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Will there be light at the end of the Moldovan tunnel?  

Politics in Moldova is on the edge of a perpetual crisis. It will be up to a new democratically minded generation to turn the trend.

July 9, 2021 - Oktawian Milewski

Nowhere to hurry?

The low rates of immunisation against COVID-19 in Ukraine can be explained by certain errors in the organisation of the process and the chaos on the ground. However, the main problem remains a lack of vaccine supplies.

As of mid-May, Ukraine has the lowest COVID-19 vaccination rates in Europe – a mere 2.2 per cent of the country’s population has received the first dose of the vaccine. To compare at the time of the writing of this text, neighbouring Poland has reached 31 per cent while Hungary 49 per cent. At the current pace, Ukraine’s Healthcare Centre estimates that it will take five years to vaccinate 60 per cent of the population with at least one dose.

June 23, 2021 - Victoria Guerra

Uncovering the paradoxes of values in Ukrainian Society

This past February was seven years since the climax of the Maidan and the sniper shootings. From today’s perspective those events are intrinsically connected to the attempted annexation of Crimea by Russia and its aggression in eastern Ukraine. When we now ask people about their feelings to those events, we cannot disregard everything we now know and all that has happened since.

Different values and attitudes and their prevalence in different societies are probably one of the most popular topics to study in social science in general and sociology in particular. Quite often we even tend to think about other societies in terms of cultural stereotypes. Data collected from a number of surveys and opinion polls over the last two years suggest some noticeable changes towards values and attitudes within Ukrainian society. Eighteen per cent of people in Ukraine think they are very happy and 60 per cent see themselves as rather happy, according to the latest edition of the World Value Survey; these numbers are 10 per cent higher than the previous edition in 2011. Similar trends are seen in other surveys with different methodologies.

June 23, 2021 - Anna Osypchuk

Invisible, no more

Over the past seven years the number of servicewomen in the Ukrainian armed forces has more than doubled. Driven by the war in Donbas and a successful advocacy campaign by activists and academics, this increase has been welcomed by the military high command, while the legislative framework has been amended to facilitate the recruitment of women in the army. However, a number of cultural and institutional obstacles still remains in the path of true gender equality.

In November 2020 Anatoliy Petrenko, Ukraine's deputy minister of defence, declared to the Fourth Congress of Ukrainian Women that 58,000 female soldiers were currently serving in the armed forces. A number that, according to him, “exceeds in many cases the total size of the armed forces of some European countries”. This increased participation of women has been discussed at length in Ukrainian media and is seen as a great achievement and a source of pride for the war-worn country, fighting a seven-years-long war against Russia-supported forces in the eastern region of Donbas.

June 23, 2021 - Guillaume Ptak

The minister of everything

Arsen Avakov, Ukraine’s minister of internal affairs, is the longest serving minister in the country’s history. Appointed as an interim in the spring of 2014 he survived government reshuffles under President Petro Poroshenko and retained his seat under President Volodymyr Zelenskyy. Avakov was not an obvious candidate for political longevity, but a set of circumstances in Ukraine’s recent political history made him a golden shareholder.

The nickname of minister of everything was bestowed upon Arsen Avakov by public commentators after the 2019 presidential and parliamentary elections in Ukraine and the formation of the first government under President Volodymyr Zelenskyy. Avakov was referred to as the only grown up in the government especially compared to the young, inexperienced Prime Minister Oleksiy Honcharuk, who was 35 at the time of his appointment.

June 23, 2021 - Kateryna Pryshchepa

The silent Russian colonisation of Crimea

With every step taken by the Russian authorities, the reintegration of Crimea into Ukraine becomes ever more difficult. How can Ukraine claim back rights to a territory that citizens of another country de facto own?

On March 20th 2021, decree number 201 of the President of the Russian Federation came into force. According to this ruling, the majority of the Crimean Peninsula, around 80 per cent of the territory – only excluding a few municipalities and a small part of the city of Sevastopol – is gaining the status as a border territory of the Russian Federation. This decree might well be the final nail in the coffin of Ukrainian Crimea.

June 23, 2021 - Olena Yermakova

Ukraine’s public diplomacy enters a new phase

A new milestone in Ukraine's public diplomacy began in late March when the foreign ministry approved, for the first time in history, a public diplomacy strategy. The document calls for efforts to form and promote a positive international image of Ukraine at a strategic level and defines the concept of public diplomacy, filling a conceptual void that had existed for many decades.

After Ukraine’s declaration of independence in 1991, public diplomacy in the official Ukrainian public and academic discourse was practically absent. Existing initiatives in this field were mostly isolated, lacked complexity, strategic vision and adequate financial support. For some time, the duties of public diplomacy were assigned to so-called cultural and information centres, which operated at foreign diplomatic missions. These centres were responsible for disseminating information about Ukraine abroad, acquainting foreign audiences with Ukrainian history and culture, and informing them about Ukraine's tourism opportunities and attractions.

June 23, 2021 - Nadiia Bureiko

How should the EU deal with Russia after Navalny’s poisoning?

Steps towards managing the European Union’s relations with Russia need a long-term perspective and a corresponding political dynamic that requires audacity. The once commonly-held vision of co-operative security in Europe, enshrined in the OSCE’s founding documents, may seem unachievable now, but it should not be lost out of sight.

When the Russian oppositionist Alexei Navalny released the video “Putin’s palace” in January 2021, upon his return to Russia from Germany after being poisoned with a military-grade substance called Novichok in August 2020, the showdown began. No doubt, Navalny and his political organisation have always been a thorn in the Russian regime’s side. Yet the stakes have risen since investigative journalists revealed the details of the poisoning as being carried out by Russian intelligence agents. Since then the “Berlin patient” seems to have been elevated to public enemy number one by the Russian ruling regime.

June 23, 2021 - Alexandra Dienes

Hungary’s friends in need

When the first three cases of COVID-19 were registered in Hungary in March 2020, the government instituted a state of emergency and imposed restrictions that could still be in place this summer. At that time the Hungarian authorities almost immediately followed other countries in their fight against the virus; first by purchasing, independent of the EU, personal protection gear and later, non-EU approved vaccines.

Hungary has used the pandemic to convince the European Union and its own citizens that in difficult situations there is no point counting on EU institutions. Only partners from the East (mainly China and Russia) are reliable. These are real friends indeed. The sequence of priority (China being first) is not accidental either. It was from China that Hungary received an almost uninterrupted supply of personal protective gear. Deliveries, which arrived on board WizzAir planes (Hungary’s low-cost airline), were welcomed by senior officials at Budapest’s airport, including the minister of foreign affairs, Péter Szijjártó.

June 23, 2021 - Dominik Héjj

Poles and Ukrainians in daily contacts

A new study now on Polish- Ukrainian relations is now available for download

June 15, 2021 - New Eastern Europe

Podcast: NATO Summit. Addressing the challenges of today and tomorrow.

In this special episode of Talk Eastern Europe produced ahead of the NATO Summit, Adam and Maciek take a look at the context of the event scheduled for June 14th 2021 – the first Summit with the participation of Joe Biden as US President.

June 12, 2021 - Adam Reichardt Maciej Makulski

Russia’s military build-up on the border with Ukraine: intimidation, imminent escalation or both?

It has become clear to Ukraine with regards to Russian scare tactics that concessions will not solve any problems, but rather display the weakness of the West.

April 21, 2021 - Alisa Muzergues

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