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Tag: Donbas

We still need a more realistic approach to the issue of Donbas de-occupation

Learning from the reunification experience of Germany, economic development and improving democratic institutions in Ukraine could be crucial in raising the prospects of returning the Donbas.

October 19, 2020 - Maksym Khylko

Should Ukraine conduct local elections along the Donbas contact line?

Current military-civil administration in eastern Ukrainian frontline districts need to be kept in place and partially reformed. Should the Donets Basin return to Ukrainian control, they could provide institutional templates for a temporary special regime within the currently occupied territories.

September 9, 2020 - Andreas Umland

Zelenskyy’s strategy in Donbas is destined to fail: Human security as a major constraint

While pursuing peace in eastern Ukraine, the government cannot fail to recognise the continuing vulnerabilities of the local population.

August 12, 2020 - Maryna Parfenchuk

How to respond to Putin’s undeclared war

The readiness to view the conflict in Ukraine as a kind of civil war because Russia never openly declared war goes beyond what strategists in Russia had hoped for. In the western part of Europe, a lack of knowledge about our continent’s history of the last century clearly plays into the hands of the Kremlin. Six years on, it still needs to be made clear that Putin is waging war against Ukraine.

In late February 2014 the Russian incursion into Ukraine began on the Crimean Peninsula. By February 23rd, then Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych had disappeared from Kyiv. With his flight, Vladimir Putin’s man in Ukraine evaded accountability for the lethal use of force against the pro-European protesters on the Maidan during the Revolution of Dignity. The Kremlin’s propaganda machine portrayed Yanukovych’s escape to Russia and the subsequent instalment of an interim president by the Ukrainian parliament as a fascist coup d’état.

April 7, 2020 - Rebecca Harms

Does Zelenskyy have a strategy for managing the Donbas conflict?

The road to peace in Donbas has not appeared smooth and straightforward, as had been expected by President Zelenskyy and his team. The emphasis on humanitarian issues cannot neglect the security situation on the ground nor the unchanged role of the Kremlin.

An attack initiated by representatives of the breakaway territories near Zolote, a town in the Luhansk Oblast, in the early morning of February 18th of this year could dramatically change President Volodymyr Zelenskyy and his team’s conflict perception. What has been announced as the biggest separatist offense since 2018 naturally clashes with the pacifistic and human-oriented approach of Kyiv’s new leader. But further developments and statements have shown that we can expect no real change in either rhetoric or tactics.

April 7, 2020 - Hanna Shelest

The challenge of reintegration

A secure reintegration policy for Donbas should include two dimensions: de-occupation and strengthening of national cohesion. Every political step that emphasises one dimension of reintegration at the expense of the other jeopardises the security of those involved and thus the foundations for a sustainable political dialogue.

Rebooting the peace process and reuniting Ukraine – these lofty promises are the mainstay of the presidency of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy since his election last year. In this spirit, during the first so-called Unity Forum held on October 30th 2019 in Mariupol, Zelenskyy introduced three crucial steps on how he sees the process of bringing the occupied territories back to Ukraine: ceasefire, reconciliation and safe reintegration.

April 7, 2020 - Igor Mitchnik Tim Bohse

A tale of two collapses

Today’s Sievierodonetsk reflects wider processes that are taking place in the Donbas region. In the summer of 2014 de-oligarchisation and decommunisation began to progress in parallel. They resulted in two collapses.

Many of us probably do not realise the role that heavy-duty hand cleaning paste has played in the history of the Eastern bloc. In Poland, for instance, this product was called pasta BHP, and it was commonly used to remove stains from paint and grease. Its trade allowed one Polish family, the Kulczyks, to become billionaires. In the Soviet republics, that paste was called Landish and was popularly used in households as a washing detergent.

April 7, 2020 - Wojciech Siegień

Evolution of an identity

The war has destroyed and continues to devastate Donbas. A majority of the region’s residents have no place to work or means to make a living. One way or another, these circumstances are forcing those who can afford it to abandon the region. Yet I know that even now there are many in Donbas who consider themselves Ukrainian. Unfortunately, they cannot openly express their beliefs.

I was born in Donetsk in the late 1960s and have lived here all my life. My views of Donbas and its people have been shaped for over decades and they have not changed much in recent years. However, in the first year of the Russian military aggression into our land I began to understand, for the first time, how difficult it is to explain some of the circumstances of our Donbas life to people, even though to us living here these things are quite simple and understandable. With this remark, I would now like start my essay, or rather a discussion, about the self-identification of the people of Donbas during the war.

April 7, 2020 - Volodymyr Rafeenko

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

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