Por qué Ucrania tiene que entrar a la OTAN

Durante la ceremonia de la firma del Tratado del Atlántico Norte, el 4 de abril de 1949, el entonces presidente de los Estados Unidos Harry Truman observó que si este «sencillo documento» hubiera existido en 1914 y en 1939, «habría evitado los actos de agresión que llevaron a dos guerras mundiales». Según sugirió, la alianza que acababa de crearse aseguraría la paz disuadiendo a posibles agresores.

El éxito de esta estrategia de seguridad colectiva se refleja en la cantidad de países que han hecho uso de la política de puertas abiertas de la OTAN. Desde 1949, la alianza ha crecido de doce a 32 miembros (siendo los añadidos más recientes Finlandia y Suecia).…  Seguir leyendo »

A resident waiting to be evacuated from Vovchansk, as Russia continues its offensive in Kharkiv oblast. Photograph: Global Images Ukraine/Getty Images

The Russian offensive on the Kharkiv region this month has, after 20 months of relative peace, again placed many of the villages where my charity works, repairing homes destroyed by bombs, at the forefront of the war.

I began volunteering in Kharkiv two years ago, having dropped out of my master’s degree in Russian literature and set up the charity to support Ukrainians. After the region’s liberation in September 2022, hundreds of thousands of people had started to return to Kharkiv city and the wider region from other parts of Ukraine, and countries that had taken them in as refugees. The villages where I work were reawakening, the craters that lined the streets had been filled, shops were reopening, electricity was back on.…  Seguir leyendo »

A Ukrainian serviceman patrolling an area in the Zaporizhzhia region, Ukraine, May 2024. Stringer / Reuters.

The U.S. Congress’s approval last month of a $61 billion aid package for Ukraine came not a minute too soon. Ammunition shortages resulting from Washington’s months-long dysfunction have eroded Ukrainian frontline positions and left cities and critical infrastructure exposed to missile and drone barrages. Top military and intelligence officials in Kyiv have advised Ukrainians to brace for territorial setbacks in the coming months. Already, the Russian military has stepped up pressure on Kharkiv, forcing thousands of Ukrainians to flee out of fear that Russian forces could soon reoccupy their towns.

The infusion of U.S. aid should help Ukraine stabilize the front and protect its skies.…  Seguir leyendo »

A Ukrainian serviceman firing a howitzer toward Russian troops in the Donetsk region, Ukraine, May 2024. Valentyn Ogirenko / Reuters

The U.S. government decided to provide more assistance to Ukraine just in the nick of time. By the end of April, right before the aid package passed, the war-torn country was emptying its last reserves of ammunition and rationing artillery rounds and shells—and Ukrainian forces began to lose ground in part as a result. The $60 billion now flowing into Ukraine will help correct these disparities, providing Kyiv an opportunity to stop Russia’s offensive. The aid package also serves as a massive psychological boost, giving Ukrainians newfound confidence that they will not be abandoned by their most important partner.

But the aid package alone cannot answer the central question facing Ukraine: how to win the war.…  Seguir leyendo »

El oso ruso está mostrando en Ucrania unos colmillos que parecen mucho menos mellados de lo habitual. Las huestes de Putin están avanzando en diversos frentes con una rapidez superior a lo acostumbrado en esta guerra, amenazando Járkov, la segunda ciudad de Ucrania. Podría creerse que este es el orden natural de las cosas: que el rodillo ruso está en marcha una vez más; que los rusos se han puesto las pilas y han engrasado los engranajes oxidados de su poderosísima máquina de guerra, aunque les haya costado dos años, de manera que el potencial material y demográfico del coloso ha de imponerse fatalmente sobre su vecino más pequeño; que en una guerra prolongada, Rusia tiene forzosamente todas las de ganar.…  Seguir leyendo »

Hanna, de 74 años, abandona Vovchansk cargada con unas pocas pertenencias y su loro. Valentyn Ogirenko. Reuters

Cuando todos pensábamos que el frente norte estaba estabilizado, Europa se ha despertado con una ofensiva rusa sobre Járkov, la segunda ciudad de Ucrania. Las opciones de tomarla son nulas, sobre todo viendo lo que le ha costado a Rusia tomar ciudades mucho más pequeñas como Avdivka o Bajmut. La sorpresa ha sido mayúscula porque en ninguno de los análisis racionales que se pueden hacer de la guerra en Ucrania se planteaba esta opción. Si esto es así, ¿por qué Rusia ha llevado a cabo esta ofensiva?

El primer motivo ha sido el deseo militar ruso de acercarse a Járkov para castigar a la población con artillería de corto alcance.…  Seguir leyendo »

Ukrainian servicemen fire in the Kharkiv region on May 15, amid a fresh Russian assault. Roman Pilipey/AFP/Getty Images

It was a carefully choreographed show of force in Beijing Thursday as Russian President Vladimir Putin arrived for yet another meeting with his Chinese counterpart, Xi Jinping. They were all smiles.

Meanwhile in Europe, the atmosphere could have hardly felt less jovial.

On Wednesday, Slovakian Prime Minister Robert Fico was shot multiple times and gravely wounded in an assassination attempt. Fico is reportedly out of danger now, with many details about the shooting still unclear. But the dramatic event added to the foreboding sense of crisis across the region; the feeling that, as tense as the situation is, it’s time to prepare urgently, because it might turn much worse.…  Seguir leyendo »

Russia Has Opened Up a New Front. What Comes Next?

Last week, the Russian military opened a new front in its invasion of Ukraine.

Launching an offensive into the Kharkiv region, Russian forces quickly advanced several kilometers, managing to reoccupy several villages that were liberated during Ukraine’s successful offensive in September 2022. They have not yet reached the main line of defenses east of the city, which are held by brigades better equipped and more experienced than those closer to the border. But the situation is serious.

By threatening Ukraine’s second most populous city, Russia hopes to pin Ukrainian resources in the region, exposing the front elsewhere. Ukraine’s immediate priority is to stabilize the front line and prevent a major Russian breakthrough, which it may be able to do.…  Seguir leyendo »

Buque rompehielos ruso en la ruta marítima del Polo Norte. Foto: Dmitrii Tropinin (@dtropinin)

En la decimocuarta ronda de sanciones sobre Rusia, la Unión Europea (UE) estudia incluir una prohibición de los transbordos de gas natural licuado (GNL) ruso en los puertos europeos. La medida pretende dificultar la logística de las exportaciones de gas ruso desde el Ártico, que necesita durante los meses de invierno emplear buques metaneros rompehielos. Estos buques, escasos por sus elevados costes de producción, mantenimiento y de operación, entregan el GNL que transportan en puertos europeos para que sean posteriormente transportados por buques metaneros convencionales al mercado asiático, especialmente China. Las sanciones, por tanto, no reducen los volúmenes de gas natural suministrado a la UE y no deberían tener un impacto sustancial en los precios de referencia europeos.…  Seguir leyendo »

El presidente de Rusia, Vladímir Putin, preside el desfile del Día de la Victoria, el 9 de mayo en Moscú.MAXIM BLINOV/POOL (via REUTERS)

Usar el dinero de Rusia para pagar las entregas de armas occidentales a Ucrania parece una idea inteligente. ¿O tal vez demasiado inteligente?

El Grupo de los Siete países industrializados tiene intención de incautar las reservas de divisas de Rusia, que ascienden a unos 280.000 millones de dólares. De ellos, 210.000 millones están depositados en Euroclear, una entidad depositaria con sede en Bélgica.

Después de que Rusia invadiera Ucrania, la respuesta inmediata de Occidente fue congelar el dinero para privar a Rusia de los medios financieros para financiar la guerra. Ahora los aliados occidentales quieren dar un paso más y apoderarse de los activos.…  Seguir leyendo »

Firefighters put out a fire in a destroyed house in Kharkiv, Ukraine, on May 3 after it was struck by a Russian bomb. (Sergey Bobok/AFP/Getty Images)

Ever since Ukraine’s second-largest city repelled Russia’s invasion attempt in the early months of 2022, Kharkiv has stood as a national success story in the grueling war with its larger neighbor. Against overwhelming odds, Ukrainian forces pushed back the attackers and denied Russian President Vladimir Putin one of his key early war aims. In the midst of that fight, Kharkiv Mayor Ihor Terekhov told me in an interview he was determined to keep his city free — which was not a given at the time.

Two years after that victory, however, Terekhov leads Kharkiv as it once again faces an existential threat.…  Seguir leyendo »

Depuis le début de l’année, plus de 4 000 drones à longue portée et presque autant de missiles balistiques ou de croisière ont frappé la population, les bâtiments civils (hôpitaux, écoles, universités, immeubles d’habitation) et les infrastructures économiques et énergétiques de l’Ukraine. Ces bombardements destructeurs ne ciblent pas les positions militaires ukrainiennes. La Russie cherche, avant tout, à terroriser la population, à désintégrer le tissu social et à provoquer l’effondrement économique de l’Ukraine, en menaçant et désorganisant chaque instant de la vie quotidienne, en interrompant la distribution de l’eau et de l’énergie, en rasant les équipements hospitaliers et éducatifs, en dévastant les installations industrielles du pays.…  Seguir leyendo »

Katerina, left, stands with relatives holding flowers at her parents' funeral in Hroza, Ukraine, in October. (Heidi Levine for The Washington Post). (Heidi Levine/FTWP)

Six-year-old Renat and 10-year-old Varvara were living in Mariupol — the city wiped from the face of the Earth by Russian bombing — when they were sent to an orphanage in Russia. They were torn from their mother, who had been taken prisoner.

Desperate, Renat and Varvara’s grandmother knocked on every door, searched every inch of land to find her missing loved ones. While their mother was eventually brought back to Ukraine via a prisoner swap, it took nine months and the assistance of the Ukrainian authorities for the grandmother to bring back her grandchildren. She even crossed enemy lines to rescue them.…  Seguir leyendo »

Britain's Foreign Secretary David Cameron walks past a display of destroyed Russian military vehicles in Saint Michael's Square, in Kyiv, Ukraine, on May 2, 2024 . (Photo by Thomas Peter-Pool/Getty Images)

The Kremlin has responded with predictable theatre to comments from foreign secretary David Cameron, after he said Ukraine is free to use weapons supplied by Britain to launch strikes inside Russia.

That theatre was both diplomatic, with the British ambassador summoned to the foreign ministry in Russia on Monday to warn of retaliation, and nuclear: Moscow announced it would be holding exercises involving tactical nuclear weapons in the near future to remind the world yet again that it has them.

The UK position is a sharp contrast to that of the US, which has consistently forbidden Ukraine from using the weapons it supplies to hit targets in Russia.…  Seguir leyendo »

A demonstration in support of Ukraine, Taipei, Taiwan, February 2023. Ann Wang / Reuters

The Russian invasion of Ukraine was a wake-up call: it was time to move past the vision of a post‒Cold War world in which regimes in Moscow and Beijing would become responsible stakeholders in a rules-based international order. What has emerged, instead, is an increasingly contentious world plagued by authoritarian aggression, most dangerously exemplified by the “no-limits partnership” between China and Russia, through which the two countries have bolstered each other’s repressive, expansionist agendas.

This remains, however, a globalized world of interconnected economies and societies: a single, indivisible theater in which the security of every country is intimately linked to the security of every other.…  Seguir leyendo »

‘The Kremlin on Monday issued an angry statement announcing that Russia would soon conduct a tactical nuclear weapons exercise near Ukraine.’ Photograph: Valery Sharifulin/SPUTNIK/KREMLIN POOL/EPA

Frustrated by the precarious state of Ukraine’s war effort and the long delays in US aid, leaders in France and Britain have stepped up their promises to Ukraine in the last few days. The French president, Emmanuel Macron, repeated in an interview last week that he might send ground forces to shore up beleaguered Ukrainian defenses. Meanwhile, speaking in Kyiv, the British foreign minister, David Cameron, gave Ukraine the green light to strike into Russian territory, clearly signaling that the UK wants a more aggressive approach to the war.

Their frustration is understandable, as is the temptation to get more directly involved in the war, with more powerful weapons and more guarantees of long-term backing for Ukraine.…  Seguir leyendo »

A fire at a Russian energy facility after a Ukrainian strike, Yartsevo, Russia, April 2024. Reuters

On January 19, a Ukrainian drone struck an oil depot in the town of Klintsy, in Russia’s western Bryansk region, setting four gasoline tanks on fire and igniting some 1.6 million gallons of oil. Later that week, another strike lit a fire at Rosneft’s oil refinery in Tuapse, a Russian city some 600 miles from Ukrainian-held territory. In March, Ukrainian drones hit four Russian refineries in two days. April began with a Ukrainian drone attack on Russia’s third-largest refinery, located deep in the region of Tatarstan, around 800 miles away. The month ended with strikes on facilities in two more Russian cities, Smolensk and Ryazan.…  Seguir leyendo »

¿El renovado apoyo de Estados Unidos a Ucrania será suficiente?

Un suministro adicional de armas y dinero por parte de Estados Unidos hoy va camino a Ucrania. La provisión o no de ayuda militar adicional fue materia de debate durante muchos meses en el Congreso de Estados Unidos. Finalmente, el presidente de la Cámara de Representantes, Mike Johnson, miró fijamente a los elementos más de derecha de su partido y sometió la cuestión a votación. La propuesta fue aprobada por un margen de 311 a 112, gracias al respaldo de los demócratas. Si bien el mismo paquete también habilita ayuda de seguridad para Israel y Taiwán, los casi 61.000 millones de dólares para Ucrania son el componente principal -y marcarán la mayor diferencia en el corto plazo.…  Seguir leyendo »

A military recruitment poster in Kyiv, March 2024. Valentyn Ogirenko / Reuters

After months of delay, Congress’s passage of a nearly $61 billion U.S. aid bill to Ukraine has provided a vital lifeline to Kyiv. But the aid package alone will not solve Ukraine’s larger problems in its war with Russia. Ukrainian forces are defending frontlines that span some 600 miles of the south and east of the country, and prolonged inaction in Washington has left them severely stretched. The influx of U.S. weapons and ammunition should significantly raise the cost to Russia of its impending summer offensive. The aid also offers Ukrainian forces enough materiel to support more systematic military planning for the summer and fall.…  Seguir leyendo »

A woman looks at a board showing the rates of dollars and euros against the ruble in Moscow. (Photo by Contributor/Getty Images)

Russia’s attack on Ukraine in February 2022 contravened the most important principles of the UN charter. The G7 must continue giving strong economic, political, and military support to Ukraine, enabling it to defend itself. This benefits the Ukrainian people and is critical to the long-term security of G7 countries themselves.

But confiscating $300 billion of sanctioned Russian state assets to help pay for this support is a more complex question. It is not certain that the benefits to the G7 will outweigh the costs it will bear. Financing support for Ukraine through normal public expenditure, at least for the time being, is likely to be the better option.…  Seguir leyendo »