30.11 - 1.12
Lviv Security Forum

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Security is trust

Trust does not tolerate hesitations rooted in uncertainty. The global security system cracks under its own incapacity to call things by their proper names. Inability to face the reality and to call wars – wars, and the aggressors – aggressors, undermines trust of people towards international security institutions. Without this trust security agreements become meaningless, alliances depreciate, and guarantees do not have power.

Without trust the legitimacy of the international security order will melt away. Disintegration processes within the EU, partiality charges against the OSCE, chronic deep concern of the UN are all consequences of the institutional legitimacy inflation.

It is inevitable that a new model of international security will replace the current one, which was supposed to protect people from the specter of the world war. The resilience or fragility of this new model is subject to the level of trust it will enjoy by people who remain trapped by uncertainty and fear.

Lviv Security Forum
is a platform for discussion in pursuit of finding the answer to question what the new international security order wood look like.

November, 30 (Thursday)
Day 1
09.15 – 10.00
Welcome coffee
10.00 – 10.30
Introduction speeches
10.30 – 12.30
Discussion #1 Whether the war in modern Europe was inevitable?
Unresolved legacy of the WWII – was the distribution of responsibility after the WWII just? Were the international security order instruments resilient to the breakdown of the bipolar world and are they still relevant to the current realities? Did ‘Russia admiration’ influence the fate of the post-soviet countries? Is international community ready to discuss the true reasons of Russian troublemaking in Europe?
12.30 – 14.00
14.00 – 15.45
Discussion #2 Taking war seriously
Who is the true enemy in a hybrid war and why is this question important to answer? How the legal status of combat operations influences combat effectiveness of an army and motivation of a soldier? How the legal status of combat operations influences the legitimacy of the state leadership and state institutions? War and budget – how to assure sufficient resources and accountable spending? Civil control over defense and security in time of war.
15.45 – 16.15
Coffee break
16.15 – 18.00
Discussion #3 How not to empower the aggressor?
Who is eligible to take part in the negotiations on conflict settlement? Does a trade with an aggressor legitimize its actions? Are sanctions a self-sufficient instrument to deter the military aggression? How to ensure the balance between human rights and security in time of war? Will fulfillment of the positive obligations under international humanitarian law bring justice or will it freeze the conflict?
Dinner for forum participants
09.30 – 10.00
Research presentation: The Ukrainians and Russian aggression
10.00 – 10.30
Coffee break
10.30 – 12.00
Discussion of research results
12.00 – 13.30
13.30 – 15.15
Discussion #4 Sovereignty and responsibility
Identifying the moment when no further fights are possible and the moment when the sovereignty could be restored. Do these moments coincide? What does the conflict settlement imply when a war is hybrid? Mechanics of de-occupation, demilitarization, and reintegration Is reconciliation after the end of a foreign aggression possible without punishment of perpetrators and their accomplices? Who shall bear the responsibility for a war, which is not called a war?
15.15 – 15.45
Coffee break
15.45 – 16.15
Closing session


Dr. Ralf Roloff

Senior German Professor George C. Marshall European Center for Security Studies

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Dr. Ralf Roloff is the Senior German Professor (since 2003) at the College of International Security Studies at the Marshall Center in Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany. He is also the Director of Master in International Security Studies Program (since 2010) and Professor, Universität der Bundeswehr München (since 2015).

He previously worked as Associate Professor, Universität der Bundeswehr München (2011-2015), Acting Professor of International and European Politics, University of the German Armed Forces, Hamburg (2000- 2003), Acting Professor of International Politics at Johannes Gutenberg University, Mainz (1999-2000), Assistant Professor and Executive Officer at the Research, Institute for Political Science and European Affairs at the University of Cologne (1994-2001), Lecturer and Assistant to the Director of the Department of Political Science, University of Trier (1991- 1993)

Dr. Roloff received his Dr. phil. in Political Science at University of Trier, M.A. in Political Science and German Literature and Linguistics, University of Trier. Dr. Roloff has widely published in German, English, and French on international relations, international security, EU integration and EU foreign and security policy.

Vital Rymashevski

Co-chairman of the Belarusian Christian-Democratic Party

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Mr. Rymashevski has been actively engaged in political life in Belarus since 1996, working for oppositional United Civic Party, Youth Front organization, Belarusian People`s Front, Belarusian Union of Young Politicians, “Young Democrats”,  Youth Christian-Social Union, “Za Svobody!” (For Freedom) organization.

In these capacities he actively took part in organization of pickets and rallies for support of the oppositional leaders in Belarus. In 2010 he ran for presidential elections as a single candidate from Belarusian Christian Democrats. Since 2009 he has actively represented the party in European People`s Party, Euronest and other international institutions.

Vital Rymashevski graduated Belarusian State Polytechnic Academy, receiving degree in construction engineering.

Melinda Haring

Editor of the UkraineAlert blog

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Melinda Haring is the editor of the UkraineAlert blog, which is the Atlantic Council’s most popular publication. Its articles are regularly republished by Newsweek, Kyiv Post, Novoe Vremya, Huffington Post, Real Clear Defense, and World Affairs Journal. In 2017, UkraineAlert articles have received more than 2.7 million views.

Haring is a longtime observer of political developments in the Eurasia region, and her analysis has been featured in The Washington Post, Foreign Policy, Newsweek, The Kyiv Post, PRI, and broadcast and published by NPR, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, and Voice of America. Haring is the author of the report Reforming the Democracy Bureaucracy and a contributor to Does Democracy Matter? (Rowman & Littlefield, 2017). Haring has worked for Eurasia Foundation, Freedom House, and the National Democratic Institute, where she managed democracy assistance programs in Azerbaijan, Georgia, and Russia.

A graduate of Georgetown University, she holds an MA in government with a certificate in Russian, Eurasian, and East European Studies. Haring is a member of the board of East Europe Foundation in Kyiv, Ukraine, and a fellow at the Foreign Policy Research Institute. She is a term member of the Council on Foreign Relations (USA).

Giorgi Kandelaki

Member of Parliament of Georgia

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Giorgi Kandelaki was elected to the Georgian Parliament in 2008. He currently serves as Deputy Chair of the European Integration Committee from opposition and is a member of both Parliamentary Minority and the European Georgia party.

Mr Kandelaki is an active member of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe and NATO Parliamentary Assembly.

In 2002-2003 Mr Kandelaki was co-founded of an anti-corruption student campaign and then youth movement Kmara (Enough) that is believed to have played a key role in the Rose Revolution in 2003.

In 2012 he also coordinated a working group to transform the Stalin Museum in Gori into Museum of Stalinism (project stopped after Georgian Dream came to power).

Serhiy Harmash

Political analyst

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Serhiy Harmash, a political analyst and  Ukrainian journalist, the president of the Donbas Center for Social Perspective Research, the founder and the editor-in-chief of the information agency “OstroV.”

In May 2014, he was forced to flee Donetsk because of the beginning of the war.

Mr. Harmash was born in Yenakivo, Donetsk region,  graduated the Institute of Journalism of Kyiv National University named after  T. Shevchenko. From 1996 till 2004 worked as a correspondent at Radio Liberty in Donetsk region, from 2001 till 2003 he also worked as a  correspondent at Interfax-Ukraine in Donetsk region.

Valbona Zeneli

Doctor of science in political economy, Director of Black Sea and Eurasia Program, George C. Marshall European Center for Security Studies

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Dr. Zeneli joined the George C. Marshall European Center for Security Studies in August 2011 as a professor of national security studies. She is also the Black Sea and Eurasia program director, overseeing the Marshall Center’s outreach activities in this region. Previously she also served as deputy director for the Central and Southeast Europe program.

Valbona Zeneli is member of the teaching faculty for the Program in Applied Security Studies (PASS), the Program on Countering Narcotics and Illicit Trafficking (CNIT), the Program on Cyber Security Studies (PCSS), the Senior Executive Seminar (SES), and the Seminar on Regional Security (SRS). She is also involved with Partnership for Peace Consortium of Defense Academies and Security Studies Institutes as a member of the working group on Southeast Europe, and of the security sector reform working group.

Before joining the GCMC, Valbona Zeneli was a professor of international economics at the European University of Tirana from 2009-2011 and associate professor at the New York University of Tirana from 2006-2011. From 2003-2005, Dr. Zeneli has served as chief of protocol and later economic adviser to the Albanian prime minister. Prior to that, she worked as adviser to the minister of economy of Albania from 2002-2003. She has also worked in the private sector advising companies on marketing and international relations.

Dr. Zeneli holds a doctor of science degree (PhD) in political economy from the University of Studies “Aldo Moro”, Bari, Italy (2011), as well as a postgraduate studies degree on international marketing from Georgetown University, Washington D.C (2006). She earned her Bachelor of Science degree in business administration from the University of Bologna, Italy, where she graduated with honors (2001).


Natalia Sokolenko

Deputy Editor-in-Chief Hromadske Radio

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Natalia graduated from the Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv with a degree in journalism. She is also an alumna of Internews-Ukraine School of Journalism and the Ukrainian School of Political Studies. Besides, she listened to special courses Understanding Human Rights and Digital Journalism of Future.

Since 2000, Natalia Sokolenko had worked as a reporter in news programms for 10 years. After winning the television award Teletriumph, Natalia decided to quit. It was her protest against censorship in the news channel.

In August of 2012, Natalia started looking for like-minded people to create an independent media source from private owners and state media. In the autumn of 2013 and winter of 2014 Natalia became one of the hosts of Radio Marathon Euromaidan Online and after this she became the host and editor of the talk show Hromadske Khvylya.

Natalia Sokolenko is an active member of the movement Stop Censorship!

Demian Karaseni

Moldova Republic MP

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Honored Coach of Moldova and Master of Sports in Freestyle.

Graduated from Chisinau State Pedagogical Institute named after  Ion Creanga, Academy of Public Administration under the President of Moldova.

Demian Karaseni had Master degree of International Relations.

Jean-Yves Leconte

Member of the Senate of France

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Jean-Yves Leconte, born 31 October 1966 in Paris, is a member of the Senate of France, representing the constituency of French citizens living abroad. He is a member of the Socialist Party.

Leconte lived more than 20 years in Poland and was a member of the Assembly of French Citizens Abroad from 1994.

Senator is a member of the France-Ukraine Friendship Group in the Senate of the French Republic.

Mary O’Hagan

Global Associate Senior Country Director, NDI-Ukraine

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Mary O’Hagan first began working for NDI in 2001, when she was invited to contribute to the NDI Croatia program as a consultant. In early 2003 she joined NDI full time in Slovakia, moving later in the year to direct NDI’s programs in Serbia. In 2005, Ms. O’Hagan moved to Moscow where she served as NDI’s country director in Russia. In 2006, she moved to Tbilisi and served as NDI’s country director in Georgia, running parliamentary and election programs.

Ms. O’Hagan moved to Nairobi in 2009, where she ran political party and other programs for NDI until 2013. In 2014, she set up a new program for NDI in Nigeria and then moved to lead NDI Ukraine, where she is running political party, civil society, and parliamentary programs with a strong emphasis on strengthening women’s political participation.

Prior to joining NDI, Ms. O’Hagan served as the head of research for the Liberal Democrats in the House of Commons in the United Kingdom. She was also responsible for their internal communication and led a team that developed the party’s first on-line intranet. Her first political job was as a political advisor in the European Parliament on foreign affairs, institutional issues and Northern Ireland. She later represented the merged EDG/EPP political group in London.

Ms. O’Hagan was born and educated in the U.K. She obtained a number of academic awards and a first class degree at Oxford University, specializing in political geography. While a graduate student, she taught various related subjects and co-authored a book on the first direct elections to the European Parliament.

Maria Zavyalova

Journalist and correspondent

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Maria Zavialova has a huge experience of working as a war correspondent, e. g.  in the Crimea during the annexation and along the entire frontline2.

Maria was the regular anchor of the “Donbas Chronicles ” at Hromadske Radio during 2015-2016.

In the course of her professional life, Maria has covered more than 500 news and has prepared over 150 stories of various formats.

She holds a degree in English Translation from the Kyiv International University.

Mark Voyger

USAREUR Special Advisor on Russia and Eurasia

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Mr. Mark Voyger serves as the Special Advisor for Russian/Eurasian Affairs to the Commanding General of US Army Europe (USAREUR) in Wiesbaden, Germany.

Prior to that he was the Cultural Advisor and Senior Russia Expert at NATO’s Allied Land Command (LANDCOM) in Izmir, Turkey. Previously he worked for the US Army as a Social Scientist in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Mr. Voyger was a member of the Russia Advisory Group at Mitt Romney’s 2012 Presidential campaign. He is currently a non-resident Senior Fellow at the Potomac Foundation, Washington, D.C.

Mr. Voyger holds a Master of Arts in Law and Diplomacy (MALD) degree from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University, and a Master of Public Administration (MPA2) degree from Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government. He has also done Ph.D. work in Middle Eastern Studies at Cambridge University, and has studied Arabic in Jordan.

Mr. Voyger is fluent in Russian, Ukrainian, Bulgarian, Arabic, Turkish, French, Spanish and Italian.

Mykhaylo Basarab

Political scientist

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Political scientist,  member of the Presidium of the Public Commission for Investigation and Prevention of Human Rights Violations in Ukraine.

In 1999 he received a diploma with honour, having graduated from the Faculty of Philosophy of the Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv.

The scientific degree in political sciences he obtained at the Institute of Political and Ethnonational Studies named after I.F. Kuras National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine.

Mykhaylo Basarab is author and expert for leading editions of Ukraine. He is also one of the founders of the research company “First rating system”.

Victor Rud

Chair of the Committee on Foreign Affairs of Ukrainian American Bar Association

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Victor Rud is an international lawyer with 35 years’ experience. Before the fall of the Soviet Union he represented, in the West, political prisoners persecuted by the KGB.

He also served as Special Counsel to a member of the US Delegation to the Madrid Review Conference on Security & Cooperation in Europe. After the fall of USSR, Mr. Rud advised members of the new Ukrainian Parliament, and has written and addressed various audiences on issues of US/Ukrainian/Russian relations. He is past Chairman of the Ukrainian American Bar Association, and currently chairs its Committee on Foreign Affairs.

Mr. Rud received his undergraduate degree in international relations from Harvard College, and his Juris Doctor degree from Duke University School of Law.

Stephan Bierling

Professor of International Policy and Transatlantic Relations at Regensburg University (Germany)

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He was a lecturer at the University of Ludwig Maximilian in Munich / LMU (1989-1999) and at the University of Erlangen-Nuremberg (1999/2000), further on lectured at prestigious universities in South Africa, Israel, the United States, Australia, China and Chile. Since 2000, he has been the head of the Department of International Policy and Transatlantic Relations at the Institute of Political Science at the University of Regensburg.

He was moderator of the Munich Security Conference.

Since 2000, he has been organizing international conferences at the Regensburg University in partnership with Hans Seidel Foundation.

According to UNICUM PROFESSIONAL magazine in 2013, Stefan Birling was awarded the title “Professor of the Year” in the category of humanities, culture and social sciences.

Vladimir Socor

 Senior Fellow of Jamestown Foundation

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Vladimir Socor is a Senior Fellow of the Washington-based Jamestown Foundation and its flagship publication, Eurasia Daily Monitor (1995 to date), where he writes analytical articles on a daily basis. An internationally recognized expert on the former Soviet-ruled countries in Eastern Europe, the South Caucasus, and Central Asia, he covers Russian and Western policies there, focusing on energy policies, regional security issues, secessionist conflicts, and NATO policies and programs.

Mr. Socor is a frequent speaker at U.S. and European policy conferences and think-tank institutions. He is a regular guest lecturer at the NATO Defense College and at Harvard University’s National Security Program’s Black Sea Program (JFKennedy School of Government). He is also a frequent contributor to edited volumes. Vladimir Socor was previously an analyst with the Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty Research Institute (1983-1994).


Roman Bezsmertnyi

Ukrainian politician and public figure

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Roman Bezsmernyi is a Ukrainian politician and public figure, the Member of Parliament of 4 convocations ( 1994-2007), vice- prime minister of Ukraine (2005), extraordinary and plenipotentiary ambassador of Ukraine to Belarus (2010-2011), member of the political subgroup of trilateral contact group in Minsk negotiation process 92015-2016), one of the authors of the Constitution of Ukraine, member of the order of merit.

During his work as MP at the Verkhovna Rada he was the member of the committees dealing with state building, regional policy and local governance. From January 1997 till October 1999 and from December 1999 till April 2002 he was the permanent representative of the President of Ukraine in the Parliament of Ukraine.

He graduated from the history faculty of the Kyiv pedagogical institute, received PhD at Institute of national relations and politics of the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine (Thesis title “Social and political system of Ukraine according to Dontsov theory)

James Sherr

Associate Fellow of the Chatham House, Russia and Eurasia Programme

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James Sherr is an associate fellow and former head of the Russia and Eurasia programme (2008-2011).

He was a member of the Social Studies Faculty of Oxford University from 1993 to 2012; a fellow of the Conflict Studies Research Centre of the UK Ministry of Defence from 1995 to 2008; and director of studies of the Royal United Services Institute (1983-85).

He has published extensively on Soviet and Russian military, security and foreign policy, as well as energy security, the Black Sea region and Ukraine’s effort to deal with Russia, the West and its own domestic problems.

Andrii Kulikov

Chairman of the board of the NGO “Hromadske Radio”, radio- and TV-host

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Having an international relations/interpreter from English background, Andrii Kulikov is better known as the host of the ICTV TV program “Svoboda Slova” and as an expert of the EU project “Development of media skills”, as well as the lecturer at the Kyiv Institute of Journalism and Mariupol State University. Several times, he was the winner of the “Teletriumph” award as a member of “Svoboda Slova” team.

In 2013 Andriy was one of the co-founders of “Hromadske Radio”, the radio, created by the group of independent journalists, who refused to tolerate censure, unfair “editorial policies”, or opaque ownership schemes of the media outlets.


Hryhoriy Seleshchuk

Department director for conflict affected persons assistance Caritas Ukraine

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Since 2015 Department director for conflict affected persons assistance Caritas Ukraine. 2013-2015 Director of Migration service of Caritas Ukraine. 2007-2013 Head of UGCC Commission for Migrants. 2008-2010 member of Caritas Europe Migration Commission. 2001-2007 researcher of migration topics in deferent structures (Lviv Laboratory of Social Studies, Institute of Religion and Society UCU, Justice and Peace UGCC Commission)

Studied Physics (1993-1995) and a Law (2000-2006) at Lviv National University.


Mykola Kapitonenko

Director to the Center of International Studies

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PhD, is an Associate Professor at the Institute of International Relations of Kyiv National Taras Shevchenko University. Director to the Center of International Studies, an NGO, specializing at regional security studies and foreign policy of Ukraine. He has also been invited as a visiting professor to the University of Iowa, and was teaching at the Diplomatic Academy of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine. Co-editor of UA: Ukraine Analytica.

An author of a textbook on international conflict studies, a monograph on power factor in international politics, and more than 80 articles on various foreign policy and security issues. In 2012 he was awarded National Prize of Ukraine in science.

Brian Bonner

Сhief editor of the Kyiv Post

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American Brian Bonner became chief editor of the Kyiv Post on June 9, 2008. He also held the job in 1999, three years after first arriving in Ukraine to teach journalism.

Bonner spent most of his career with the St. Paul Pioneer Press in Minnesota, where he covered international, national and local news for more than 20 years as a staff writer and assigning editor.

Besides Ukraine, he has also reported from Russia, Belgium, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Laos, Norway, Poland and the United Kingdom.

In 2007-2008, he served as associate director of international communications at the Campaign For Tobacco-Free Kids in Washington, D.C. He also worked as an election expert on six observation missions with the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe in Ukraine, Belarus, Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan between 1999 and 2013.

He was a regional coordinator of the Danish-funded Objective Investigative Reporting Program from 2013-2017. He is a member of the supervisory board of the Media Development Foundation, a non-profit group founded by Kyiv Post journalists in 2013 to promote investigative journalism, training of journalists and exchanges.


Ambassador John Herbst

Served for thirty-one years as a foreign service officer in the US Department of State, was the US ambassador to Ukraine from 2003 to 2006.

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Ambassador Herbst served for thirty-one years as a foreign service officer in the US Department of State, retiring at the rank of career-minister. He was the US ambassador to Ukraine from 2003 to 2006. Prior to his ambassadorship in Ukraine, he was the ambassador to Uzbekistan from 2000 to 2003.


Ambassador Herbst previously served as US consul general in Jerusalem; principal deputy to the ambassador-at-large for the Newly Independent States; director of the Office of Independent States and Commonwealth Affairs; director of regional affairs in the Near East Bureau; and at the embassies in Tel Aviv, Moscow, and Saudi Arabia. He most recently served as director of the Center for Complex Operations at the National Defense University. He has received two Presidential Distinguished Service Awards, the Secretary of State’s Career Achievement Award, the State Department’s Distinguished Honor Award, and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Distinguished Civilian Service Award. Ambassador Herbst’s writings on stability operations, Central Asia, Ukraine, and Russia are widely published.

Myroslava Gongadze

Main redactor and head of ukrainian department of “Voice of America”

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She often serves as an expert on Ukraine, Eastern Europe and freedom of speech in the post-Soviet space.  Miroslava’s articles are published on the pages of such world famous publications as the Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, NPR, Journal of Democracy.

The journalist’s talent is to ask questions that will make not only interlocutors and spectators, but also politicians and statesmen think:

  • “Why is everyone is talking about “DPR/LPR” and forgot about the Crimea?”
  • “The Budapest Memorandum. Did the international community enough to protect the sovereignty of Ukraine?”
  • “It is important to identify and understand the essence of propaganda. But what methods can be effective to fight it?”

Now in the United States, “Russia” and “danger” have become synonyms, says Myroslava Gongadze. Patrially thanks to her work.


Valeriy Pekar

Co-founder of The New Country civil platform

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Entrepreneur since 1992. A member of the board of directors of the Global Association of the Exhibition Industry (UFI). Lecturer of Kyiv-Mohyla Business School (kmbs) and Lviv Business School (LvBS). Author of more than 250 articles and two books on management, marketing, IT, futurology. Co-founder of The New Country civil platform. Member of the National Reforms Council (2014-2016), adviser to the minister of economic development and trade (2014-2016).

Stephan Bierling

Professor of International Policy and Transatlantic Relations at Regensburg University ( Germany)

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He was a lecturer at at the University of Ludwig Maximilian in Munich / LMU (1989-1999) and at the University of Erlangen-Nuremberg (1999/2000), further on lectured at prestigious universities in South Africa, Israel, the United States, Australia, China and Chile. Since 2000, he has been the head of the Department of International Policy and Transatlantic Relations at the Institute of Political Science at the University of Regensburg.

He was moderator of the Munich Security Conference.

Since 2000, he has been organizing international conferences at the Regensburg University in partnership with Hans Seidel Foundation.

According to UNICUM PROFESSIONAL magazine in 2013, Stefan Birling was awarded the title “Professor of the Year” in the category of humanities, culture and social sciences.

Nona Mikhelidze

Head of the Eastern Europe and Eurasia Programme at the Istituto Affari Internazionali (IAI) in Rome

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She holds a PhD in Political Science from Scuola normale superiore (Pisa), and a M.A. in Regionalism: Central Asia and Caucasian Studies from the Humboldt University Berlin (HU), where she was awarded with the Volkswagen Foundation Scholarship as a Research Fellow. She holds also B.A. and M.A. degrees in International Relations from the Tbilisi State University. Her research interests include the ENP and conflict resolution in the South Caucasus, the Wider Black Sea and regional cooperation, Turkey and Caspian Region, and Russian foreign policy in the ex-Soviet space.

Denys Kazanskyi

Ukrainian journalist, blogger

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Born in 1984. In 2006 he graduated from Tugan Baranovskyi Donetsk National university of economy and trade. Became famous as blogger under the nickname Frankensstein. He also worked in Donetskaya Pravda magazine, which published his journalistic investigations and analytics.

Denуs is in journalism since 2011. Until 2014 he worked in Donetsk in the “Ostrov” online magazine. Since 2014 he writes for the “Ukrainian Week” magazine, and is also the editor-in-chief of the “4 Vlada” website.

Denуs has left Donetsk after the beginning of Russian occupation, but he continues to follow events in the occupied territories and has reliable information about the true state of things in the so-called “DPR/LPR”

“Occupation of Donbass by russian mercenaries and regular soldiers is certainly a crime. Therefore, like any criminal, Russia tries to convince the world community that it is innocent and does not participate in the war. To do this, it does everything possible to show only the “DPR/LPR” pseudo-republic as a party of the conflict.” – Denуs writes in his blog.

Therefore, while following the developments in the Donbass, it is important to understand that what the media show us is not facts from the front, but a reality show with a large budget, which has its own directors and producers. That’s why taking the Russian version of events seriously is like watching the “War of the Worlds” and believing that the Americans were attacked by aliens. The war in the Donbass is a war between Russia and Ukraine and nothing else. And “DPR” and “LNR” are like the stillborn “Finnish Democratic Republic”, which was formed by USSR authorities in order to cover the invasion of Finland in 1939.

Dr. Michael Carpenter

Senior Director of the Biden Center for Diplomacy and Global Engagement at the University of Pennsylvania.

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He holds an M.A. and Ph.D. in Political Science from the University of California at Berkeley and a B.A. in International Relations from Stanford University.

Dr. Carpenter served in the White House as a foreign policy advisor to Vice President Joe Biden and as Director for Russia at the National Security Council. Prior to his service at the White House, he was a career Foreign Service Officer with the State Department. Dr. Carpenter also served abroad in the U.S. Embassies in Poland, Slovenia, and Barbados.

Former Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense with responsibility for Russia, Ukraine, Eurasia, the Balkans, and Conventional Arms Control.

He is also a nonresident Senior Fellow at the Atlantic Council and a member of the board of the Jamestown Foundation.

Lieutenant General Ben Hodges

Commander of NATO Allied Land Command

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A native of Quincy, Florida, Lt. Gen. Ben Hodges graduated from the United States Military Academy in May 1980 and was commissioned in the Infantry.

After his first assignment as an Infantry Lieutenant in Germany, he commanded Infantry units at the Company, Battalion and Brigade levels at the 101st Airborne Division and in Operation IRAQI FREEDOM. His most recent operational assignment was as Director of Operations, Regional Command South, in Kandahar, Afghanistan.

Lt. Gen. Hodges has also served in a variety of Joint and Army Staff positions to include Tactics Instructor at the Infantry School; Chief of Plans, 2nd Infantry Division in Korea; Aide-de-Camp to the Supreme Allied Commander Europe; Army Congressional Liaison Officer; Task Force Senior Observer-Controller at the Joint Readiness Training Center, Fort Polk, LA; Coalition/Joint -3 (CJ3) of Multi-National Corps-Iraq in Operation IRAQI FREEDOM; Chief of Staff, XVIII Airborne Corps at Fort Bragg; and Director of the Pakistan Afghanistan Coordination Cell on the Joint Staff; Chief of Legislative Liaison for the United States Army.

He has been the Commander of NATO Allied Land Command from 2012 to 2014.

Glen Howard

President of Jamestown Foundation

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Mr. Howard is fluent in Russian and proficient in Azerbaijani and Arabic, and is a regional expert on the Caucasus and Central Asia. He was formerly an Analyst at the Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC) Strategic Assessment Center. His articles have appeared in The Wall Street Journal, the Central Asia-Caucasus Analyst, and Jane’s Defense Weekly. Mr. Howard has served as a consultant to private sector and governmental agencies, including the U.S. Department of Defense, the National Intelligence Council and major oil companies operating in Central Asia and the Middle East.

Denis Cenușa

Associated expert at the Independent Economic Think-tank “Expert-Group”(Chisinau)

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He is a weekly contributor at the “Info-Prim” News Agency, where between 2015 and 2017 he published more than 100 analytical articles related to European integration and EU-Moldova dialogue.

He is the author of many analysis and researches published in Moldova and abroad. His areas of research comprise: EU-Moldova dialogue, economy of European integration, EU-Russia relationship, EU’s European Neighborhood policy, and energy security.

He is co-editor of the book ‘Deepening EU-Moldova Relations: What, why and how?’. Currently, Denis works closely in projects related to implementation of the Association Agreement between Moldova and EU and energy security.

Denis obtained a Master diploma in European Interdisciplinary Studies at the College of Europe Natolin.

Pavlo Kazarin

Journalist, publiсist

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Born in Crimea. Graduated from Taurida National University, specialized in Russian language and literature. Works in journalism since 2004.

In 2012-2014 worked in Moscow. Cooperated with “Rosbalt’, “Slon.ru”, “Novaya Hazeta”, “New Times”.

Since 2014 lives in Kyiv. Cooperates with ICTV and 24 channels. Columnist at Ukrayinska Pravda, Liga.net, Radio Liberty.

Spheres of professional interests: post soviet driftage, occupied territories, Eastern Europe, the evolution of Ukrainian-Russian relations.

James Bezan

Shadow Minister for National Defence

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Over the course of his parliamentary career, he has chaired the House of Commons Standing Committees for Agriculture and Agri-Food (2006-2008), Environment (2008-2011), and National Defence (2011-2013).

As Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of National Defence from 2013-2015, Bezan was active on files dealing with military procurement, mental health issues in the Canadian Armed Forces, the war against ISIS, and Russia’s aggression in Ukraine. Bezan currently serves in the Official Opposition Shadow Cabinet as the Conservative Defence Critic.

Bezan has also been a very outspoken critic on the issue of Russian aggression in Eastern Europe, and protecting Ukraine’s democracy, sovereignty and human rights. As a result, he was one of thirteen Canadian officials sanctioned and banned by the Russian government in 2014. For his work on Ukrainian issues he has been recognized with numerous awards both in Canada and abroad, including the ‘Order of Prince Yaroslav the Wise’ (Ukraine’s highest civilian award) for his private members’ bill to recognize the Holomodor as a genocide.

Sergey Datsuk

Philosopher, theorist, thinker

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He is author of 7 books – theoretical work on fundamental philosophy, theory of ontology, logic, semiology, semantics, structural linguistics, artificial intelligence, communication theory, theory of politics (‘Theory of virtual reality” (2008), “Ontologization” ( 2009), “Horizons of constructivism” (2010), “Theory of perspectives” (2011), “The complex new world” (2012), “Intellectual politics” (2010), “Moment of philosophy” ( 2013)). Since graduating from Taras Shevchenko Kyiv State University in 1991, he worked in analysis and expertize of political decsions, since 2002 works as Consultant of Strategic Consulting Corporation «Gardarica».

Sven Sakkov

Director of International Center for Defence and Security (Estonia)

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For the past two years he was the director of NATO Cooperative Cyber Defence Centre of Excellence, an international knowledge hub specializing in research, training and exercises in the areas of technology, strategy, operations and law. As the director of CCDCOE Sven Sakkov led an international team from 20 countries and various specialities.

Between 2008 and 2015 Sakkov served as an undersecretary for defence policy (policy director) of the Ministry of Defence of Estonia. During his tenure as a policy director Sven Sakkov was responsible for policy planning, threat assessments, NATO and EU policy, international cooperation, and arms control. He was an Estonian representative to the NATO’s Senior Officials’ Group.

Previously, he had served at the Estonian Embassy in Washington and Estonian Mission to NATO, as national security and defence advisor to the President of Estonia and as the director of Policy Planning of MOD.

Sven Sakkov has studied at the University of Cambridge (M.Phil. in international relations), University of Tartu (B.A. cum laude in history) and Royal College of Defence Studies (course of 2011-12).

Oksana Syroid

Vice Speaker of the Parliament of Ukraine

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As an MP worked on draft laws on judicial reform, reform of police and prosecution, local self-government reform, as well as actively participated in the work of the Constitutional Commission established in March 2015. She dedicates much of her time to defence and security issues, having contributed a draft law “On the Territory of Ukraine temporary Occupied by Russian Federation”.

Oksana Syroid has previously has worked as Director of All-Ukrainian Charitable Foundation “Ukrainian Legal Foundation”. In 2004-2012 she was the National Project Manager and the Head of Rule of Law Unit at OSCE office in Ukraine. In 2001-2002 she worked in Secretariat of the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine. She is a lecturer at the National School of Judges of Ukraine, co-author of handbooks in the area of administrative justice, as well as associate professor of the Law Faculty at the National University of Kyiv-Mohyla Academy and a co-founder of Kyiv-Mohyla School of Public Administration.

Oksana Syroid holds Master degree in Laws at University of Ottawa, Ottawa and Taras Shevchenko Kyiv National University and Bachelor degree in Political sciences at National University of Kyiv-Mohyla Academy.

Jill Sinclair

Senior Advisor, Dept of National Defence

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Jill is currently a Senior Advisor at the Dept of National Defence and is the Canadian Representative to the Ukrainian Defence Reform Advisory Board. She served as Assistant Deputy Minister (Policy) at DND and Assistant Secretary Foreign and Defence at the Privy Council Office. During her career at Foreign Affairs, Jill led the Ottawa Process to ban anti-personnel mines; was the Executive Director of the Commission on Intervention and State Sovereignty which led to the creation of R2P; was Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process; worked extensively on arms control, disarmament and human and regional security and had postings to Prague, Havana and the Middle East. She is a Senior Fellow at the University of Ottawa Graduate School of Public Service and International Affairs and volunteers with the Friends of the National Arts Centre Orchestra as the Director of Communications and Outreach.

Dumitru Alaiba

Economist, Projects Director, CPR Moldova

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Five years of experience in international consultancy (Finland, Romania, Latvia and Austria). Coordinated projects in the Balkan and CIS countries, in the field of economics, finance and business climate.

Seven years of experience with the Moldovan Government.

Between 2013 and 2016 – Head of the Secretariat to the Economic Council of the Prime Minister (EBRD project).

Since January 2017 – programme director at CPR Moldova.

Mykhaylo Honchar

President of the Center for Global Studies “Strategy ХХІ"

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Mykhaylo Honchar has over 31 year of professional experience which include service in air force, civil service in National Defence and Security Council of Ukraine, scientific work at National institute of strategic studies and National institute of the problems of international security at the National Defence and Security Council of Ukraine. In 2000s he worked on several positions in oil and gas industry. He holds the honorary award from the “Naftogas Ukrainy” for his work.

He was also the expert of the ukrainian part of the intergovernmental commissions on economic cooperation with Germany, Poland, Slovakia, Czech Republic, Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Turkey. He is the author, co-author and editor of numerous publications dedicated to energy sector issues, energy security and international relations.

Since 2016 he is the member of the National Commission on industry. Since 2017 he is the acting editor of the ”Black Sea Security” magazine. He holds the status of the associated fellow of Razumkov Center and the Center of Russian studies.




23 April

Oksana Syroyid: War is a fantastic excuse

Oksana Syroyid, Vice-Speaker of Ukrainian Parliament   I will follow up with what general Hodges…

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Oksana Syroyid, Vice-Speaker of Ukrainian Parliament


I will follow up with what general Hodges has mentioned first, namely, the legal status and the perception of the war. And I will refer to the quite well-known now case of Serhyi Kolmohorov, who is unfortunately now under the severe threat. So, mostof you are probably aware of the fact that he had volunteered to the army, well, not to the army, but to volunteer battalion in 2014. He was in the mobile patrol, close to Mariupol in August 2014. There was a suspicious car and there was an order to stop it. Then there was an order to shoot. There were 9 guys shooting at a driving vehicle. And in the end, one guy was sentenced for murder, because one person has been killed by the unknown person actually, because you cannot verify whose bullet has actually shot the poor lady.

We have a number of issues that this specific case has risen, and be sure that Ukrainian army is following this case closely, because they understand that it has to do with everyone. And now we come to the actual legal framework of the military conduct, when we have it in the hybrid perception, in a hybrid reality. There is a question whether Ukrainian army, volunteer battalions, and national guard perform their duties at the East with accordance to the Constitution. Of course. Because they had the duty to protect, to defend their country, and they performed their duty constitutionally.

But whether the State has acted constitutionally to protect its soldiers is a big issue. Because, according to the Constitution, in case of threat to the state, the president, firstly, is obliged to impose martial law, and secondly is obliged to issue a decree on deployment of the armed forces.

 When is it needed? Exactly for the cases like this. When the soldier uses weapon in the military conditions, he is the most vulnerable person, because eventually he may end up in court. And how a court should decide, whether the soldier acted appropriately or not? It’s only a decision of a chief commander who can say that there was a threat to the country, the threat which demanded the deployment of Armed Forces, and moreover, which required the use of a weapon. And that could be the condition to protect people. Moreover, why was the car on the move anyway? If the martial law was duly implemented, there would be limits for the freedom of movement, according to the martial law. Unfortunately, since it was not implemented, again, the soldiers were (and are) vulnerable, because they didn’t have enough legal grounds to act. And this is a question which we are now debating. Finally, after almost four years of war, we started to debate the fact that we are in a hybrid that we have ourselves created. And the question is how shall we get out of this hybrid? Because we will need to do this to protect our soldiers. And this is for all of us to consider.

My statement is very clear — we cannot reinvent the wheel. Those rules of the war are way more mature than we are, they last for thousands of years, we cannot invent anything new. We just have to follow the common sense. And when it comes to the budget and transparency, it is very simple. A war, again, and especially the hybrid war, is a perfect excuse. Whenever you want to justify something you have done, you just say that we are in war, we are in a hybrid war — it is a fantastic excuse. Now hybrid war appears to be very convenient to everyone.

 But here it comes to the budget. We realize that we have to increase our defense spending. But these defense spending come from people, these are not the money of the state. And to make sure that people will be willing to pay more for their army, we have to make sure that we report to the people back how their money are spent. And here can be no secrecy, because, again, those are not the state money, so there shall be no state secret on this. Yes we can cover some specific articles with secrecy, but not the whole defense budget. So here I refer to what general Hodges has mentioned, that the army is a part of society, established for the sake of the society, to follow the interests of the society, and it cannot be disconnected. The army has to be subordinate to the society exactly through the represented issues of parliament.


20 April

Ben Hodges: Different kind of fight

Lieutenant General Ben Hodges, Commander of the US Army Europe   What I’d like to…

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Lieutenant General Ben Hodges, Commander of the US Army Europe


What I’d like to do is to take a few minutes and address three main topics. Then I’ll look forward to any challenges or questions.

The first one is to reaffirm the commitment of the United States along with our allies, Canada, Lithuania, Poland, United Kingdom, to help Ukraine defend itself against Russian aggression. I’ll touch on that.

Secondly, I looked at the questions for this panel. One of them was about whether we are serious and whether we are taking war seriously, particularly when talking about hybrid war. I’ll talk briefly about that.

The third category that I will address briefly and look for the questions is on the relationship between the military, the state, the people; what are the implications for legal status; what does it mean to be a soldier, if there are correct legal protections to do your duty, but also there are broader policies. For if you don’t get the policy right, it makes it difficult for the soldier to do its duty.

So those are the three categories.

Firstly, it should be very apparent to everybody that the United States is committed and has been committed to Ukraine now for several years. Today we have 250 American soldiers that are at the training center just an hour from here. I was here last week to see them. It was a transition for a new group. The United States has provided supplies now for three years: counter fire radar, medical supplies, equipment. We delivered 35 ambulances that just arrived. I have personally visited four different military hospitals in Kyiv, Dnipro, Mariupol, Kharkiv. I saw terrific medical professionals and wounded Ukrainian soldiers in each of those facilities. I saw the full range of high quality and low quality facilities. We’re committed to continuing to help develop Ukrainian military and health care as well.

We have benefited also from our interaction with Ukrainian soldiers. While you mentioned that Ukraine had to build and rebuild its military from scratch, what Ukraine has always had is terrific young men and young women who were tough, they’re very smart and they are great fighters and they are committed to the defense of their country. I’ve never been on the receiving end of Russian artillery fire, I have never received Russian rocket fire, I have never been on the receiving end of Russian electronic warfare, but all of these Ukrainian soldiers and commanders have. So we have learned a lot from our Ukrainian partners and now all the lessons that we’ve learned for them are part of our training center at Owen fields and at the two transit centers in the United States we’ve incorporated everything that we’ve learned about Russia from Ukraine.

I’ve also discovered that Ukrainian soldiers are technically extremely competent and professional. The radar can we provided, it turns out it’s even better than we realized. When you give it to a Ukrainian soldier who is receiving Russian artillery fire and rocket fire, you get motivated and that radar is even better than I knew it was. We’ve learned there as well. Of course the Russians know how good it is and they immediately came after that radars, they destroyed one but not the rest of them. So the commitment of the United States, the amount of money, the amount of people… When the United States is serious about something, we put money in it and we put people in it. That’s happening right here in Ukraine.

Our Ambassador Yovanovitch and her predecessor Pyatt, is very active, so is the special ambassador Walker, who is working very hard to hold Russia accountable for implementation of Minsk agreement. As long as this continues, you can be sure United States Army will continue being here.

Finally, we are working very hard at Yavoriv to help develop the Ukrainian Army’s training center there. I’ve been amazed at the progress that’s been made over the past year. I know that general Muzhenko and general Popov have worked very hard to provide resources for that training center to improve its capability. I would anticipate that we will branch out and help other training centers in Ukraine.

But one last thing, the lethality of the battlefield. You talk about taking war seriously. When I look at all of Ukrainian vehicles, the Russian vehicles, the Russian led separatists’ vehicles, they are covered with what we call «reactive armor». This is something that provides additional protection to the steel of the tank. Then you still see vehicles completely destroyed by Russian artillery, Russian rockets and Russian tanks. This is the reminder of the lethality of the battlefield.

With Russian UAVs, Russian ability to intercept the communications, we have all had to get serious again about camouflage, about dispersion, about using secured communications to avoid being targeted. Because the Russians clearly have the ability to combine UAVs, radio intercept and rockets very quickly. So we’ve learned that watching the Ukrainian soldiers. That was the first topic.

The second topic was that you talked about taking war seriously. All of us in the West have to make an adjustment. Because of what we’ve seen Russia is doing, we’ve had to adjust our posture. I was a brigade commander during the first year of war in Iraq from 2003 to 2004. For the next 14 years all of us have been fighting counter-insurgency, stability operations, living far off the operating base, very concerned about civilian casualties, our intelligence was focused on intercepting cell phones. It was a different kind of fight.

 Now as we watch Russia’s aggression, what they’ve done in in Georgia, there are still ten thousand Russian soldiers occupying 20% of the Republic of Georgia and Abkhazia and South Ossetia. Watching what they’ve done when they invaded Crimea, watching what they’ve done when they invaded Donbass, watching their exercises, watching what they’ve demonstrated in Syria, we obviously pay close attention to that, we’re having to adjust or to relearn how to conduct large-scale maneuver warfare with artillery, aircraft, armor, infantry, engineers — all of the combat arms. We’ve had to change that, as well as modernize our equipment. But what I was slow to realize is that we have to change the policies too, the legal status. When you have a NATO mission ISAF in Afghanistan, you operate with a certain number of tight rules, rules of engagement.

Most of the countries in the West have signed agreements about the use of land mines or the agreements to limit the use of certain munitions for good reason. The Russians are not bothered about the use of land mines. They’re happy to use every ammunition they can to cause as much damage as they can. We are all having to adjust and look at our policies about precision weapons. If you’re in a fight that has thousands of artillery rounds being fired back and forth, that’s completely different from if you’re shooting one round at one Taliban on a motorcycle. It’s a completely different environment for permissions and speed and the estimates the risks that you take to collateral damage.

So that’s about getting the policy right there. How do you handle prisoners of war? In Afghanistan some people are reluctant to use biometric data because they were worried that a Canadian citizen who is also an Afghan, that his biometric data could end up in the US database. That’s a normal concern. If you’re fighting in the large scale conventional war, where you’re gonna have thousands or hundreds of prisoners, do you have the procedures correct for that? It’s completely different. We have to address that policy.

If you are fighting in the sovereign nation, for example, if we were in Estonia, or Latvia, or Lithuania, or Poland (these are NATO allies, sovereign countries), if we were fighting inside one of those countries against the Russian attack, the policies would have to address how to do that. That’s completely different than fighting in Afghanistan or Syria. Are we taking that seriously? Absolutely. All of these policies are under review.

And then, finally, the ammunition. The amount of ammunition and the types of ammunition that we would need if we had to fight against the Russian attack of some sort is so significantly greater than the ammunition that we are using in Afghanistan. Particularly precision munitions and long-range rockets. Getting the industrial base ready for that is also part of it. North Korean just fired another missile in the last 48 hours and we’re also having to prepare for a possibility of that as well.

Finally, the third category that I wanted to address briefly is a relationship between the military of the state, population.

The United States has a tradition because of our experience as former British colonies, the Americans did not want a large standing army. But whatever army we’re going to have, had to be under total control of the civilians, of the elected civilian officials. The president is the commander-in-chief, but the Congress has responsibilities.

I always keep a copy of the United States Constitution with me. I worked three times in what we call the office of Congressional Liaison for the United States Army. My job was to help answer questions from the Congress or to explain to the Congress our budget requirements or the rules, the regulations, the modernization. It was not always fun. But I knew it was always essential. In fact, when I became an officer a brand new officer about a hundred years ago I took an oath to support and defend the Constitution of the United States which enshrines civilian control of the military. This is not a coincidence.

It’s a very small document but the very first article the Constitution focuses on the Congress, the legislative branch of the government. The second article goes to the executive, the President.

Article I Section 8 of the Constitution, where it lays out the powers of the Congress (by the way, I did this years ago), says: «The Congress shall have the Power to raise and support Armies; to provide and maintain a Navy, to make Rules for the Government and Regulation of the land and naval Forces; to provide for calling forth the Militia to execute the Laws of the Union, to suppress Insurrections and repel Invasions». And this is where the Congress is given not just the power, but the responsibility, «to provide for organizing, arming, and disciplining, the Militia, and for governing such Part of them as may be employed in the Service of the United States».

So all of those things that I’ve just described, that’s the responsibility and the authority of Congress. Then Article II says: «The President shall be Commander in Chief of the Army and Navy of the United States, and of the Militia of the several States».

So there’s a tradition of civilian control, civilian responsibility over the military. That means that the Congress has to perform its duty to provide enough resources, to pay attention to make sure the soldiers are properly trained, have the great equipment have the right place to live and that their families are cared for, that there’s a medical system that not only helps them recover from being wounded, but also rehabilitation.

One last piece of this is connection between the population and the military. During the Vietnam War the army went to Vietnam. The United States did not go to Vietnam. The army, which was a conscript army, was sent to Vietnam. The chief of the Army at the end of the war said, «We’re never doing that again». He took most of our logistics, most of our engineers, most of the military police, most of everything that’s required for long-term sustained land operations, for a war. Аnd he put it into the Reserve Component, what we call our National Guard (which is different from Ukrainian National Guard). When he did that that meant that no president could send the army without the Congress and every community knew about it. So it made sure that there was a connection between the population and the military, that it was not a separate stand-alone force that was a tool of the executive.

18 April

Glen Howard: Russia can’t be imperia without Ukraine

Mr. Glen Howard, President of Jamestown Foundation Studies   There are three points that I…

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Mr. Glen Howard, President of Jamestown Foundation Studies


There are three points that I would like to talk about and I was actually asked to speak principally about where’s Ukraine in іnternational system and why it is not working. And so the second point that I am going to talk about is Ukraine’s National Security dilemma in identifying its national security priorities and how to react to the threats. And the third thing which might be surprising for you is that I’m going to discuss briefly the case study of one of those national security problems, which is the Ukrainian navy. Everybody talks about Donbass and the army, but does anyone look at the Ukrainian national symbol? The trident is very much a part of that national symbol. Ukraine has 3000 km of seaboard with the Black Sea, 20% of your GDP comes form the sea and the maritime kilometers, so that’s very critically important for Ukraine.

Ukraine and international system and why it’s not working. First of all, I appreciate the comment about Voltaire: «Ukraine is a land of Europe, but it’s unknown to Europe». And I would echo that point by American security policy makers that ambassador Herbst has talked about. US policy makers keep looking at Ukraine through the prism of Russia’s imperial history, and Russian history, Soviet history. And so, in many ways they have to relearn that process. And I think that’s a very critical point that ambassador Herbst has made, because it is how we look at Ukraine in the International System. When Ukraine gave three thousand nuclear weapons, in many ways it has sort of stopped being the national security priority and issue for the United States.

And one of the problems is that Henry Kissinger has talked about that in his experience of trying to educate americans that there’s something called in Europe the balance of power. And he had understood, where Ukraine fits in within that regional balance of power.

I think doctor Zbigniew Brzezinski, someone that I’ve worked for four years, constantly talked about geography and the need and importance of history, so he once said about Ukraine that Russia cannot be an imperial power without Ukraine. And that’s a critical point. If Russia was to occupy Ukraine, it would once again be the mighty power. It would be on the doorsteps of Europe in a way that it would constantly continue to influence the geography and influence the balance of power. But that’s what Russia’s imperial role is. And this is one thing that is critically important, because americans don’t really understand where Ukraine fits.

In 1943 an American political scientist by the name of Nicolas Spykman wrote a book called «The Geography of Peace». This book was very influential, because it influenced John Foster Dulles, and when George Kennan wrote a «long telegram», he tried to identify the issue in strategy of containment. But Spykman talked about the importance of geography and geopolitics. And for that time this determined how the US looked at the idea of containment.

In 1946 there was something called the Straits Crisis with Turkey, which led to Turkey joining NATO, when Stalin tried to control the straits. It was a major international crisis. And this led to us here today talking about the Yalta, the influence of Yalta, again, what we are seeing here now and with the 2014 — annexation and occupation of Crimea, is that back again the Black Sea region and Ukraine are very much what american policy makers are looking at and trying to understand Ukraine. There is a debate now in the United States on whether to give Ukraine the Javelin anti tank missles. Ukraine is very much of what we’re thinking about, but americans don’t understand where Ukraine fits within these national security priorities. Even within Ukraine itself, there’s problem with understanding its own national security priorities and strategies.

And that’s that I briefly get to here today in my own discussion, but how Ukraine looks and identifies in some national security threats. That’s very interesting. You know, I keep on telling many americans, friends of mine, who talk about tiny Georgia getting threat and getting the US in the war in 2008 when russians invaded South Osetia and Georgia, nation of three million, fought a brief war with Russia. The point that I try to make about Ukraine is that we need to stop thinking about Ukraine as if it is Georgia. Ukraine is a nation of 45 million, it is a nation that had three thousand nuclear weapons and gave those up, it is a modern industrial capacity, and basically, it is a country that has the capacity and wants to build aircraft carriers. So there’s problem with how Europe and the US look at Ukraine in terms of what it could be, its potential.

As it was said at the beginning: Ukraine has to survive. And that is very much true. And the problem in Ukraine is that they keep looking to answers like Javelins and etc. As if it could solve all of the Ukraine’s problems. And I would disagree. The problems in Ukraine are really deeper and much broader in its national security than just getting Javelin anti tank missles.

Ukraine’s problems and challenges today are that you have a vast amount of resources and people. You are rebuilding an army, but basically you are a country that in 25 years of your independence, 23 years beginning with the war in Donbass, with a large army like it had, Ukraine had never organized a military exercise more than for a thousand men in those 23 years of independence.Ukraine had a military but it did not know how to basically fight for its independence because the military had been so ignored. And now Ukraine is looking at its military and trying to rebuild and identify its national identity. And it’s very important. But there are certain national security strategies and priorities in Ukraine that they’re not focusing on, that they’re not doing.

Three years after Donbass: Ukraine still doesn’t have any ability to produce ammunition. This is a critical national security priority that’s not being paid attention to. It is not because of Western companies are not offering you things. They’re offering you the abilities to build an ammunition plant, but he government is turning it away. Why? Is that the responsibility of US? No. We’re herе to help you. But Ukraine has to defend itself, it has to accept these offers to build the ammunition plants. Ukraine’s greatest enemy is bureaucracy. Ukraine can be a modern military power if it overcomes the problems and the challenges with its national security.

Currently today there’s a major security crisis going on today with the building of the Kerch Bridge. Everyone talked about Donbass and Donbass’s strategic importance. But the Kerch Strait is the gateway to Mariupol, and if it’s closed off, if Donbass and Mariupol cannot export steel, Russia will strangle Ukraine in Donbass. So Ukraine has a maritime priority. It’s trying to rebuild the navy, but if it looses the Kerch Strait and the ability to control it, it will have no point at all. When this crisis emerged on August 1, officials in Kyiv were on vacation. The crisis was happening, the strait was closed, nobody said anything. They had a meeting at security council in Ukraine, but high level officials from the military and also various other officers, I’m not going to mention the names, didn’t even go to the meeting.

If Mariupol has to close these new plants because it cannot export the steel, it will have a major effect on the Donbass. And why am I talking about this? I’m talking about this because Ukraine has a vision for the navy. It wants to build the navy. This week I’ve just been to the conference, we were sitting here in the audience. They tried for the first time a branch of the Ukrainian Armed Forces had a public event to discuss its strategy. In Kyiv this is unprecedented. They discussed their strategy, they had US friends come and discuss it with them. It’s very critically important, because they were openly talking about their problems and their issues. Ukrainian navy wants to send naval vessels into the Kerch Strait to exercise what they call freedom of navigation. They want to show that their straits are open and there’s freedom of navigation and that the UN convention is being open and not being enforced. But this won’t happen, unless Ukraine does something about it.

The other part about the Ukrainian navy is that the part of their vision of building a navy is to get help from the US. Sitting in Baltimore harbor are two what they call island class cutters. And these two island class cutters are a gift from US to Ukraine. But they’re sitting there and they’ve been sitting there since July and they’re not moving here to Ukraine. Why? We don’t know. We can guess as to why it is not happening. Because there’s certain naval shipyards that you know exist in Kyiv, they’re building vessels there called the «Grisha» class boats. And some people believe that the class cutters are a threat to these boats in the Kyiv naval shipyards. Because the problem with Ukraine’s national security is that it is also becoming a money-making venture for national security and we’ve really got to talk about this today and get this thing moving and get it further discussed. Because the US is offering to give Ukraine a certain weapon which could be used in the Kerch Strait, but it’s not happening.

Ukraine has to survive. Geography determines your future. I think this is very critically important and I very appreciate the opportunity to speak today. And so if there is one thing I can leave with you in the audience it is the idea that the trident is also about the sea, it is about Ukraine and its maritime kilometers.

And I would say one thing, that the US Navy began in 1794 with 6 frigates, they were constructed by the US Congress. Аnd Ukraine had 70% of its navy destroyed and taken by the Russians during the invasion of Crimea. You’re trying to reveal the navy. You’re starting again. Just like the US did in 1794. You’re starting with your own ability and you have your own vision for that navy called the «Mosquito-fleet strategy» and they openly talk about this to the public. And that requires public support through that strategy and the navy. Mao Zedong once said that the army swims with the people. And so the people, volunteers in Ukraine have to get together and have
to develop strategies and work for that so that you could develop Ukraine’s
national security strategy in the way that it is very balanced and that you appeal
to the US and that you survive based not just upon asking help, but Ukraine helping itself.

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