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Tag: Ukraine

Bulba in a pickle: Belarus and the war in Ukraine

Stuck in the middle of a war, Belarusian strongman Alyaksandr Lukashenka has tried to save himself by using his old tricks. He officially supports the Russian invasion and claims that Moscow was provoked by NATO. At the same time, he is trying to demonstrate that he still has some sovereignty at his disposal.

Bulba, potato in Belarusian, is an important vegetable in Belarus. The country is well known for its production and various dishes (including draniki, potato pancakes) that go well with Bulbash vodka. Belarusians are known as bulbashy in the Russian-speaking world. Although, for a long time, it was a name that was considered offensive, in recent years it has been adopted by the younger generation who wear it with ironic pride. Today, one of the most famous bulbash, Alyaksandr Lukashenka, is facing probably the most challenging situation in his long political career. The

April 25, 2022 - Kacper Wańczyk

Poland as a new frontline state

Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine not only wreaked havoc on Ukrainian society but also damaged the regional security architecture of Central and Eastern Europe. For Poland and other states on the Eastern Flank of NATO, it instantly meant that they had all become de facto frontline states.

February 24th marked the end of the world order as we know it when Russian tanks rolled into Ukrainian territory and Russian missiles started to target Ukrainian civilian and military infrastructure. It is by no means an exaggeration to claim that the international security architecture that was shaped after the Second World War is now gone. From the regional perspective, the first day of the Russian aggression changed everything for both Ukraine and its neighbours. Many of these states have been pondering whether they would be next on Putin's list.

April 25, 2022 - Wojciech Michnik

The more things change… Britain, Russia and the war in Ukraine

The Kremlin’s invasion of Ukraine has upended its bilateral links with countries around the world. This is no clearer than in the United Kingdom, which has forged a rather contradictory relationship with Russia over the past few decades. British politicians are now faced with pursuing a clean break with this peculiar status quo in response to today’s exceptional circumstances.

It has not been an easy winter for UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson. Whether it is overlooking a friend’s paid lobbying or lockdown parties at Downing Street, the British leader has often found himself in the media spotlight for all the wrong reasons. This uncertain domestic situation has had a drastic effect on the fortunes of his own Conservative Party, with recent by-election results often turning in favour of opposition parties. Polls now show steady support for the Labour Party for the first time since Johnson’s landslide election victory in late 2019. Nevertheless, the famously resilient Boris continues to hold on to his job.

April 25, 2022 - Niall Gray

Mission impossible? EU membership for Ukraine, Georgia and Moldova during wartime

Whilst Ukraine, Georgia and Moldova’s applications for EU membership were submitted before they were really ready, the Russian military assault on Ukraine has put the EU in a very delicate situation. Nevertheless, the EU has given the green light to start evaluating the eligibility of the three associated states for candidate status.

Never before have Ukraine, Georgia and Moldova's European prospects been as bright as they are now. All three partner countries in the Eastern Partnership region have already submitted applications to join the European Union. However, the trigger for this move was not the success of internal reforms or the fulfilment of other political and economic milestones (also known as the Copenhagen Criteria).

April 25, 2022 - Denis Cenusa

More volunteers than refugees: how Romanians mobilised for Ukrainians

Thousands of Ukrainian refugees enter Romania daily through the border crossings and are met by an army of volunteers. Yet, there is no central command running these humanitarian operations. They are, for the most part, happening spontaneously, with officials, refugees and volunteers finding the best solution for each case through word of mouth or on social media. Not having a plan seems to be the best plan so far.

Since Russian tanks started rolling into Ukraine on February 24th, nearly half a million Ukrainian women, children and elderly people have crossed the border into neighbouring Romania. They have arrived either directly from their country or through Moldova. Although a far cry from the more than two million that already made it from Ukraine to Poland, this influx of refugees poses a great challenge to a country that is not exactly known for its robust social services or the organisational capacity of its administration. But, at least until now, things have gone much smoother than most would have thought.

April 25, 2022 - Marcel Gascón Barberá

Raphael Lemkin: the ambassador of our conscience

The ongoing Russian invasion of Ukraine has led to massive killings and casualties among civilian population. War crimes committed during the conflict remind us of the menace of genocide, especially while the invaders put the “denazification” motto on their banners. When dealing with such a divisive topic, it is important to remember the legacy left by the man who first coined the term “genocide”.

He was the first to call genocide by its proper name. He was the one who dedicated his life to one mission and enhanced international law via his “own” convention. Like many selfless humanists, this man accomplished his goal at the expense of his private life, welfare and premature death. He was unsuccessfully nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize ten times. He was not heard, when needed. He was accepted, only when the world had no choice. He was forgotten, once the world had no more use of him. That was the fate of Raphael Lemkin.

April 25, 2022 - Grzegorz Szymborski

Legitimacy, occupation and sexual abuse

The war in Ukraine and its consequences have shone a light on particular issues faced by women in conflict. With civilians often forced into compliance by Russia’s occupying forces, women are especially vulnerable to sexual abuse. Such criminal actions could ultimately be utilised as a deliberate weapon of war, intended specifically to enforce a wider model of occupation in the country and reconstruct the national identity to accept the new government.

April 20, 2022 - Caroline Beshenich

From Associated to Candidate Trio? Ukraine, Georgia and Moldova’s EU membership journey

The European prospects of Ukraine, Georgia and Moldova have become a key topic of debate since Russia launched its “special military operation”. Eager to protect their pro-western outlooks, the three states could soon gain candidate status with the EU.

April 19, 2022 - Denis Cenusa Kerry Longhurst

Why has Russia already lost?

The start of the war in Ukraine saw Russian propaganda promote the idea of a quick and inevitable victory. However, the numerous long-term problems faced by the Russian state and society have ultimately doomed it to defeat in the country.

April 8, 2022 - Valerii Pekar

The Kremlin’s “ecocide” is the Putin regime’s crime against Earth

The war in Ukraine has brought attention to many pressing humanitarian issues in the country. Despite this, the conflict’s effects on the environment have not been discussed at length. Russia’s actions in Ukraine could well set a legal precedent for “ecocide” in international law.

April 7, 2022 - Pavlo Lodyn

War scenarios following Putin’s failed ‘blitzkrieg’

Over a month into the ongoing Russian invasion of Ukraine we have learned that the Kremlin's plans and their implementation differs vastly. What are some of the scenarios the West should prepare for and what options are still available?

April 4, 2022 - Andrii Dligach Valerii Pekar

China’s position in the Russo-Ukrainian War

China’s reaction to the ongoing war in Ukraine appears ambiguous to say the least. Often calling for both sides to talk, the country appears uncertain as to its long-term goals. However, there may be more to this outlook once China’s traditional strategy is understood.

March 29, 2022 - Valerii Pekar

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