Ukraine: The European frontier

Pekar 2015Curated by Valerii Pekar, the blog offers regular analyses on the developments in Ukraine. Pekar, a former member of the National Reform Council and a co-founder of the Nova Kraina Civic Platform, provides an insider perspective on the ins and outs of Ukraine's politics, society and economy, as well as the effects of the ongoing war in Donbas and events in the annexed Crimea.


Blog posts



verkhovna rada


Why the reforms in Ukraine are so slow?

19 July 2017


At first glance, the main reason for the slow pace of reforms in Ukraine is the lack of political will. However, if we delve deeper, we will see that it is the lack of institutional capacity that slows down reforms even when political leaders push them.



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New generation for the new country

23 May 2017


Two different generations coexist in Ukraine with different values ​​and views of the country's past and future. In 2017, the post-Soviet system is striking back. Experienced bureaucrats are often sabotaging the changes which sooner or later could relieve them of their previous power. 



1 Верховна Рада України VADIM CHUPRINA

How to overcome corruption in Ukraine

28 April 2017


Ukraine is currently considered one of the most corrupt countries in Europe. Some argue that this is just a perception, as Ukraine is also one of the most transparent countries in Europe, ever since it established an unprecedented openness of public data and private data of public servants (known as “e-declarations”). Furthermore, corruption in Ukraine has been brought into focus since the Revolution of Dignity (EuroMaidan), which had a clearly pronounced anti-corruption orientation. Nevertheless, corruption in Ukraine remains high both subjectively and objectively; therefore discussions on how to overcome it are much more productive than discussions about whether it is as high as may be perceived.



Euromaidan panoramic view taken from the top of the Revolution Christmas tree. December 8 2013-3

Managing Ukraine's revolutionary lifecycle

10 April 2017


An early election would return some of the EuroMaidan idealists to high office, and extend the moderate reform period. This is exactly what is needed given Ukraine’s current position in the revolutionary lifecycle. The alternative is terrifying.



trade blockade

 The story of a blockade: Lessons from the hybrid war 

 24 March 2017


One of the strange features of hybrid war is trade across the frontline. Only recently, different groups have begun to block railways used to deliver coal and other cargo across the frontline, which so far has brought mixed effects. 



civil society

Civil society in Ukraine: A sled dog, not a watchdog

6 March 2017


Civil society organisations in Ukraine go far beyond their traditional roles. Western policy makers should not ignore this fact, as it could lead to disappointing results in internal and international affairs.



eu ukraineWhat should be the West's strategy in Ukraine? 

14 February 2017


To conduct a successful Ukrainian policy, the West has treat Ukraine as an adult, not a child. Today the West chides and reproaches, makes threatening gestures at times, but in the end forgives the pranks and gives a candy. Adults sign contracts and demand their fulfilment. This would be a much more rewarding strategy.



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An offer to surrender

16 January 2017


The surrender of Ukraine would not save thousands of lives, as Pinchuk argues, but would lead to the escalation of war and, in return, more suffering, more deaths and more damage. Moreover, it would create a dangerous precedent of a violent redrawing of European borders for the first time since the Second World War, the long-term consequences of which would not be hard to guess.


Lavra KyivUkraine in 2016: A brief summary

09 January 2017


If you ask an average citizen in Ukraine about the progress of reforms in 2016, you will most likely hear that nothing has changed. According to many, over the past year there has been little improvement when comparing the population’s high demands and expectations with the actual results. However, a closer look at the reforms might prove the opposite.




shutterstock 234913249A voice from Ukraine: Let us make drastic changes

21 March 2016


Today, Ukraine is as key element of European security as it was 800 years ago, when Mongol hordes attacked Europe and were stopped by our country, which subsequently bled and struggled for many centuries afterward. Chaos is coming from the East again. Leaving Ukraine alone today means huge problems tomorrow.