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Tag: Ukraine

Ukraine’s suffering goes beyond the front line

Ever since the Russian invasion of Ukraine in February, the country has lost people, cities, infrastructure and money at a dizzying speed. Current statistics regarding the state of the country make for grim reading. However, not every loss is measurable.

There is nothing more devastating in life than the loss of a child. It is not only a tragedy for the family, but it also appeals to our deepest evolutionary mechanisms – both to our modern set of values regarding the rights of children and to our eternal drive to survive as a community. As of August 1st, 358 Ukrainian children have been killed since the beginning of Russia’s invasion and 693 have been injured. Furthermore, 203 children are still missing, most of them in the combat zones (there have been 4,242 reports to police since February 24th, though most children have been found).

October 3, 2022 - Oksana Forostyna

What the Russian invasion has cost Ukraine

Ukraine has now experienced half a year of war with no end in sight. Despite this, numerous individuals and groups are now attempting to calculate the real cost of the brutal Russian invasion. Whilst the fog of war makes such studies difficult, they will prove pivotal in understanding the true level of suffering in the country.

Withstanding six months of onslaught from one of the world’s most powerful militaries comes at a price – and Ukraine is learning about that cost in real time. Of course, Ukraine has been at war for far longer than just six months. Russia’s capture of Crimea and the eight-year war in Donbas must also be included when looking at the price Ukraine has paid for defending its sovereignty. Ukraine’s losses go far beyond the significant loss of life and livelihoods of tens of thousands of Ukrainians. At its peak, Russia occupied nearly one-fifth of all Ukrainian land, depriving the country of its resources and industry.

October 3, 2022 - Lee Reaney

How Russia’s war estranged us, probably forever

Differences of views on Russia’s invasion of Ukraine have not only split two nations, but also many families as well. The stories of Sasha and Daniil offer just two examples of how families have been split by toxic propaganda and war, with little chance for reconciliation.

When Russia invaded Ukraine on February 24th, it brought much more than political and ideological discord. For thousands of Ukrainians, who had family connections in Russia, it was a turning point. The ground of common understanding that had been eroding since the occupation of Crimea and parts of Donbas in 2014, completely cracked in one night, when Russian forces crossed the Ukrainian border in an attempt to take Kyiv. What had been thought of as western exaggeration prior to February 24th, became real, and the wall of misunderstanding split many friendships and family connections; some of them forever broken.

October 3, 2022 - Iryna Matviyishyn

Revisiting the original loss: Crimea

The Ukrainian peninsula of Crimea has been occupied for over eight years now. The progressive establishment of Russian control and militarisation over Crimea contains a number of lessons not yet learnt about Moscow’s political strategy in the more recently occupied territories.

Prior to February 24th 2022, Crimea had been an essential part of any discussion on the security situation in and around Ukraine. In August last year, the Ukrainian government launched a new initiative called the “Crimean Platform” to place the de-occupation of Crimea on the agenda of the highest echelons of diplomacy. In fact, Ukraine organised the second summit of the Crimean Platform this summer.

October 3, 2022 - Maksym Popovych

The bees of war

Ukraine’s honey business is one of the largest in the world. Sadly, as a result of the war, dozens of apiaries and beehives are being destroyed every week. In some cases, beekeepers are able to get some financial support from the government, but it is not enough. Yet, the beekeepers remain optimistic. They share everything they have: their honey, knowledge and optimistic spirit.

The honey that you enjoy so much might be one that is produced in the Donbas region. Ukraine’s eastern and southern territories contain rich melliferous plants. Most people who produce this honey had to flee their homes and move to safer regions following the outbreak of the war. Their families might now even be living in your neighbourhood. Some have attempted to save their bees and take them to a new place. This is very difficult, as it is not as easy as transporting a cat. But those beekeepers who were able to stay found themselves at risk, trying to visit beehives despite the constant Russian shelling.

October 3, 2022 - Alisa Koverda

History lost. How Vladimir Putin’s historical conceptions led to the invasion of Ukraine

Vladimir Putin’s 2021 article on Ukraine was primarily dedicated to the notion that Ukraine is historically inseparable from Russia. He at least conceded that a Ukrainian culture and language exists. However, in his February 2022 speech, Putin ignores these ideas completely, using revisionist history to eradicate an entire nation, its language, and culture. According to Putin, the history of Ukraine is now solely the history of Russia.

Russian President Vladimir Putin’s historical conceptions, or rather misconceptions, have led to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Putin is manipulating, altering, rewriting and at times even completely inventing history in order to justify his actions against Ukraine and the Ukrainian people.

October 3, 2022 - Joshua Kroeker

Why Ukraine needs debt forgiveness

The long months of war have given Ukraine the chance to think about its future reconstruction effort. Despite this, large amounts of debt may ultimately mean that this goal is unobtainable in any meaningful sense. States, international organisations and businesses must now recognise the reality on the ground and work with Ukraine to manage its debt obligations.

On July 20th 2022, Ukraine made a long-expected U-turn and finally asked international creditors to freeze its debt payments for two years. The Ukrainian government argued that it could use financial resources saved this way in the war against Russia. The request was quickly followed by a statement from the Group of Creditors of Ukraine, which includes Canada, France, Germany, Japan, the United Kingdom and the United States. Noting the exceptional circumstances and “acknowledging Ukraine’s exemplary track record of honouring debt service to date”, they agreed to provide a coordinated suspension of bilateral debt service until the end of 2023, with the possibility of extending it by an additional year.

October 3, 2022 - Dorota Kolarska Magdalena Milenkovska

The tragedy for Belarus and Ukraine

The dream of Belarusians to end the occupation and build their own democratic nation-state will come true when Europe realises that the values of western civilisation should be prioritised over the interests of different influential groups. If Ukraine can stop the imperial ambitions of Russia, a free and democratic Belarus can shut them down for good.

Milan Kundera’s essay “The Tragedy of Central Europe” had an enormous effect on many European nations fighting for freedom and independence before the end of the Cold War. Here, we refer to those nations that Western Europeans did not consider European enough. When reading the first lines of the essay in 2022, the banal yet proven argument that history is cyclical comes to mind: “In November 1956, the director of the Hungarian News Agency, shortly before his office was flattened by artillery fire, sent a telex to the entire world with a desperate message announcing that the Russian attack against Budapest had begun. The dispatch ended with these words: 'We are going to die for Hungary and for Europe.'"

October 3, 2022 - Pavel Latushka

Georgian Dream faces a critical moment

Georgia’s response to the Russian invasion of Ukraine has caused controversy at home and abroad. Adopting an approach aimed at avoiding Moscow’s attention, the state has often been accused of effectively pursuing a pro-Kremlin outlook. Tbilisi must now take clear and effective steps to support Ukraine in order to win back the trust of its partners.

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, which has already dramatically changed developments in Europe, has become closely linked with Georgia’s internal politics. The ruling Georgian Dream party has come under strong criticism from society many times due to their not necessarily clear position on, and lack of support for, Ukraine. Many even believe that if previously Georgian Dream tried to maintain a pro-western image, then the war in Ukraine has unveiled their real face in terms of being pro-Russian. In this critical period, the party managed to make Georgian-Ukrainian relations tense, with a diplomatic scandal erupting between the two countries.

September 29, 2022 - Nino Chanadiri

Building back greener: a roadmap for rebuilding post-war Ukraine

Ukraine can play an important role in the European Union’s energy transition. A green agenda should be prioritised as a part of Ukraine’s post-war recovery. Its integration into the EU’s energy market and energy transition priorities should become key targets not just for the EU, but for other external donors and international financial institutions.

Russia’s latest invasion of Ukraine in February triggered a global energy crisis and has forced the European Union to speed up its vision for energy security. It has also broken down the barriers between energy security and climate policy. At the same time, Ukraine needs to review its own vision for energy security; as a candidate for EU membership it ought to enact binding targets to reduce its fossil fuel use. The EU’s climate target for 2030 was to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by more than half compared to levels in 1990. This target is in line with the EU Green Deal objective of achieving climate neutrality by 2050.

September 29, 2022 - Oksana Khomei

The Asian front of the war in Ukraine

In the Asia-Pacific region, political and diplomatic actions to isolate Russia by the West are complicated. This is because it is unclear what the United States and the European Union can offer to the many troubled countries in search of cheap raw materials, foreign investments and technology. Washington and Brussels need to realise that the Ukrainian game is played on a global level and requires a much greater effort.

The invasion of Ukraine is generating global consequences that will have a long-term impact on the regional order and the geoeconomics of the Asia-Pacific. In particular, the protracted conflict is causing a deterioration in the economic situation of many South and Southeast Asian countries, which are still trying to recover after two years of the pandemic. The rising cost of raw materials, especially energy commodities, coupled with the blocking of exports of Ukrainian and Russian products, has fostered the emergence of huge trade deficits and soaring inflation throughout the region. The shock was so severe that it even triggered a series of economic crises that quickly turned into political ones undermining regional stability.

September 29, 2022 - Tiziano Marino

Security in the Black Sea region after the Russian invasion of Ukraine

Russia's full-scale aggression against Ukraine in 2022 triggered a reshaping of the entire security architecture in the Black Sea region and the whole of Europe. How does the expert community perceive the changes to regional security? What are the lessons learned for the international and regional actors? What could be done to restore and maintain security in the Black Sea region?

September 29, 2022 - Hanna Shelest Maksym Khylko

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