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Tag: Ukraine

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

Donbas veterans establish their place in Ukrainian society

An interview with Anton Kolumbet, the (former) first deputy minister for veteran affairs in Ukraine. Interviewer: Kateryna Pryshchepa
KATERYNA PRYSHCHEPA: A report recently published by the International Organization for Migration states that Donbas war veterans often face difficulties with access to services and benefits they are formally entitled to. In addition, they also face conflict situations in society. Is it possible to change these tendencies by legal means, or is there a need for information campaigns?

ANTON KOLUMBET: The problem stems from the fact that the current social guarantees and services for war veterans in Ukraine are still regulated by the law adopted in 1992. That law basically replicates the norms of Soviet legislation regarding the Second World War and Afghan war veterans. In the USSR the state was the principal property owner and the manager of social services: under our current free market economic conditions, some of those old benefits simply cannot be offered by the state anymore.

April 7, 2020 - Anton Kolumbet Kateryna Pryshchepa

The broken promises of Ukraine’s police reform

Gains of reform are threatened amid an exodus of Ukraine’s revolutionaries from patrol police. And failure to reform the upper echelons of the police could mean a return to the old corrupt and inefficient practices.

When Ukraine introduced a new and radically reimagined patrol police in 2015, Nazar Franchuk was one of the first to sign up. Franchuk, who spent the winter of 2013-2014 splitting his time between university exams and protesting in Ukraine’s Revolution of Dignity, wanted to bring his revolutionary energy to the new law enforcement body which was intended to replace the country’s notoriously corrupt police force.

April 6, 2020 - Chris G. Collison

Ukraine. Going West despite everything

In 2014 Ukraine found itself at a turning point when the government signed the political and (later) economic parts of the Association Agreement with the European Union. Six years later it has become evident that too little time has passed to fully evaluate this period, but one thing is certain: Ukraine is determined to stay on the path to the West.

In the spring of 2014, shortly after the EuroMaidan victory, I attended regular meetings of bank executives from the National Bank of Ukraine to discuss system stabilisation and reform. The smell of burned tyres lingered in the air as a constant reminder. A feeling of hope and expectation was growing within Ukrainian society. However the annexation of Crimea and the war in Donbas were in their active phases and the Ukrainian economy was in chaos.

April 6, 2020 - Volodymyr Kuzyo

In search of the wow effect

A review of the exhibit Ukraine WOW Interactive Exhibition. November 14th 2019 – March 29th 2020, Kyiv Ukraine.

April 6, 2020 - Nataliya Parshchyk

Crimea’s annexation six years on

Interview with Mykhailo Pashkov, Co-director of the Foreign Relations and International Security Programme at the Razumkov Centre. Interviewer Guntaj Mirzayev.

April 2, 2020 - Guntaj Mirzayev Mykhailo Pashkov

Talk Eastern Europe 33: Ukraine reshuffles the government

In the latest Talk Eastern Europe podcast Adam and Maciek open the episode with a discussion on how the coronavirus situation is developing in the Eastern Partnership countries. They also highlight one small bit of good news in recent days, despite all the bad news that has been dominating the headlines.

March 27, 2020 - Adam Reichardt Maciej Makulski

The Eastern Partnership should now focus on greater integration

A conversation with Petras Auštrevičius, member of the European Parliament from Lithuania. Interviewer: Adam Reichardt.

March 16, 2020 - Adam Reichardt Petras Auštrevičius

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