One hundred countries joined President Biden’s Summit for Democracy in December to affirm global commitment to democracy during a period of decline and rising authoritarianism. Lofty pledges were made, and the White House announced 2022 as a “year of action” during which countries will hone their commitments to democratic reform. Meanwhile Russian bombardment of Ukraine is underway with the aim to “reclaim” a democracy under authoritarian rule.

The very aims of the Summit are being tested in real time. The threat of autocratic takeover is not a theoretical thought exercise; it’s happening. 

Hanna Hopko, is an expert in advocacy, media and political communications and head of the Ukrainian Board of National Interests advocacy network “ANTS.” She is a former journalist who, from 2014 to 2019, served as a member of the Ukrainian parliament, where she was head of the Committee on Foreign Affairs.

Laura Thornton is director and senior fellow at the Alliance for Securing Democracy.