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Tag: Ukraine

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

Ukraine’s wartime education reform

In the autumn of 2017, Ukraine passed an education reform law. Its passing caused strong reactions of neighbouring states, especially Hungary, Russia, Bulgaria and Romania as well as commentators in Western Europe. Yet, these arguments largely represent an ideological narrative without any proper understanding of the provisions in the new legislation.

On September 28th 2017 Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko signed the long awaited educational reform into law. Unexpectedly, some of the provisions were met with sharp criticism by neighbouring states. The issue that caused the biggest dispute was related to the language of instruction in the classrooms of ethnic minority communities in Ukraine. The passing of the law, and the international reaction it received, confirmed the still low level of understanding between European Union states and Ukraine and further revealed other conflicts that lie under the surface.

The law introduces serious changes within the education system. Ukrainian children are now required to attend school for 12 years and the law foresees changes in the system of organisation of school networks, their financing and instruction. The authors of the reform stress that its consistent introduction will lead to a decentralisation of education

January 2, 2018 - Wojciech Siegień

Education reform put to the test

Druzhkivka, a small industrial town in eastern Ukraine, is one of the testing grounds for the new system of schooling recently introduced in the country. The ceremony marking the beginning of the school year in a Druzhkivka school, which is now part of a wider network of base schools, was attended by Lilia Hrynevych, the education minister. It was also watched via live stream by Petro Poroshenko who, at the same time, was opening a new base school in Pokrovsks.

Druzhkivka is a small town in eastern Ukraine with a population of around 58,000. The city is the second to last railway stop on the Donbas-Kyiv route. Located just 18 kilometres from Kramatorsk, it can be easily reached by the local bus service, which is a popular way for the residents of Druzhkivka to commute. Between April and June 2014 the city was under the control of pro-Russian separatist forces. Even though tensions were not as strong as they were in the nearby Sloviansk, the town had its share of victims, with an Orthodox priest among them.

January 2, 2018 - Kateryna Pryshchepa

How can the West promote an East-Central European security alignment?

Western decision-makers should signal to the new East-Central European NATO and EU member countries that they can, and should, engage in cross-border multilateral coalition building with Ukraine, Moldova and Georgia. There is an urgent need for institutional structures that will make Eastern Europe’s grey zone, between Russia and the West, less grey.

Most interpretations of the current geopolitical instability in Eastern Europe focus on the intricacies of the region’s peculiar past, recent resurgent Russian imperialism and Ukraine’s specific significance for the Kremlin. While these and similar approaches address important themes, many such explanations tend to miss, or dismiss, the first and foremost cause and crucial aspect of the issue at hand. The current international crisis in Eastern Europe has arisen due to concerns over the East European institutional structure – or lack thereof. One can easily explain and assess the current tensions in Eastern Europe without much knowledge about the region by simply pointing to the organisational underdevelopment of post-Soviet international relations.

January 2, 2018 - Andreas Umland

Start-ups take off in Ukraine

Start-ups are rapidly developing in Ukraine with many companies attaining million dollar investments. Thus, some of the very popular tech products on the market are ones you may not realise originate in Ukraine. For the moment they are just the tip of the iceberg, as the public and private sector are seeking ways to cultivate Ukraine’s emerging entrepreneurial spirit even more.

In the IT world, Ukraine is usually perceived as a country for outsourcing, where programmers work for somebody else’s business instead of starting their own. This theory no longer holds true as more and more Ukrainians have showed that they can become entrepreneurs too. Many have established new start-up companies and some even go through the seven circles of hell to get investments. They fail, they succeed, but they do not give up trying. You may even recognise some of the Ukrainian products which have managed to succeed on the global market, even though you probably did not know that they came from Ukraine.

January 2, 2018 - Yulia Lipentseva

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

Economic freedom for Ukraine

Ukraine needs economic growth, as it provides the resources for defence, social peace and reforms. The state's interference in the economy has been too strong and the increase of social obligations given the bad business climate has constrained business activity.

December 18, 2017 - Valerii Pekar

The “Eastern Partnership Plus” is the EU’s failure

The concept of the “Eastern Partnership Plus” seems like an attempt at masking the fact that the entire Eastern Partnership programme has not achieved its goals because it could not do so. The problem of the Eastern Partnership is that its goals are in fact impossible to achieve without eventually granting its members the prospect of EU membership.

December 7, 2017 - Bartek Tesławski

Are street protests back in Ukraine?

The recent protests in Ukraine demonstrate the authorities’ lack of vision and leadership. There is a high demand for mobilising and engaging projects, which could utilise the high social energy, but there is nothing on offer. Therefore political turbulence will continue.

November 28, 2017 - Valerii Pekar

Pursuing cooperation despite divisions: The outcomes of Eastern Partnership Summit 2017

The Summit’s results have been less ambitious than some of the participants might have expected. The EU confirmed its commitment to the initiative, cautiously putting on the plate a set of limited reforms. Any more consistent steps forward seem to be unfeasible, as there are still numerous points of disagreement among the EU members and their eastern partners.

November 27, 2017 - Giovanni Pigni

Eight years of Eastern Partnership: Hidden in the trenches

The European Union’s commitment to the Eastern Partnership region has been cemented by Russia’s aggression against Ukraine, but for internal reasons, the EU is trying to avoid the costs linked to the countries’ integration. For Russia, the region is vitally important but Moscow cannot muster the resources or an attractive alternative to keep the countries close.

November 23, 2017 - Balázs Jarábik and Dovilė Šukytė

One and a half years before the election: Is Ukraine dreaming of Belarus?

Ukraine’s political scene is ripe for a newcomer. The public demands an uncompromising anti-corruption crusade, releasing the country from the oligarchs' grip, reforming the public service, boosting the social infrastructure and rising welfare standards.

November 21, 2017 - Yegor Vasylyev

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