One of the key messages at the heart of Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s presidential campaign in 2019 was a very simple one: peace in Donbas, the war-torn region of Ukraine where Russian-supported separatists continue to fight a war against the Kyiv government. Zelenskyy’s message was based on the assumption that if a ceasefire could be respected, and all Ukrainian prisoners-of-war could return home, then peace would have been achieved.
Nine months after Zelenskyy’s inauguration and two months after his first Normandy Four summit (which brings together Germany and France with Ukraine and Russia to discuss Donbas), it appears more likely that this approach will lead Ukraine into a Russian trap.… Seguir leyendo »
Violations against cultural property – such as archaeological treasures, artworks, museums or historical sites – can be no less detrimental to the survival of a nation than the physical persecution of its people. These assaults on heritage ensure the hegemony of some nations and distort the imprint of other nations in world history, sometimes to the point of eradication.
As contemporary armed conflicts in Syria, Ukraine and Yemen demonstrate, cultural property violations are not only a matter of the colonial past; they continue to be perpetrated, often in new, intricate ways.
Understandably, from a moral perspective, it is more often the suffering of persons, rather than any kind of ‘cultural’ destruction, that receives the most attention from humanitarian aid providers, the media or the courts.… Seguir leyendo »
Las audiencias del proceso de destitución que se le sigue al presidente Donald Trump han puesto de manifiesto que cualquiera sea su partido, los políticos estadounidenses coinciden en que Ucrania es un país corrupto. Sin embargo, sería lamentable que durante este proceso la opinión pública sólo oiga decir que Ucrania está irremediablemente sumida en la anomia, la pobreza y la desesperanza, y no se hable de la transformación generalizada que atraviesa.
Es verdad que Ucrania sigue siendo un país pobre y, en ocasiones, desesperanzado. Pero el año pasado, su ciudadanía emitió dos veces un voto inequívoco contra la corrupción y la incompetencia que han sido sinónimo de la clase política desde que el país se independizó en 1991.… Seguir leyendo »
It’s not been a good year for major media.
First, they were caught red-handed as shills for the fake Russian collusion narrative that convulsed the nation for nearly three years.
Then, they were exposed as barkers for the fake Ukraine scandal while the real thing — Joe Biden’s pay-for-play scheme and $1 billion “quid pro quo” while he was President Obama’s vice president — still goes largely unexamined.
Truth be told, this kind of slanted reporting involving Russia and Ukraine has a long pedigree.
In 1932, The New York Times’ Moscow bureau chief, Walter Duranty, won a Pulitzer Prize for his reporting on Joseph Stalin’s USSR.… Seguir leyendo »
Le sommet qui a réuni à Paris, le 9 décembre, la Russie, l’Ukraine, l’Allemagne et la France a produit des effets significatifs et aura un impact sur le processus de paix dans l’est du Donbass. L’absence de résultats marquants est paradoxalement rassurante, car tout compromis accepté par le président russe aurait signifié une concession unilatérale du président ukrainien.
Tout d’abord, Volodymyr Zelensky a fait connaissance avec Vladimir Poutine en terre européenne, à Paris, sous les regards protecteurs d’Emmanuel Macron et d’Angela Merkel. Le chef d’Etat ukrainien s’y trouvait en position de force diplomatique. Il pouvait accepter de serrer la main de son adversaire et lui rappeler la position de son pays, et les « lignes rouges » infranchissables.… Seguir leyendo »
The France-Germany-Russia-Ukraine summit meeting in Paris on Monday, seeking ways to end the war ravaging eastern Ukraine, ended with a few promising words but no progress in reality. Russia, the aggressor, continues to keep the Ukrainian territory it seized in 2014, and Ukraine’s new president, Volodymyr Zelensky, showed he can’t easily be pressured into surrender.
That left a just and lasting peace in Ukraine not an inch closer.
Still, while Mr. Zelensky’s steadfastness was a relief to millions of Ukrainians, the intransigence of Russia’s president, Vladimir Putin, brought into sharper relief a few realities, none of which bodes well for the West in the long term.… Seguir leyendo »
En diciembre de 1994, Ucrania rubricó el Memorando de Budapest para convertirse en un Estado libre de armas nucleares. Los firmantes, Estados Unidos, Rusia y el Reino Unido, reafirmaron entonces su compromiso “de respetar la independencia y soberanía y las fronteras existentes de Ucrania” y “de no recurrir a la amenaza o al uso de la fuerza contra la integridad territorial o la independencia política de Ucrania”. El mismo mes, 25 años después, Ucrania se vuelve a reunir en París con sus homólogos de Rusia, Alemania y Francia, para negociar el fin de la violación de todo lo anterior por parte de uno de los signatarios.… Seguir leyendo »
In one of the closing episodes of the televised comedy drama, «Servant of the People,» the character played by Volodymyr Zelensky — an actor before he entered politics — delivers a humiliating public tongue-lashing to a delegation from the International Monetary Fund (IMF). He catches the group off guard by rejecting their harsh austerity measures on the basis that they will hurt the Ukrainian people.
On Monday, during the Normandy Four peace summit in Paris, Zelensky, now Ukraine’s president, will go up against a much more formidable foe, Russian President Vladimir Putin. The two leaders will discuss how to bring normalcy back to areas of Ukraine occupied by Russian-backed rebels.… Seguir leyendo »
In 2016, the then-German foreign minister, Frank-Walter Steinmeier, suggested a way around the impasse in east Ukraine.
He proposed that elections in the areas held by Russian-backed insurgents – the ‘Donetsk People’s Republic’ (DNR) and the ‘Luhansk People’s Republic’ (LNR) – could be held under Ukrainian legislation, with Kyiv adopting a temporary law on ‘special status’, the main disagreement between Russia and Ukraine in the Minsk Agreements. This law would become permanent once the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) had declared that elections correspond with OSCE standards.
The reaction in Ukraine was strongly negative. The so-called Steinmeier Formula contradicted Kyiv’s position that elections in the occupied Donbas should only go ahead in a secure environment – requiring the prior withdrawal of Russian forces and the return of the eastern border to Ukraine’s control.… Seguir leyendo »
At a press marathon in Kyiv last week, Volodymyr Zelenskiy declared that his mission was to be the Ukrainian president who would “end the war”. That’s a tough ask for a former comedy actor who had barely got his feet under the presidential desk before being snarled up in a Donald Trump impeachment scandal that has led some Ukrainians to refer to their leader as “Monica” Zelenskiy.
Ukraine’s war is rightly Zelenskiy’s priority, having now claimed more than 13,000 lives since 2014 when demands for greater territorial autonomy in Donetsk and Luhansk – collectively known as Donbass – escalated into a separatist crisis with Russia supporting the separatist rebels.… Seguir leyendo »
En el momento de euforia que siguió inmediatamente al colapso de la Unión Soviética, pocos hubieran adivinado que Ucrania (un país industrializado con una fuerza laboral educada y vastos recursos naturales) padecería estancamiento por los próximos 28 años. En ese mismo lapso, la vecina Polonia, que en 1991 era más pobre que Ucrania, consiguió casi triplicar su PIB per cápita (medido en términos de paridad del poder adquisitivo).
La mayoría de los ucranianos saben por qué se quedaron atrás: su país es uno de los más corruptos del mundo. Pero la corrupción no sale de la nada, así que la pregunta real es cuál es su causa.… Seguir leyendo »
Among the issues exposed by US President Donald Trump’s interactions with the Ukrainian president is that of weak rule of law, a key problem of modern governance. This latest scandal has shown how the judiciary is still vulnerable to being exploited for personal political gain, financial enrichment and geopolitical support.
Since independence, Ukraine has suffered from weak rule of law, high-level corruption and selective justice. A major Chatham House report concluded that despite ‘greater success in restricting the opportunities for corruption, reforms of the law enforcement agencies are proceeding slowly because of the deep underlying culture of corruption in the judicial system.’… Seguir leyendo »
A classified State Department assessment concluded in 2018 that Ukraine’s former Prosecutor General Yuri Lutsenko—who is at the center of the impeachment inquiry of President Trump—had allowed a vital potential witness for Special Counsel Robert Mueller, Konstantin Kilimnik, to escape from Ukraine to Russia, beyond the reach of the United States, after a federal grand jury in the US charged Kilimnik with obstruction of justice.
Had Kilimnik been extradited to the United States, he had the potential to provide invaluable information to investigators that might have shed light on one of the most consequential unresolved questions that the American people deserve an answer to: whether the former chairman to President Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign, Paul Manafort, and perhaps other aides to then presidential candidate Trump, conspired with Russia to aid Russia’s covert operations to intervene in the election to defeat Hillary Clinton and elect Trump.… Seguir leyendo »
The effort by President Trump to pressure the government of Ukraine to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden and his son had its origins in an earlier endeavor to obtain information that might provide a pretext and political cover for the president to pardon his former campaign chairman, Paul Manafort, according to previously undisclosed records.
These records indicate that attorneys representing Trump and Manafort respectively had at least nine conversations relating to this effort, beginning in the early days of the Trump administration, and lasting until as recently as May of this year. Through these deliberations carried on by his attorneys, Manafort exhorted the White House to press Ukrainian officials to investigate and discredit individuals, both in the US and in Ukraine, who he believed had published damning information about his political consulting work in the Ukraine.… Seguir leyendo »
¿Cuáles son los principales retos para el nuevo presidente de Ucrania, Volodimir Zelensky y cuál debería ser el papel de la UE en la nueva legislatura ucraniana?
El éxito o fracaso político de Volodimir Zelensky se verá determinado por su capacidad para cumplir sus promesas electorales, sobre todo dos de ellas: combatir la corrupción y la economía sumergida y encontrar una solución para el enquistado conflicto de Donbás.
El futuro político y democrático de Ucrania es ante todo una cuestión de guerra y paz. Mientras Crimea siga anexionada por Rusia y el Kremlin preste apoyo económico, militar y político a los rebeldes pro rusos en Donbás, Kiev no podrá controlar su territorio, que es la primera condición de existencia de un Estado-nación.… Seguir leyendo »
In the wake of a whistleblower’s report that alleged Donald Trump linked military aid to Ukraine to the latter’s willingness to investigate former vice president Joe Biden, a leading candidate for the Democratic nomination in the 2020 presidential elections, and his son, Hunter, Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has initiated a formal impeachment inquiry. Chatham House experts explore the impact of this latest turn of events.
Questions abound for Congress and for foreign allies
For more than a year, Democrats worked to investigate President Donald Trump’s potential involvement in Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election. Now, in the span of a week, they appear to have decided that the subject of a phone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyi and alleged subsequent efforts by the Trump administration to prevent the release of a related whistleblower report constitute clear, impeachable offences.… Seguir leyendo »
Las encuestas de opinión han comenzado a indicar que los ucranianos están más optimistas respecto de su futuro que los ciudadanos de la mayoría de los otros países del mundo. Puede parecer sorprendente, en vista de la multiplicidad de desafíos que enfrenta Ucrania, pero el rumbo político actual del país lo justifica.
Durante las primeras dos décadas después del derrumbe de la Unión Soviética, Ucrania fue uno de los estados sucesores peor gobernados. Mientras Rusia al principio emprendió una liberalización económica (y siempre tuvo el beneficio de altos precios del gas y del petróleo) y los estados bálticos entraron en 2004 a la Unión Europea, Ucrania quedó rezagada.… Seguir leyendo »
Since the Euromaidan revolution in the winter of 2013–14, the EU has adopted a significantly more strategic approach to reform in Ukraine, in order to address fundamental weaknesses within Ukrainian state institutions.
The EU Commission of 2014–19 launched a number of major innovations to support Ukraine, which represented a step-change in EU support for domestic reforms in a neighbouring country.
The most significant of these was the creation of the Support Group for Ukraine (SGUA), a special taskforce for delivering assistance and supporting Ukraine, which became operational during Jean-Claude Juncker presidency of the Commission. The SGUA, led by Peter Wagner since 2016, consists of 35-40 officials who have developed an in-depth knowledge of Ukraine and have experimented with new approaches in supporting reforms.… Seguir leyendo »
President Trump appears determined to forgive his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin for invading Ukraine. Unfortunately, the new Ukrainian leadership’s foreign policy failures aren’t helping.
Earlier this year, Ukrainians voted in President Volodymyr Zelensky on a wave of hope and optimism. Many abroad were cautiously optimistic as well: At a time when democracy doesn’t seem to be faring well in the world, a victory for a progressive anti-establishment movement in Ukraine was refreshing. Three months after his inauguration, the domestic enthusiasm is still there. But Zelensky’s attempt to reboot Ukrainian foreign policy has been a disaster — and it is helping Putin’s global push to rehabilitate himself.… Seguir leyendo »
1. President Volodymyr Zelenskyi’s party scored the first ever parliamentary majority in the history of independent Ukraine.
The main surprise of the snap parliamentary elections was that the president’s party, Servant of the People, won a majority. With 254 MPs out of 450, Zelenskyi can form a new government without a coalition partner. For the first time in the history of independent Ukraine, one political party will have full control over the cabinet of ministers, the office of the president and parliament.
This became possible because Ukrainians were tired of hearing unfulfilled reform promises and were disappointed with the old elite.… Seguir leyendo »