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Published on February 26, 2024
Portland Unites with Global 'Believe in Ukraine' Movement Amid Country's Fight for Stability and GrowthSource: Facebook/Ukrainian Foundation

As the two-year mark of the Russian invasion of Ukraine has been observed, the city of Portland stands united with the global "Believe in Ukraine" campaign. On Saturday, the heart of downtown Portland at Pioneer Courthouse Square was transformed into a rallying point for local activists, echoing the sentiments of over 100 cities worldwide including Washington DC, New York, Boston, and San Francisco, as reported by KOIN.

Despite the bleak forecast by Russian President Vladimir Putin two years ago, expecting swift victory and international indifference, the Ukrainian resistance has proven robust. Having fought back vehemently, the Ukrainian forces have reclaimed a significant portion of their territory, even under the constant shadow of conflict, they have pulled the economy upward by feeding the world and stimulating reconstruction efforts. This comes following a statement by USAID underscoring the importance of the bipartisan national security supplemental which must be passed by Congress without delay.

In an unwavering show of support, USAID's initiatives have delivered critical aid to an estimated 17 million Ukrainians, representing nearly half the country's population. Ukraine’s resilience, as detailed in a recent press release by USAID, is showcased through the bolstering of its agricultural sector which anchors the economy, the survival and stability of small- and medium-sized businesses, bolstered energy infrastructure, and the pioneering e-governance platform, Diia. Furthermore, enhanced oversight and anti-corruption efforts have ensured transparency and confidence for continued investment.

A stark increase in Ukraine's economy, growing over 5 percent last year, signals hope and recovery. Attracting $2.5 billion in foreign direct investment in the first half of 2023 alone and with exports on the rise, the foundation for a thriving future seems plausible, as highlighted by Ukraine’s projected growth in total exports by 15 percent this year. But the thread holding this progress is tenuous, as any retreat in aid risks not only the gains made so far but also the millions in additional support that could evaporate alongside.

Per USAID, the linchpin in this strategically precarious situation hinges on the persistence of international support. It is not only about sustaining Ukraine through its ongoing hardship but it is also a stand against an emboldened aggression towards democracies on a global scale. Putin's play rests on the anticipation of waning patience from the West.