It should come as no surprise that the West's perspective is the exact opposite, accusing the Russian Federation of violating international law and the rules governing self-defence (Kerr, 2022). In the face of Russia's unjustified use of for against Ukraine, and the apparent inability of the international community's mechanisms and institutions to reign, Putin, in the continuined relevance of international law needs to be reviewed. To determine whether public international law is still alive and well, it is first necessary to look at the relevant law that governs the situation, the context and actions of the relevant stakeholders, and the enforcement mechanisms of the United Nations. Of course, it has become clear that the Russian Federation has committed violations of international law beyond the use of force prohibition in their armed attacks in Ukraine, which is beyond the scope of this article.

Ukraine Response - Three Month Update

May 25, 2022

In the last three months, we have provided more than 2.9 million people in Ukraine, Poland and Moldova with critically needed supplies and health servicesSupporting 33 health facilities and 17 refugee and internally displaced persons (IDP) centersDelivered 212 tons of medical consumables and pharmaceuticals, such as antibiotics and medicines for noncommunicable diseases, pediatric patients and surgery and traumaProcured and distributed nearly 16,000 health, hygiene, protection and COVID-19 testing kitsTrained nearly 370 first responders on topics including PFA and psychosocial support servicesConducted 2,977 health consultationsConducted 307 MHPSS consultations