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Tag: Donbas

Illegitimate election observation and conflict resolution

The observations of illegitimate elections in the self-proclaimed Donetsk and Luhansk Peoples’ Republics in 2014 and 2018 by far-right and far-left European politicians serve the purpose of augmenting the number of actors and dimensions of a conflict with the aim of protracting any conflict resolution process. What is more, these elections violate the sovereignty of the state, since they take place in areas not recognised by the international community.
Politically-motivated election observation, noted in the post-Soviet region since the beginning of 21st century, aims to provide a counterbalance to assessments of international missions working on the basis of transparent methodologies and long-term observation. The political observation is also extended to elections in separatist regions of the former Soviet Union, where it is used to influence the conflict resolution processes.

January 28, 2020 - Daria Paporcka

No one will hear us if we scream

The Donbas conflict has been taking place for over five years now. Some significant steps have been achieved since the implementation of the 2015 Minsk Agreements, and with it the official war might have reached an end. Yet, peace remains elusive.
Nataliya wears a Tryzub around her neck. It is a trident, a monogram of the Ukrainian word воля (volia) meaning liberty and known as the official Ukrainian coat of arms. The 66-year-old pink-haired Ukrainian volunteer and activist clutches it firmly as she narrates her ongoing life chapter of being a citizen of Stanytsia Luhanska. This urban settlement on the banks of the Seversky Donets River operates as a border town between Ukraine and the pro-Russian, self-proclaimed Luhansk People's Republic.

January 28, 2020 - Omar Marques

The cost of five years of war in Donbas

Beyond the catastrophic economic price Ukraine has been forced to pay, the war in Donbas has taken a terrible toll on the lives of millions of ordinary Ukrainians. Nothing but a lasting peace and reintegration can turn this situation around.

September 24, 2019 - Janek Lasocki

Human rights as a weapon

An interview with Ivan Lishchyna, the Ukrainian deputy minister of justice, and government commissioner of the European Court of Human Rights. Interviewer: Tomasz Lachowski

TOMASZ LACHOWSKI: Since 2014 part of the Ukrainian territory has been constantly occupied by the Russian Federation and Kremlin-backed troops, widely referred to as pro-Russian separatists. Among the many different diplomatic, political and military instruments undertaken by the Ukrainian authorities, Kyiv also uses strict legal tools to succeed in its effort to dispose of the occupants on Ukrainian soil. How can human rights help in achieving this goal?

IVAN LISHCHYNA: First of all we need to come to some general terms with what we are discussing. We have to distinguish two territories that are currently occupied by the Russian Federation: Crimea and a part of the Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts (referred to as ORDLO in Ukrainian law). From the point of view of the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) and from the Ukrainian standpoint, there is no difference in the legal regimes between them: they are both occupied by Russian forces and unlawfully held by the Kremlin.

January 2, 2019 - Tomasz Lachowski

Film as a counternarrative

A review of Donbas. A film written and directed by Sergey Loznitsa. Released in Ukraine, October 2018.
It has been nearly five years since the start of hybrid war in Donbas, which has come to resemble something of a frozen conflict in eastern Ukraine. And it is since the separatists, backed by Russian military forces, captured Debaltseve – rather than the Minsk II Accords – that the conflict has evolved into a low-intensity positional fire exchange.

January 2, 2019 - Jakub Bornio

The one shall be taken, and the other left

The Russian people overwhelmingly supported annexing the Crimea to Russia in 2014, but not the Donbas. What explains this anomaly?

September 21, 2018 - Dorka Takácsy

Between declarations and reality

Is Ukraine ready to regain control of the occupied part of Donbas?

Ukrainian officials are often under fire from critics due to their inefficiency in defending Ukrainian citizens in the occupied parts of Donbas. Unfortunately the criticism is deserved. Despite the creation of the ministry for the temporary occupied territories in April 2016, it is very difficult to find any positive results since its inception. Creating a ministry of information policy has not improved access to independent information. Even the rebuilding of damaged television towers and the building of new ones has been implemented very slowly and without any real success.

September 1, 2018 - Paweł Kost

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

Why the Volker-Surkov talks on Donbas cannot succeed

The negotiations between Volker and Surkov may continue for a long time, but one should be cautious when hoping for any success. It is important to understand that no real "thaw" is possible because Russia's confrontational policy towards the West is its main and unchanging feature, which originates from the very nature of the Russian regime.

March 13, 2018 - Wojciech Konończuk and Serhiy Harmash

Peacekeeping in Ukraine’s Donbas: Opportunities and risks

A peacekeeping mission may still be a distant possibility. It is far from clear that Moscow is seeking an exit. Mounting resistance among Ukrainian leaders to the Minsk accord presents another challenge. Nonetheless, the current talks represent a rare opening to test ideas on how to settle the eastern Ukraine conflict and reintegrate the disputed Donbas into Ukraine.

March 12, 2018 - Magdalena Grono and Jonathan Brunson

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

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

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