Foreign Policy Blogs

Eastern Europe

Russia, Ukraine, and the Sea of Azov

Russia, Ukraine, and the Sea of Azov

On November 25, three Ukrainian naval vessels, two 54-ton gunboats (technically, Gyurza-M-class armored artillery cutters) and a tug, were traveling from Odessa around the Crimean Peninsula and toward the Sea of Azov, en route to the Ukrainian port city of Mariupol. As they approached the Kerch Strait, the access route from the Black Sea to […]

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Why Warsaw Should Go Soft on Kyiv

Why Warsaw Should Go Soft on Kyiv

The recently intensifying memory conflict around the interpretation of some World War II events, between Ukraine and Poland, is distracting the two intertwined nations from their main international challenges and some critical tasks today. An increase of Ukrainian national security is in the core interests not only of Kyiv, but also of Warsaw. An odd […]

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How to Talk about Ukrainian Politics in the West?

How to Talk about Ukrainian Politics in the West?

Hyperbolic warnings about allegedly disastrous consequences of a Tymoshenko presidency are demobilizing Western support for Ukrainian reforms and defense My recent article “What Would a Tymoshenko Presidency Mean?” for the Ukraine Alert of Washington’s Atlantic Council has caused indignation among numerous Ukrainian experts and journalists – some of them hitherto close colleagues and professional friends. […]

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Why and How Ukraine Should Open Up to the EU Now

Why and How Ukraine Should Open Up to the EU Now

Kyiv should foster Ukraine’s European integration, economic growth and national security by offering EU citizens instantaneous residence and work permission Recent Eurostat data reveals that Ukrainians have been granted the most residency permits of any nationals in the EU last year. During 2017 alone, approximately 662,000 Ukrainians received such permission to live and work in […]

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As Good as It Gets: Why the West Should Start Preparing Itself to a Ukraine under President Tymoshenko

As Good as It Gets: Why the West Should Start Preparing Itself to a Ukraine under President Tymoshenko

The prominent Western commentator of post-Soviet affairs Taras Kuzio has recently come forward with a barrel of English-language attacks on Ukrainian opposition politician Yulia Tymoshenko – so far, the clear front-runner in Ukraine’s upcoming presidential elections in March 2019. Kuzio has placed several critical and partly denigrating texts about Tymoshenko in reputed analytical outlets, such […]

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Summary of Large October-November 2018 Political Poll in Ukraine: Tymoshenko and Her Fatherland Party Are, so far, Clear Front-Runners for the 2019 Presidential and Parliamentary Elections

Summary of Large October-November 2018 Political Poll in Ukraine: Tymoshenko and Her Fatherland Party Are, so far, Clear Front-Runners for the 2019 Presidential and Parliamentary Elections

Summary of especially comprehensive poll (ca. 10,000 respondents) jointly conducted by Ukraine’s three leading sociological services KIIS, Razumkov Centre and Rating Group, in October-November 2018: (1) Prominent presidential candidates’ rating among citizens who have made up their minds and plan to vote: Tymoshenko (Fatherland) –   21%, Zelenskyi (comedian) –           11%, Poroshenko […]

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The Glazyev Tapes, Origins of the Donbas Conflict, and Minsk Agreements

The Glazyev Tapes, Origins of the Donbas Conflict, and Minsk Agreements

What are the origins of the armed conflict that has been raging in eastern Ukraine since 2014? Which role did Russia play in the emergence and escalation of the originally unarmed confrontation, in the Donets Basin (Donbas), after the victory of the Euromaidan revolution? When, how and to what degree exactly did Moscow get involved? […]

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Whom Does Crimea Belong to? Russia’s Annexation of the Ukrainian Peninsula and the Question of Historical Justice

Whom Does Crimea Belong to? Russia’s Annexation of the Ukrainian Peninsula and the Question of Historical Justice

[Translated from Ukrainian, by VoxUkraine.] The Kremlin media’s well-known narrative of a supposedly almost unanimous support among Crimea’s population as well as of the allegedly profound historical justification for the annexation has many supporters not only in Russia, but also among numerous Western politicians, journalists, experts, and diplomats. Often, these commentators consider themselves – in […]

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Re-Imagining and Solving the Donbas Conflict: A Four-Stage Plan for Western and Ukrainian Actors

Re-Imagining and Solving the Donbas Conflict: A Four-Stage Plan for Western and Ukrainian Actors

Since spring 2014, Ukraine suffers from a full-scale war in the Donets Basin (Donbas). For the solution of the Russian-Ukrainian confrontation, Western and Ukrainian political analysts, opinion- and policy-makers, civic activists as well as diplomats need to jointly implement an agenda of re-imagination, prioritization, pacification and re-integration. The Donbas conflict should be understood anew, approached […]

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How to Solve Ukraine’s, Moldova’s and Georgia’s Security Dilemma? The Idea of a Post-Soviet Intermarium Coalition

How to Solve Ukraine’s, Moldova’s and Georgia’s Security Dilemma? The Idea of a Post-Soviet Intermarium Coalition

Co-written with Kostiantyn Fedorenko After the break-up of the Soviet Union in the early 1990s, a geopolitical gray zone emerged between Western organizations on the one side, and the Russia-dominated space on the other. This model was always fragile, did not help to solve the Transnistria problem in eastern Moldova or the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict in […]

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Revisiting Decentralization After Maidan: Achievements and Challenges of Ukraine’s Local Governance Reform

Revisiting Decentralization After Maidan: Achievements and Challenges of Ukraine’s Local Governance Reform

Four years after Russia annexed Crimea and Russia-backed separatists revolted against the Ukrainian government in 2014, new clashes in the prolonged conflict have caused a spike in casualties. While Ukraine continues to counter the military challenge in the east of its territory, Kyiv has simultaneously undertaken unprecedented and ever-new attempts at reform. As Ukraine nears […]

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What Is the Real Story Behind the MH17 Disaster?

What Is the Real Story Behind the MH17 Disaster?

The official investigation of the rather obvious case of the MH17 disaster by the Joint Investigation Team has been excruciatingly slow. Already, on 17 July 2014, the day of the shooting, it was clear that this missile could have had only come from a regular Russian army unit. Who else would have had the opportunity […]

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Bosnia and Herzegovina is on the brink of a constitutional and political crisis. Simply put: If it happens, Russia wins and the United States and Europe lose.

Bosnia and Herzegovina is on the brink of a constitutional and political crisis. Simply put: If it happens, Russia wins and the United States and Europe lose.

In December 2016, the Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) Constitutional Court ruled in the “Ljubic” decision that elements of the country’s electoral legislation undermines the rights of the country’s Constituent People’s – the Bosniaks, Serbs, and Croats – to elect their own representatives, as enshrined in the Dayton Accords.  What makes this decision so important? The court […]

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Georgia on No One’s Mind

Georgia on No One’s Mind

There’s a scene in the 2007 film Charlie Wilson’s War when the titular character, a congressman played by Tom Hanks, tries to make a case to his congressional peers. He wants to allocate one million dollars toward building a school in Afghanistan, as a way for the United States to combat Soviet propaganda in the […]

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Exclusive Interview: Alfa Bank’s Chief Economist on the outlook for Russia

Exclusive Interview: Alfa Bank’s Chief Economist on the outlook for Russia

The Russian economy returned to growth in 2017 after several years of recession. However, there are still major challenges ahead, including the need for budget reform, a financial sector overhaul, and the risk of sanctions. Natalia Orlova, Chief Economist and Head of Macro Insights at Alfa Bank, offers her expert view on these issues to GRI’s Michael […]

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