Kateryna Smagliy, Director of Kennan Institute in Ukraine, examines the developing humanitarian crisis in the Donbas region.
Interview with Marc Berenson, Title VIII-Supported Research Scholar, and Senior Lecturer in the Russia Institute, King’s College London, on August 27, 2014. Kennan Institute Project “Taxes and Trust: Transitioning from Coercion to Compliance in Poland, Russia, and Ukraine.”
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.
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
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.
Mariana Budjeryn investigates the security assurances made by the United States and Russia to Ukraine after the fall of the Soviet Union. These assurances, inscribed in the so-called “Budapest Memorandum” were designed to encourage Ukraine to ratify START I—otherwise known as the Lisbon Protocol—and return their entire nuclear arsenal to Russia for dismantling.