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Author: Leon Hartwell

Our Serbian friend, the genocide glorifier-in-chief

The West continues to view Serbia’s President Aleksandar Vučić as a key partner in the region despite his long history of denying that acts of genocide were committed throughout the Balkans, and that his ongoing actions threaten regional stability. It is imperative that western governments reconsider their relationship with Serbia’s authoritarian leader.

July 1, 2024 - Leon Hartwell

Lessons about cyber warfare from Russia’s war against Ukraine

The war in Ukraine serves as a stark reminder of the diverging approaches to establishing red lines in the realm of cyber operations, accentuating the complexities inherent in establishing normative frameworks for governing cyberspace. The intersection of cyber warfare with traditional kinetic conflict further exacerbates the complexities of norm development, underlining the urgent need for sustained efforts to bridge gaps and address grey areas in international law.

In the contemporary landscape of warfare, the lines between traditional kinetic operations and cyber warfare are increasingly blurred. Last year alone, the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) thwarted over 4,500 major cyber-attacks. Many of these cyber-attacks were coupled with scores of conventional missile strikes. This underlines the urgent need for international cooperation to confront cyber threats.

June 22, 2024 - Leon Hartwell Maria Branea

Everything you need to know about Serbian sentiments: from economic worries to foreign policy

Opinions within Serbian society are shaped by a complex interplay of historical perceptions, national propaganda, and actual circumstances. A new poll underscores the nation’s multifaced anxieties and highlights the persistent fissures within Serbian society. While the majority of Serbs voice socio-economic concerns shared across Europe, their foreign policy outlook remains sceptical of western integration.

May 29, 2024 - Leon Hartwell

Ukraine’s strategic resurgence: redefining power dynamics in the Black Sea

While reports from Ukraine have remained focused on the land war, the fight at sea continues with little respite. The country’s successes in the naval battle have come against all the odds and should only encourage allies to beef up support for Kyiv’s victory.

April 9, 2024 - Leon Hartwell

Avdiivka’s Fall: a microcosm of failed western approaches to the Russia-Ukraine war

Russia's seizure of Avdiivka can be attributed primarily to three factors: a substantial military escalation by Putin, a lack of clear objectives from the western world, and a disparity between western promises of support for Ukraine and their actual delivery.

February 29, 2024 - Leon Hartwell

Cake doughnuts and western diplomacy in the Balkans

As September 2023 was approaching, the focus of western diplomacy once again gravitated toward the ongoing Kosovo-Serbia conflict, which appears to have no end in sight. Amid mounting tensions and the uncertain trajectory of the EU’s “Belgrade-Pristina Dialogue,” a comprehensive reassessment of mediation efforts becomes imperative to bring a definitive resolution to this enduring conflict.

September 11, 2023 - Leon Hartwell

Bosnia’s wartime prime minister on reconciliation

Haris Silajdžić served as the minister of foreign affairs and then prime minister of Bosnia and Herzegovina during the Bosnian War. Through his experience he understands the horrors and pain felt during the genocidal actions of Serbs at that time and knows what it takes to finally overcome that terrible period. Today, 30 years after the Bosnian war started, he still dreams of a reconciliation between different identity groups.

A few months ago, in Sarajevo, I met up with Bosnia and Herzegovina’s wartime prime minister, Haris Silajdžić. He has a certain squint in his eyes that gives the impression that he has witnessed a lot during his lifetime, which is in fact true. He lived through the collapse of the former Yugoslavia and occupied high office during the Bosnian War and in its aftermath. To this day, the septuagenarian’s mind is still razor sharp and he has the ability to dive into political issues taking place halfway around the world

April 28, 2023 - Leon Hartwell

Bosnians need to stare the beast in the eye

Debates over the events of the Bosnian War remain a contentious topic in modern Bosnia and Herzegovina. While competing narratives continue to divide society at an everyday level, the international community must take action to promote a shared future for the divided country.

January 19, 2023 - Leon Hartwell

A bad bromance? Implications of the war in Ukraine for China-Russia relations

The start of the year heralded the emergence of a comprehensive partnership between China and Russia. However, Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine has increasingly made the future of this bilateral relationship unclear. Western administrations should now pay close attention to changes in various sectors if they are to profit from such uncertainty.

December 19, 2022 - Hugo Jones Leon Hartwell Lukas Fiala

The Russia-Ukraine conflict: what is next?

Russia’s ongoing war against Ukraine has now reached an important point. While Kyiv continues to make steady progress on the battlefield, Moscow is attempting to shore up its defences for over the winter. The coming months will likely prove crucial to the outcome of the conflict.

November 4, 2022 - Julia Ryng Leon Hartwell

Snarky Facebook post sparks diplomatic incident between Russia and Serbia: What’s behind it?

On the recent spat between Russia and Serbia on social media and what it reveals about their relationship.

October 14, 2020 - Leon Hartwell

Diplomacy is not The Apprentice: Serbia-Kosovo issue requires a long-term commitment

The Trump Administration’s Serbia-Kosovo agreement may achieve short-term successes, but it could also result in long-term negative consequences for the two adversaries.

September 15, 2020 - Leon Hartwell

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