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Tag: Ukraine

Corruption in Ukraine’s Military: Journalists need to check their facts first

Ukraine's Armed Forces are according to many observers on a path of slow recovery. Its morale and popular credibility depends not only on its success on the battlefield, but also on how it is portrayed. Journalists have a special responsibility when it comes to documenting accusations of corruption in an environment where the problem is so real.

May 23, 2018 - Yuriy Lukanov

The Case for Ukraine’s Membership of NATO

NATO has accepted countries with problems concerning territorial integrity in the past. However none of the size and strategic importance such as Ukraine. What are some of the arguments in favour of Kyiv entering the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation?

May 18, 2018 - Taras Kuzio

Reforming the Civil Service in Ukraine: Are salaries the core issue?

Many reforms in Ukraine have been long-overdue or unsuccessful. Attempts to improve the public administration in the country have been a bit of both. Enhancing the Civil Service will depend on structural reforms, as much as on better paychecks.

May 17, 2018 - Serhii Soroka

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

A house divided. Orthodoxy in post-Maidan Ukraine

Religious institutions in Ukraine are presently embroiled in an internecine battle between Orthodox factions that stand alongside a gaping ideological divide. The central fault line in this conflict is based on geopolitical and civilisational identities, with Moscow’s promotion of pan-Slavism comprising one side, and Kyiv’s pro-EU orientation the other.

The symbolic dimensions of the ongoing conflict in Ukraine are impossible to miss. And, as often as not, that symbolism is connected to religion. It could hardly be otherwise when separatists and Russian officials routinely cast the episodic fighting that continues in the east as a civilisational struggle between an enervated, hedonistic West that backs a “fascist junta” in Kyiv and the traditional Christian values of the so-called “Russian world” – the latter occasionally more palatably presented to Ukrainian audiences as “Holy Rus’.”

April 26, 2018 - George Soroka

Will the long-awaited justice prevail in Ukraine?

Many of Ukraine’s judiciary reforms are starting to take effect. A new Supreme Court has been in place since last December and new commissions are vetting and retraining judges to ensure fair trials and minimise corruption. Activists who advocate reform, however, have expressed disappointment with the judiciary reform process thus far.

The judiciary reform in Ukraine, which unofficially started in 2014, has finally brought its first results. The new Supreme Court of Ukraine began functioning in December last year and the newly established higher bodies of the judiciary are now assessing the judges who will continue working in the general and appeals courts of Ukraine. However, the reforms, which began mostly out of the need to restore trust in the judiciary, have not yet managed to achieve its main goal. The judiciary continues to be one of the least trusted institutions in the country – a view that is shared by the general public and external experts.

April 26, 2018 - Kateryna Pryshchepa

The far right’s disproportionate influence

In Ukraine the majority of the population remains pro-European. Yet, there is a visibly growing influence of marginal far right groups who aim to reshape politics and mainstream discourse. Society either does not notice the effects or it considers these groups as overly emotional patriots. After all, for a country immersed in war, nationalism should serve as a force to unite against the enemy.

After the Revolution of Dignity, many new nationalist parties have appeared on the Ukrainian political arena. While none of them have managed to become a serious political force, some are finding support by successfully blending into the patriotic trend, deftly playing on Ukrainians’ wartime pains. Despite its pro-European origins, the EuroMaidan has spawned a number of conflicting trends. The power of the democratic, liberal protest and the civil struggle for justice was intercepted and replaced by conservatism and the status quo. Right-wing radicals have made use of the tense revolutionary situation in which people appreciate the strong, dedicated nationalist movement that has since emerged, one which first protected the protesters from government forces and then joined the fight against the Russian-supported separatists in Donbas.

April 26, 2018 - Nina Boichenko

The Odesan myth and the Ukrainian façade

An interview with Professor Borys Khersonskyy, a Ukrainian poet, translator, clinical psychologist and Odesa’s leading intellectual. Interviewers: Tomasz Lachowski and Vitalii Mazurenko

TOMASZ LACHOWSKI AND VITALII MAZURENKO: Every now and then, the world reminds itself of the Donbas conflict, following the exchange of prisoners between Ukraine and the separatists or Kyiv’s efforts to reintegrate the region. The war thus continues. The question is: Is separatism still a real threat to Ukraine? Or, perhaps, it ended with the rebellion in Donetsk and Luhansk? You live in the Odesa region, which is ethnically diverse and borders the unrecognised Transnistria, where this question seems to be more pertinent.

BORYS KHERSONSKYY: First of all, after the collapse of the Soviet Union, independent Ukraine formed on the basis of the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic, which began to sovereignly govern over its territory. This place has been very diverse when it comes to historical and economic development as well as cultural and national identity. On the one hand, some of the regions in the eastern part of the country immediately fell under the influence of our northern neighbour, the Russian Federation.

April 26, 2018 - Tomasz Lachowski and Vitalii Mazurenko

Mickiewicz reactivated

For the first time in 190 years, music has been added to the poetry of Poland’s greatest poet – Adam Mickiewicz. The project is a collaboration between a Ukrainian folk rock band and a contemporary Polish writer.

The album, titled Mickiewicz-Stasiuk-Haydamaky, includes 10 poems put to the music of the Kyiv-based band Haydamaky. Andrzej Stasiuk, a renowned Polish writer, is one of the initiators of the project, and appears in some of the tracks reading Mickiewicz’s poetry. The cross-border collaboration reflects the heritage of the poet himself. “Mickiewicz has it all,” Stasiuk says. “The lyrics, rhythm and energy.”

April 26, 2018 - Grzegorz Nurek

Russia’s wars on Ukraine

A Review of Red Famine: Stalin’s War on Ukraine. By: Anne Applebaum. Publisher: Penguin Random House, 2017.

When looking through Anne Applebaum’s most recent book Red Famine: Stalin’s War on Ukraine, readers interested in Soviet crimes will probably refer back to Robert Conquest’s The Harvest of Sorrow. This 1986 landmark book by Conquest, a British historian, was the first to analyse the collectivisation of agriculture in 1929-31 in Ukraine and the subsequent 1932-33 famine, known as Holodomor. The Harvest of Sorrow was based on the limited historical data that was becoming available to western researchers at the time.

April 25, 2018 - Wojciech Siegień

Maritime security in Ukraine in the aftermath of Russian aggression

As Ukraine's access to its southern seas is becoming increasingly difficult, it is looking for ways to restore the operations and potential of its most beleaguered sea ports.

April 24, 2018 - Yuriy Husyev

Yulia Tymoshenko’s Controversial “Middle-Man”

The opaque money trail behind Yulia Tymoshenko's bid to become Ukraine's next President. How a lack of transparency and the involvement of suspicious characters threaten Ukraine's democratic process.

April 19, 2018 - Taras Kuzio

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