Russia and Eurasia Publications
Izabella Tabarovsky, Manager for Regional Engagement at the Kennan Institute, reports on Ukraine’s grass-roots efforts to supply its military in our first ever Kennan Cable, a new series featuring research and analysis from Kennan Institute staff, scholars, and alumni, created to present our readers with new ideas and perspectives on the region.
Western sanctions have left Russia in dire financial circumstances — stuck somewhere between recession and stagnation. Though proven solutions exist for what now ails Russia, President Vladimir Putin’s geo-strategic and political choices have rendered these traditional economic approaches unworkable.
For some time, Ukraine is likely to host frozen conflicts, in Crimea and the Donbas region. Elections last Sunday in the Russian-armed, rebel-controlled areas of eastern Ukraine reinforced this. Moscow said the vote reflected the "will of the people," but the European Union called the elections "illegal and illegitimate." Ukraine will face difficult realities and painful choices in managing its conflicts. Georgia's experience with frozen conflicts in Abkhazia and South Ossetia offers lessons for Ukraine.
Interview with Lucia Seybert, recent Title VIII-Supported Research Scholar, and Professorial Lecturer, American University
RT is rapidly transforming itself into an American-style whistle-blower, relentlessly reporting on America's democratic deficiencies and malfeasance, at home and abroad.
Ukrainians have voted, and they have overwhelmingly chosen to stay the course on European integration. Late last month, pro-European parties won a sweeping victory in parliamentary elections that saw allies of Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko and Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk come out on top. But while Europe and the United States are celebrating the outcome as a strategic victory for the West, the election result itself simply builds on the slogans of last winter's Euromaidan Revolution. The trouble is that in Ukraine, such rhetoric has all too often led to disappointment.
Ukraine’s military, recently defeated in its Anti-Terrorist Operation against separatists in the east, must address massive materiel, training, and leadership deficiencies. Having suffered years of budgetary and administrative neglect, its armed forces and defense industrial complex cannot hope to fight Russia in their current state. U.S. security assistance to Ukraine should focus in the short term on supplies to sustain its troops over the winter and in the medium term on support for comprehensive military reform, but providing American weapons would engender a proxy war with Russia without really improving Ukraine’s combat capability.
Interview with Ronald Suny, Kennan Institute Title VIII Short-term Scholar, and Professor of History, University of Michigan, on August 11, 2014. Kennan Institute Project "The Armenian Genocide, 1915-1916."
Interview with Oksana Nesterenko, Former Kennan Institute Fulbright Scholar, and Associate Professor, National University “Yaroslav the Wise Law Academy of Ukraine,” on September 4, 2014. Kennan Institute Project "Protection of Whistleblowers and Education Programs as Strong Guarantees for Transparent Government."
Former Galina Starovoitova Fellow on Human Rights and Conflict Resolution, Anton Burkov, authored this op-ed for the Moscow Times. The clampdown on civil society in Russia is not a recent development, as the prospect for social change and civil society development has been bleak for many years. The downturn started under the Yeltsin administration.