Issue 3/2020: War in Donbas
Its costs, challenges and the commitment to peace. New Eastern Europe issue 3/2020 is now available!
This issue takes an in-depth look at the war in Donbas, in eastern Ukraine, which is now already in its sixth year. Our authors point to the high costs of the war that the impoverished Ukrainian state continues to face and manage; discuss what Europe can and should do to help; as well as analyse the policies of the new Ukrainian authorities who came to power and received a huge social mandate for their declared commitment to peace.
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In this light, the words of Rebecca Harms, a former member of the European Parliament, profoundly resonate when she writes: “the fight against the Putin system in Kyiv will be decided by means of successful democratic reforms and the establishment of the rule of law. The correct path has been chosen, but it is a long one and it will not be smooth and easy. It is hampered by the fact that the reform-oriented Association Agreement with the EU has so far been interpreted as an alternative to membership.”
Strongly supporting Ukraine’s EU aspirations we also encourage you to read the two texts that focus on the identity of people in Donbas. Their authors, Volodymyr Rafaenko (a Ukrainian writer and poet from Donetsk) and Wojciech Siegień (a Polish academic researching cultural changes in eastern Ukraine) point to some lesser known aspects of the region’s social tissue. In line with the theory of long-term social processes, these two articles highlight important changes, but also risks, that should be taken into account. They include both the primarily Ukrainian identity of Donbas residents but also their susceptibility to ill-intended promises of making the region great again.
In addition, we encourage you to read the section on the memory of the Second World War, as we commemorate the 75th anniversary of the war’s end this year. Unfortunately, despite the passage of time we can see how history too can fall victim to truth and confirmed facts. Vladimir Putin, whose rule over Russia we can now expect to last until 2036, has clearly showed his intention to rewrite the historical narrative, a dangerous tactic indeed. The same, however, can be said about politicians in other states who for their own political gains are trying to revise the past.
Table of Contents
War in Donbas
How to respond to Putin’s undeclared war
The challenge of reintegration
Tim Bohse and Igor Mitchnik
A tale of two collapses
Evolution of an identity
Donbas veterans establish their place in Ukrainian society
An interview with Anton Kolumbet
Opinion & Analysis
Youtubers, influencers and creative activists are the new vanguard in Central Asia
Barbara von Ow-Freytag
Who is behind the plot to topple the Latvian parliament?
Kaliningrad’s first million
Miłosz J. Zieliński
The broken promises of Ukraine’s police reform
Chris G. Collison
The price of power
Moldova (re)balancing its foreign policy
Grim reality after a colourful revolution
A crisis in Georgia’s politics
Interpreting the end of the Second World War
Poland becomes a convenient target in Putin’s memory crusade
An interview with Ernest Wyciszkiewicz
Evolution of memory policy in Germany
20 years of NATO’s flagship Multinational Corps Northeast
An interview with Lieutenant General Sławomir Wojciechowski from NATO’s Multinational Corps Northeast
Special Section: 20 years of the Lane Kirkland Scholarship Program
The transformation as a learning process
A conversation with Andrew Nagorski
Going West despite everything
Art, Culture and Society
The slow shift of the status quo
A peek into the shadows of history and the present
An investigation into Putin’s useful idiot
Stimulating local memory
Kinga Anna Gajda
In search of the wow effect
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