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Tag: Donbas

The one shall be taken, and the other left

The Russian people overwhelmingly supported annexing the Crimea to Russia in 2014, but not the Donbas. What explains this anomaly?

September 21, 2018 - Dorka Takácsy

Between declarations and reality

Is Ukraine ready to regain control of the occupied part of Donbas?

Ukrainian officials are often under fire from critics due to their inefficiency in defending Ukrainian citizens in the occupied parts of Donbas. Unfortunately the criticism is deserved. Despite the creation of the ministry for the temporary occupied territories in April 2016, it is very difficult to find any positive results since its inception. Creating a ministry of information policy has not improved access to independent information. Even the rebuilding of damaged television towers and the building of new ones has been implemented very slowly and without any real success.

September 1, 2018 - Paweł Kost

Donbas coal bonanza

The self-proclaimed Donetsk and Luhansk People’s Republics operate in line with mafia rules. The extraction, export and sale of coal – the region’s key resource – have helped the two para-states survive. It has also become a fuel for local power struggles, all under the blind eye of the European Union.

The self-proclaimed Donetsk and Luhansk People’s Republics (DNR, LNR) are often compared to Transnistria, another unrecognised quasi-state supported by Moscow and used as a tool to destabilise Moldova. Such a comparison, however, is a mistake. Transnistria – to put things simply – is organised around the Transnistrian business conglomerate Sheriff, which controls the majority of companies, some government agencies and local political parties. In contrast, the DNR and LNR, covering one-third of Ukraine’s Donets Black Coal Basin, operate according to mafia rules. This is an important point to keep in mind while analysing the functioning of the economy of the para-states.

April 26, 2018 - Michał Potocki

Why the Volker-Surkov talks on Donbas cannot succeed

The negotiations between Volker and Surkov may continue for a long time, but one should be cautious when hoping for any success. It is important to understand that no real "thaw" is possible because Russia's confrontational policy towards the West is its main and unchanging feature, which originates from the very nature of the Russian regime.

March 13, 2018 - Wojciech Konończuk and Serhiy Harmash

Peacekeeping in Ukraine’s Donbas: Opportunities and risks

A peacekeeping mission may still be a distant possibility. It is far from clear that Moscow is seeking an exit. Mounting resistance among Ukrainian leaders to the Minsk accord presents another challenge. Nonetheless, the current talks represent a rare opening to test ideas on how to settle the eastern Ukraine conflict and reintegrate the disputed Donbas into Ukraine.

March 12, 2018 - Magdalena Grono and Jonathan Brunson

They who must not be blamed for watching the tales: Russian propaganda in Ukraine

Since 2013, Russian media has been disseminating anti-Ukrainian propaganda which would enable and explain Russian intervention in Donbas. If the region is ever reintegrated into Ukraine, the Ukrainian government and people will need a lot of work and effort to reverse the negative image of the country in the minds of Donbas people.

January 5, 2018 - Mariia Terentieva

A chance for peacekeepers in eastern Ukraine?

The revival of the idea of peacekeepers in Donbas demonstrates the desire of both Russia and Ukraine to reserve some space for diplomatic maneuvers. With such peace initiatives, each party aims to show its commitment to the peaceful resolution of the conflict in Donbas and to blame the other side for negotiations failures. The actual deployment of the UN mission is still unlikely.

December 19, 2017 - Vasyl Mykhailyshyn

Is it too early to speak about justice in Donbas?

There is no clear post-conflict strategy for Donbas. This is to a significant extent caused by the hybridness of the conflict which effectively prevents the fundamental goal of peace. If peace were to be achieved, however, experience from the field of transitional justice could point to some ways post-conflict justice might progress in Ukraine.

Much has been written about the Donbas conflict since it evolved into a full-fledged war in the summer of 2014. One aspect of the conflict which has been given almost no attention, despite its obvious importance for Ukraine’s long-term development, are reflections on its aftermath. The debate in the West has predominantly focused on highly pragmatic and technical questions like how to stop the violence and move the conflict into the political realm. Ukrainians, on the other hand, are stuck in a black-and-white characterisation of “treason vs victory” in terms of virtually all aspects of the conflict. In the background of both approaches, there seems to be an assumption that the conflict can be resolved rather easily and the situation will return to what existed prior.

This assumption is misguided. Any stable and long-lasting resolution of the conflict should be accepted by all interested parties as just. This implies that such a resolution is yet to be found.

October 31, 2017 - Gerhard Kemp Igor Lyubashenko

Has the war really changed Ukrainians?

Three years have passed since the onset of war in Ukraine. As a result some changes have occurred in the Ukrainian mentality but questions still remain: How deep are those changes? And what would it take for a reversal in attitudes towards the West? Results from recent opinion polls may come as a surprise in an attempt to answer these questions.

October 4, 2017 - Andriy Lyubka

The Reformation’s unexpected legacy in Ukraine

In Ukraine the history of Protestantism spans for centuries, marked by four major waves. The most recent one came after the collapse of the Soviet Union. As with all newcomers, however, Protestants are often faced with biased attitudes from a significant part of society. Despite this, Protestant communities have emerged as significant players in providing charity relief to war victims as well as in the politics of the post-Maidan Ukraine.

October 4, 2017 - Kateryna Pryshchepa

Donbas: An imported war

This report is based on a visit to Kyiv, Donbas, and Vienna in late August. In Donbas, we visited Kramatorsk, Slavyansk, Severodonetsk, Bakhmut, Maryinka, Mariupol, and several Ukrainian positions along the frontline. We also passed through two Donetsk Peoples’ Republic (DNR) checkpoints in Horlivka. Our account is based on our impressions, conversations and interviews along the Ukrainian-controlled areas of the frontline.

November 3, 2016 - Gustav Gressel, Kadri Liik, Fredrik Wesslau

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