Ucrania

It’s Now or Never. Biden Must Stop Putin’s Beloved Pipeline

For the first time in over four years, a Ukrainian president is coming to the White House.

On Tuesday, President Volodymyr Zelensky of Ukraine will meet with his American counterpart. They’re likely to cover a variety of issues: the state of relations with Russia; Ukraine’s fight against corruption; and the challenges of the pandemic. After thanking President Biden for America’s continued support and assistance, the Ukrainian leader may gently inquire about NATO membership.

It should be a good meeting. But there will be a large elephant in the room: Nord Stream 2. Beloved of President Vladimir Putin of Russia, the natural gas pipeline threatens the security of Europe — and Ukraine especially.…  Seguir leyendo »

Boys stay on top of the war memorial complex Savur-Mohyla, damaged in the recent conflict, outside the rebel-held city of Donetsk, Ukraine 8 September 2020. REUTERS/Alexander Ermochenko

The war in eastern Ukraine began in March 2014. It pits separatists backed by Russia against the Ukrainian government in two industrial regions, Donetsk and Luhansk, which are part of an area known as Donbas. The war was ugliest in its first year, when battles raged for territory and strategic position. Two peace agreements – known as the Minsk agreements of 2014 and 2015 – put an end to the major fighting. They also laid out a roadmap for the reabsorption of the separatist-controlled regions into Ukraine, which calls, among other things, for Kyiv to grant these areas limited self-governing status.…  Seguir leyendo »

El peligroso relato sobre Ucrania de Putin

El presidente ruso, Vladimir Putin, está obsesionado con Ucrania –o, más bien, con pretender que Ucrania no existe-. En su programa anual de llamadas en vivo el 30 de junio, dijo que “los ucranianos y los rusos son un solo pueblo”. Luego publicó un artículo destinado a justificar esa “convicción”, rastreando la historia compartida de los dos países. Es una clase maestra de desinformación –y prácticamente una declaración de guerra.

Putin empieza su relato en la Antigua Rus, donde rusos, ucranianos y bielorrusos estaban unidos por una lengua y –después del “bautismo de Rusia” en la religión ortodoxa- por una fe hasta el siglo XV.…  Seguir leyendo »

Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky speaks with servicemen during a visit to army outposts on the administrative border with Russia-annexed Crimea. (Handout/Ukrainian Presidential Press Ser)

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken met with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky last week, reaffirming America’s strong commitment to Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity. A closer security partnership, Blinken noted, would help ensure “Ukraine can defend itself against aggression.”

U.S. assurances assume Moscow would attack Ukraine — and Russia’s recent military buildup on Ukraine’s border has highlighted this concern. But what if Ukraine sparks the war? Our research suggests a future crisis could leave Kyiv in a losing fight against Russia without Western support. Here is why.

Zelensky seeks “de-occupation”

While Moscow asserts Crimea is part of Russia, Kyiv — and most of the international community — believe Moscow illegally annexed this part of Ukraine.…  Seguir leyendo »

L’Ukraine au centre de la confrontation Biden-Poutine

Au début de janvier, en même temps que l’arrivée de Joe Biden à la présidence des États-Unis, les violations du cessez-le-feu entre les forces locales de l’Ukraine et celles de ses deux régions sécessionnistes du Donbass, soutenues en sous-main par Moscou, devenaient de plus en plus fréquentes. Kiev a alors dépêché vers leurs frontières d’importants contingents militaires. Ceux-ci n’avaient plus rien à voir avec les forces lamentables qu’étaient celles de l’Ukraine lors de leur sécession en 2014. Le ministre ukrainien des Affaires étrangères affirmait qu’elles étaient capables de reprendre ces territoires ; ce qui était effectivement possible, à moins d’une intervention directe de Moscou.…  Seguir leyendo »

Russia's menacing troop build-up near Ukraine's border and in our Crimean region in recent days is the latest reminder to our allies of the ongoing campaign of coercion, intimidation and escalation to which Ukrainians have unfortunately become accustomed.

Overtly and covertly, directly and through proxies, Russian aggression is a truly existential concern to our country. If Russia's latest move was a test, our allies in the US and Europe did not blink. Recent consultations between President Joe Biden and President Volodymyr Zelensky and across our national security establishments, as well as a united front among Ukraine's partners in Europe, sent a clear message to the Kremlin.…  Seguir leyendo »

¿La guerra o la paz en Ucrania?

¿Es Rusia capaz de vivir en paz junto a una Ucrania soberana, independiente y unida?, ¿o es inevitable una guerra declarada? Esta, desde hace tiempo, es la cuestión primordial para Europa del Este, que volvió al centro de la escena con la gigantesca concentración de fuerzas militares rusas en Crimea y a lo largo de la frontera oriental ucraniana.

Fue la cuestión de la independencia ucraniana la que finalmente llevó a la desintegración de la Unión Soviética hace tres décadas. Aunque la salida de otras repúblicas soviéticas no necesariamente hubiera implicado una amenaza existencial, la declaración de independencia de Ucrania decididamente lo fue.…  Seguir leyendo »

A Ukrainian serviceman walks in a trench as he stands at his post on the frontline with Russia-backed separatists near the town of Zolote, in the Lugansk region, on April 9, 2021. STR / AFP

In late March and early April, Russia deployed tens of thousands of additional troops near the Ukrainian border, unnerving Kyiv and its Western partners. Those tensions have now been compounded by a new round of reciprocal sanctions, diplomatic expulsions and angry rhetoric between Moscow and Western capitals that is rooted in events preceding the recent troop build-up. With Ukraine still on edge, the U.S. and its European allies, who are considering next steps, should send clear signals about the costs they will impose if Russian forces do attack, while doing what they can to avoid the risk of escalation. All involved should take this moment as a wake-up call.…  Seguir leyendo »

A Ukrainian soldier stands near the line of separation from pro-Russian rebels near Donetsk, Ukraine, on Monday. (AP)

What is Russia really up to near the border with Ukraine?

In recent weeks Moscow has been increasing its military presence in the region, on land and at sea, raising fears of an invasion.

This is what perhaps prompted President Biden to call President Vladimir Putin on Tuesday morning. Biden proposed the two hold a summit “to discuss the full range of issues,” but the situation in Ukraine was certainly on top of the American president’s mind.

Of course, Russia already had a significant military presence there, since it annexed Crimea in 2014 and pro-Russian separatists seized part of eastern Ukraine’s Donetsk and Luhansk regions.…  Seguir leyendo »

Tema

¿Qué causas y consecuencias tiene y puede tener la creciente presencia de tropas rusas en la frontera con Ucrania?

Resumen

El reciente incremento de fuerzas militares rusas en la frontera oriental de Ucrania, que recuerda mucho a los movimientos del ejército ruso en 2014 tras la anexión de Crimea y el comienzo de la guerra en Donbás, ha causado preocupación en Ucrania y en la UE, EEUU y la OTAN sobre las intenciones del Kremlin. A pesar de que algunos analistas predicen una guerra inminente con regularidad milimétrica,1 aquí sostenemos, analizando los objetivos de la seguridad y de los intereses nacionales de Rusia y teniendo en cuenta los anteriores comportamientos de Moscú, que el Kremlin no planea una invasión, y que se trata de una intimidación táctica, una mera demostración de fuerza y provocación en conjunto a Ucrania, a la UE, a EEUU y a la OTAN, así como un gesto doméstico con la vista puesta en las elecciones generales del próximo septiembre.…  Seguir leyendo »

Trying to discern Russian President Vladimir Putin's endgame is always a difficult exercise, particularly given his inclination to upset the status quo -- as he did most recently, in 2014, with the invasion of Crimea and later the Donbas region of Ukraine. But now seems to be as good a time as ever for the Kremlin to test the mettle of President Joe Biden's new administration.

Since March, Russia has been building up its troops along its western border with Ukraine. According to White House press secretary Jen Psaki, there are more Russian troops in the region now than in the run-up to Russia's annexation of Crimea in 2014.…  Seguir leyendo »

A Russian flag flies near a convoy of pro-Russian forces moving from the front line near the eastern Ukrainian city of Starobeshevo in Donetsk region in February 2015. (Vasily Maximov/AFP/Getty Images)

Many analysts have worried in recent weeks about a large buildup of Russian military forces along the Ukrainian border. Russian troops have gathered in areas near the ongoing conflict in the Donbas, and some troops relocated to Crimea. Amid border skirmishes, warnings from the Kremlin and escalating rhetoric on Russian state-owned media, what’s going on?

Some experts speculate that Russian President Vladimir Putin may be seeking a confrontation with Ukraine to bolster his position at home. Reports from Russia show personal support for Putin softening, and his unpopular ruling party faces elections in September.

However, the data suggest it may be hard for Putin to use foreign policy to rally support for military intervention.…  Seguir leyendo »

Tema

¿Qué causas y consecuencias tiene y puede tener la creciente presencia de tropas rusas en la frontera con Ucrania?

Resumen

El reciente incremento de fuerzas militares rusas en la frontera oriental de Ucrania, que recuerda mucho a los movimientos del ejército ruso en 2014 tras la anexión de Crimea y el comienzo de la guerra en Donbás, ha causado preocupación en Ucrania y en la UE, EEUU y la OTAN sobre las intenciones del Kremlin. A pesar de que algunos analistas predicen una guerra inminente con regularidad milimétrica,1 aquí sostenemos, analizando los objetivos de la seguridad y de los intereses nacionales de Rusia y teniendo en cuenta los anteriores comportamientos de Moscú, que el Kremlin no planea una invasión, y que se trata de una intimidación táctica, una mera demostración de fuerza y provocación en conjunto a Ucrania, a la UE, a EEUU y a la OTAN, así como un gesto doméstico con la vista puesta en las elecciones generales del próximo septiembre.…  Seguir leyendo »

Catwalk show at the Ukrainian Fashion Week 2021 in the Mystetskyi Arsenal National Art and Culture Museum Complex, Kyiv. Photo by Pavlo_Bagmut/ Ukrinform/Barcroft Media via Getty Images.

Britain’s high-quality education, vibrant research institutions and diverse eco-system of culture are often cited as pillars of its ‘soft power’ appeal, and to ensure these institutions weather the storm of Brexit is essential to the success of any ‘Global Britain’ strategy.

Such relationships establish trust, promote UK values, and pave the way for further political and diplomatic engagement by providing templates for education, cultural policy, and community development which others can follow, strengthening social cohesion and resilience.

The example of Ukraine demonstrates the UK’s soft power delivers. According to a survey conducted by IPSOS Mori in 2020, the UK government and its institutions rank first in terms of trust among young people in Ukraine.…  Seguir leyendo »

Pro-Russian militants of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People's Republic conduct military exercises at a shooting range not far from the city of Gorlivka, Ukraine, on Jan. 28. (Dave Mustaine/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock)

Few are likely to celebrate the anniversary of the agreement that stabilized a war in the Donbas, a region in eastern Ukraine. Negotiated by the leaders of Russia, Ukraine, Germany and France, the Minsk II accords of Feb. 12, 2015, left the Donbas territorially divided. The Ukrainian government in Kyiv control western parts of the Donbas, while two separatist entities, the “Donetsk and Luhansk Peoples Republics” (DNR/LNR), control eastern parts, including major cities like Donetsk and Luhansk as well as the border with Russia.

After nearly seven years of division, how do ordinary people in both parts of the Donbas feel about the situation?…  Seguir leyendo »

In over a year since President Zelenskyy embarked on his diplomatic effort to ‘end war with Russia’, there have been some steps forward in releasing prisoners of war and a short-lived ceasefire period. But few have any illusions peace is likely in the near future.

Vladimir Putin’s statement in June that ex-Soviet republics had left the USSR 'with gifts from the Russian people’ - meaning they had gained supposedly 'Russian' lands - shows he has no intention of changing Russia’s policy of revisionism and disruption.

And Russia’s recent engagement in Belarus, which could see Minsk losing sovereignty as the result of any bargain Lukashenka may have struck with Putin to stay in power, further endangers Ukraine’s northern border.…  Seguir leyendo »

Ukrainian feminists and human rights activists carry posters at an International Women's Day protest in Kyiv, Ukraine on 8 March 2019. Photo: Getty Images.

The virus of violence

According to the UN (para. 7) and the International Criminal Court (ICC, para. 279), conflict-related sexual violence (CRSV) is quite prevalent in hostilities-affected eastern Ukraine. Both sexes are subjected to sexualized torture, rape, forced nudity, prolonged detention in unsanitary conditions with members of the other sex and threats of sexual violence towards detainees or their relatives to force confessions. Men are castrated. Women additionally suffer from sexual slavery, enforced and survival prostitution, and other forms of sexual abuse. Women are more exposed to CRSV: in the hostilities-affected area, every third woman has experienced or witnessed CRSV as opposed to every fourth man.…  Seguir leyendo »

In face-to-face surveys carried out by Kyiv International Institute of Sociology (KIIS) and Levada Marketing Research (Moscow), we asked 2,750 respondents in southeast Ukraine and in Crimea in December 2014 and another 3,037 respondents throughout Ukraine and in Crimea in December 2019/January 2020 the question: “Have you heard about the catastrophe of the Malaysian aircraft in July 2014 in eastern Ukraine? And if so, in your view, what caused it?” Large regional differences in blame attribution are evident across Ukraine’s regions. More respondents gave “don’t know” answers in 2019 than 2014, though respondents in Crimea widely blamed Ukraine for the downed flight. Figure by authors.

Six years ago this week, a Russian-made missile shot Malaysian Airlines Flight 17 (MH17), a civilian passenger plane with 298 people on board, from the sky over war-torn Ukraine. Last week, the Dutch government, acting on behalf of the 193 Dutch nationals on the flight, announced it was taking Russia to the European Court of Human Rights. A criminal trial against four suspects involved in transporting the missile system that downed MH17 began in Amsterdam in March.

The destruction of MH17 on July 17, 2014, sparked outrage and accusations. Russia — and Russian separatists in Ukraine — continue to deny any responsibility.…  Seguir leyendo »

Ukrainians wearing protective face masks hold placards during a protest in front of the Cabinet of Ministers building in central Kyiv on Tuesday. (Sergey Dolzhenko/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock)

In the covid-19 fight, at what point do people think the cure is worse than the disease?

Our new survey evidence from Ukraine shows that for countries in conflict, economic fears aren’t the only issue. National security threats may pose significant barriers to slowing down the virus.

How we did our research

All countries face short-term trade-offs between fighting the virus and keeping the economy going. We wanted to uncover people’s priorities in a country that also faced an immediate security threat, as do many of the world’s countries.

Ukraine fits this bill. Not only are economic choices hard there — we document that 58 percent of all citizens found it difficult to afford clothing as of April 2020 — but Ukraine’s ongoing war with Russia-backed insurgents in the Donbas has claimed over 14,000 lives since 2014.…  Seguir leyendo »

Girls wearing face masks at the monument to Chernobyl victims in Slavutich during a memorial ceremony amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Photo by SERGEI SUPINSKY/AFP via Getty Images.

Ukrainians are accustomed to crisis. As COVID-19 spread, forest fires were raging in the Chernobyl exclusion zone, turning Kyiv into the most polluted city in the world. The fighting in Donbas continued, claiming the lives of more Ukrainian soldiers, bringing the total to more than 4,000 — and, on top of that, President Zelenskyy overhauled his government. So Ukraine is fighting three battles at the same time — war with Russia, the struggle against its own ineffective system, and now COVID-19.

Every crisis is a reality check — the coronavirus provoked and exposed the strategic vulnerabilities and deep-rooted features of Ukraine’s system of governance.…  Seguir leyendo »