Our Work in Ukraine

Human Rights First has been meaningfully engaged on human rights issues in Eastern Europe for decades, and particularly active with Ukrainian allies since the first Russian invasion in 2014. Since Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine in February, 2022, Human Rights First has played an important role in the global response. Our work in Ukraine aligns with our organization’s overall strategic approach. In 2022, our efforts spanned three broad categories: Sanctions & Accountability, Research & Reporting, and Support for Human Rights Defenders. We have worked to bring sanctions and other accountability to Russian leaders and war criminals; advocated for changes in U.S. policy to better support international criminal accountability institutions with jurisdiction over war crimes in Ukraine; issued dozens of reports and commentaries from Ukraine; and provided technical and logistical support, training, and other aid to Ukrainian Human Rights Defenders and allies.

Sanctions and Accountability

With the unique expertise that comes from five years of groundbreaking work, Human Rights First is civil society’s leader on targeted human rights and anti-corruption sanctions. Since immediately after the invasion, we have supported key allies focused on accountability for human rights abuse and corruption.

Research and Reporting

Building on engagement in Ukraine dating back to 2014, Human Rights First has taken regular trips to the country since the February 2022 invasion to provide solidarity with Human Rights Defenders there and report about the situation facing these activists and other Ukrainians. Read our reports below:

Support for Ukrainian Human Rights Defenders and Allies

Human Rights First provides additional support to Ukrainian Human Rights Defenders and other allies, including technical support to non-governmental groups advocating for targeted sanctions.  Our logistical support included moving supplies requested by Ukrainian HRDs and organizations through dangerous areas to reach those activists.