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Tag: War

How to win this war?

Debate continues in the West as to what kind of aid should be sent to Ukraine. If we are to take Russia’s invasion seriously, however, we must move past such discussions. Only the full backing of Kyiv and its fight can ensure a peaceful future not only for Ukraine but the West as a whole.

May 31, 2023 - Bartosz Krępski

Iran and Russia. Two pretty best friends

Iran is one of the largest and most influential countries in the Middle East. Given the protests of recent months and Iranian involvement in the Russian war in Ukraine, it is necessary to bring Iran back into the spotlight of geopolitical analysis.

Since mid-September 2022, people in Iran have been demonstrating against the regime. The protests were triggered by the death of a 22-year-old Kurdish woman named Jina Mahsa Amini. She was arrested by Iran's morality police for allegedly violating Islamic dress codes and died in police custody. The incident sparked mass protests across the country.

April 29, 2023 - Raze Baziani

Renewing the promise of European solidarity

The war in Ukraine reminds us that the peaceful civic revolutions of 1989-91 have not yet been completed. Today Vladimir Putin is once again trying to stop Ukraine’s Revolution of Dignity and reverse its dynamics. He is also the co-creator of a new nationalistic populism in Europe and the United States. The main goal of this movement is to destroy civic culture and solidarity among people.

When we ask Europeans what comes to their mind when they think of the word solidarity, we see that their answer today differs compared to what it was before February 24th 2022. Many will probably say that for them solidarity means support for the democratic Ukrainian society that is being attacked by Putinist Russia. Among the answers there might be justified opinions that the Russian political system has become fascist. The war in Ukraine is the next step in Russia’s authoritarian radicalisation, which translates into increased violence and aggression against its neighbours, but also against the Russian society. All dissent is brutally crushed there.

February 16, 2023 - Basil Kerski

The easy times are behind us, but we are not giving up

Poland responded generously to the mass inflow of refugees from Ukraine as Russia invaded in February last year. However, the need for help continues with every day of the war. While times are indeed hard for the country’s army of volunteers, they are determined to continue aiding people in their time of need.

Right before the end of 2022 the vice chairman of the Polish Development Fund, Bartosz Marczuk, published a tweet in which he presented the amount of money that Poland had spent on helping Ukraine since the beginning of the Russian aggression on February 24th. The data that he presented showed that altogether in 2022 it was between 35 and 40 billion Polish zlotys, which is between 7.5 and 8.5 billion euros. Out of it, ten billion zlotys were spent on weapons, six billion amounted to state support for Ukrainian refugees (including support for children), around ten billion was spent by local governments and non-governmental organisations, and another ten billion was made up of the private help of the Polish people.

February 16, 2023 - Iwona Reichardt

Puzzles of an extremely difficult level. The post-war recovery of Ukraine

Soon after it became clear that Russia’s brutal aggression on Ukraine was nowhere near the rapid military campaign it had hoped to be, the international debate on the reconstruction of Ukraine started. Backtracking through the focal points of this debate gives us a clue as to where the primary financial and non-financial obstacles lie.

The current phase of Russia’s war against Ukraine started on February 24th 2022. Evidently, it marked a turning point in Europe’s history, whose consequences we will be seeing in the long years to come. As of January 2023, there are no clear signs suggesting how long the war will last. In fact, there is no end in sight. Nevertheless, alongside the ongoing negotiations on the armament of Ukraine and the next round of sanctions on Russia, there is also a process taking place around establishing the framework for future reconstruction efforts. There is no doubt that without a clear and effective institutional architecture, the recovery will become bogged down in a ton of risks and problems.

February 15, 2023 - Maciej Makulski

Moldova is being forced to adapt to hybrid warfare

Russia’s war against Ukraine proved to the world that battles do not happen only on the ground; they are also taking place online. After Russia’s invasion on February 24th, its neighbours, including Moldova, began facing many challenges: an economic crisis, a refugee influx, an energy crisis and even cyber-attacks.

The date of February 24th 2022 completely changed the life of the whole world, and definitely changed Moldova. Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is spreading to this neighbouring country, even though direct attacks are not yet happening. The war in Ukraine has affected all processes in Moldova, especially in the economic sphere, and includes: increased inflation, disruption of all supply chains, the energy crisis, disinformation, propaganda, instability in society and above all, challenges to cybersecurity.

February 15, 2023 - Marina Bzovîi

Back home to the warzone. Emotions of displacement among returning Ukrainian migrants

One third of the Ukrainian population is displaced – over eight million abroad and at least five and a half million internally, constituting the biggest forced displacement in Europe since the Second World War. Curiously, around one third of those who had fled after February 24th 2022 have already returned, with the International Organisation for Migration putting the number as high as six million. Yet, they returned, against all odds.

The full-scale war in Ukraine and the refugee influx that followed sent shockwaves throughout Europe. However, a large number of refugees coming back also caught many by surprise. They returned despite the war still raging throughout the country, and despite receiving an unprecedentedly warm welcome. Myself also being puzzled, I looked for answers and found a couple of think tank papers. The analysts meticulously present statistics and draw maps and graphs. There are survey data responses and discussions on the size of welfare payments, the distribution of housing and other resources for the refugees. Still, I am not convinced. When examining the statistics of millions, a person inevitably gets lost. Hence, I set out to look at the individual behind the digits.  

February 15, 2023 - Olena Yermakova

In anticipation of a new world

Despite being neighbours, the societies of Ukraine and Belarus know very little about each other. The Kremlin’s use of Belarusian land in its invasion of Ukraine suggests that this divide may persist into the future. However, it is clear that the two countries’ democratic populations will have great potential for cooperation in the years ahead.

The analytical group “BELARUS-UKRAINE-REGION” was established at the end of 2020 at the University of Warsaw. At that moment it was already quite clear that the Belarusian revolution of 2020 would not lead to a quick change of power in Minsk. There was also not yet much talk of a full-scale war in Ukraine, which is Belarus’s neighbour. In fact, analysts and observers who spoke about such a threat in 2021, or even early 2022, would usually add a disclaimer that in their view, the breakout of a war was a very unlikely scenario.

December 7, 2022 - Oleksandr Shevchenko

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

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

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

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