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.




12 June

Mary O ‘Hagan: Ukraine is united

One of the reasons why public opinion is so important is because there are a…

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One of the reasons why public opinion is so important is because there are a few areas of human experience where people are more important than in the case of conflict and security issues. In Ukrainian context, which is, as we have seen, a very low-trust environment, where disinformation is rife, where there may be some big gaps between the assumptions that people inside and outside the country make about things and what the reality is, where the awareness of some issues may be low both inside and outside the country, the discussion of what Ukrainian people think is very important.

The things I would share from our own research are really straightforward. I’ve believed for a long time that of all the many miscalculations that Russia made in initiating this conflict, underestimating Ukrainian identity and Ukrainian unity was the biggest. I’ll share a few results using different methodologies that demonstrate why I say that.


In May of 2015 we used a cutting-edge tool called «implicit-association test» to look whether the respondents had any native preference for Ukraine or Russia. We did it in different regions of the country. We found that Ukraine is implicitly preferred to Russia irrespective of where you do this test, what age or gender you are, what language you speak at home or how do you vote. We found that there was no statistical difference at all in the responses of the people who had voted for the parties that formed the coalition after the 2014 election and those who had voted for the opposition parties. There was no statistical difference in the result on that test between these two groups of people.


We’ve also been using more traditional methods. In a face-to-face survey, 84% of Ukrainians, majorities of every region we’ve looked at, say that it’s important to them that Ukraine becomes a fully functioning democracy. We’ve asked people what they think democracy means. The magnetic pull of Russia in the people’s minds in terms of the lives they want to lead, is weak. The number of those who think that Russia’s influence in Ukraine is positive in our surveys since May 2015 is in the 3 to 5% range.


Between 3 and 5% of Ukrainians believe that Russia’s influence in Ukraine is positive. Finally, we get 85 % in July this year, which is up from 44% in May 2015, who say that they would refuse to give up Ukraine’s right to determine its own future even if it meant an end to the war. They would refuse to give up Ukraine’s right to determine its own future even if it meant an end to the war tomorrow. When I say these things, it may seem like there is some dissonance between Mariana’s presentation and the data we’ve done. I don’t think it’s true. I think that the important thing that Mariana’s shared with us is how different some of the attitudes in the unoccupied portions of Donbas compared with the rest of Ukraine are.

Ukraine is united in a way that Russia is very reluctant to recognize, and many people, especially outside of Ukraine, don’t understand. I think that there are many ways in which Ukrainian society can be divided, whether it is political dynamics within the country, or whether it is hostile actions by aggressor, but I think that the goal of remaining united and preserving the sense of an identity is the security issue for Ukraine. And I hope very much that this is something we can all share. When we see that the Ukrainians are being divided, that it is actively seen as a threat to Ukraine, no matter where the direction of that comes from, because in these days you don’t always know where it is coming from.

8 June

Mark Voyger: Battle for Ukeraine is battle for Europe

I was very happy to be invited here. Ukraine, and especially the beautiful city of…

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I was very happy to be invited here. Ukraine, and especially the beautiful city of Lviv, is always in our heart. Every time we come to Ukraine, we’re reminded that Ukraine is Europe, Lviv is Europe. The battle for Ukraine is the battle for the future of Europe.

But I want to touch upon the issue of what we all call Russian hybrid warfare, how some of the techniques that Russia uses in the process of waging the hybrid warfare are manifested in the report. The most important one and probably the least noticed and analyzed one is the so-called «lawfare», legal warfare — the way Russia uses international and domestic law as a weapon, the weaponization of the law. Then I’ll switch from negative developments to good news, what I’ve been calling since the beginning of the conflict not the «nation bulding», but «nation forging», continues. The way a nation is forged in the fires of conflict and war, as unfortunate and tragic as it is, is probably the most important outcome of the battle for Ukraine.

My colleagues spoke in detail about hybrid warfare. We know the history of this phenomenon. Unfortunately, Ukraine has been a testing ground for Russian hybrid warfare or asymmetric warfare not for the course of only three or four years, not only several decades, but effectively for three or four centuries. It dates back to Peter the Great and Empress Catherine.
Unfortunately, in the 21st century Ukraine became the testing ground of the modern application of what some call the Gerasimov doctrine or modern Russian asymmetric non-linear warfare.

Even more disturbingly, the lessons of this warfare, everything that is tested here, everything that Russia experiments with, will be applied then in different theaters, such as Syria. If Russia stops here, this will be a blow to their expansions elsewhere.

What can we use from the report? Well, unfortunately, there is still a great division within the Ukrainian society. Just a prefatory look upon the geographical distribution and you immediately see that there are definitely differences in opinion among these various regions.
Lawfare. I was quite disturbed to see the poll stating that the trust in the Verkhovna Rada is so low. It is all about democracy. It is a battle for Ukraine, a battle for Europe. It is a battle not only for Europe in a geographical sense, but in notional sense, in a sense of values. If a nation doesn’t trust its elected representative, then Russia doesn’t have to do that much effectively. And it is not the business of the West or Europe to implement change. We can assist you; there have been a lot of efforts in this regard. But this is ultimately up to Ukrainian people and Ukrainian legislators that have to re-forge that bond. This is part of the legal effort. I would hate to see Russia winning on that account.

Another point is the recognition of who the aggressor is and who is the enemy. How come that 99% of the Ukrainians don’t say that Russia is the enemy? We’re at the fourth year of the war. This legal ambiguity is not only an academic debate, not only a boring forcing of words, it is actually critical, it is a weapon of itself. There has to be a coherent effort on that account.
Now, moving on to some of the good news. I saw that the support for the Ukrainian army is really high. That makes me happy. General Hodges always gives the example of the American War of Independence. Congress in Philadelphia in 1776 issued the Declaration of Independence, but then it was supported by the Continental Army. If you followed the American example, you’d have the national legislators hand in hand with the national army working to achieve a national goal. In that regard the support for the army is commendable, but it needs to be coupled with the support for the Ukrainian parliament.

We cannot do that much on account of parliamentary support, but the US, Canada, Britain and Baltic States are doing a lot in supporting your army. This is part of the nation-forging project that has been going on.
I think that four years ago Putin and Russian regime miscalculated in many ways. What brought terrible suffering and tragic events in Ukraine, but ultimately, they pushed Ukraine towards the West, they pushed Ukraine towards Europe better than anyone could have done.

7 June

Serhiy Harmash: Only force wins wars

The cause of this conflict, the reason it still drags on is that we do…

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The cause of this conflict, the reason it still drags on is that we do not admit the reality, we cannot still take war as a war. And besides, this problem has made Ukraine an outcast in the international space. Even sanctions that were supposed to help Ukraine win this war, have made Ukraine a problem to the world. But there is no Ukrainian problem, there is a Russian problem, which is much wider than Ukraine, than Abkhazia, than Georgia. So it’s not Ukraine that we’ve got to to something about now, that we need to rescue, the world has got to rescue itself and solve Russian problems. And here we come to the problem of inability to recognize the reality.

I, as a person who fled from war in Donetsk, who have left home there, to which I have no access, whose father’s grave is there which I cannot attend, whose sister is there, whom I cannot even call on the phone for fear of putting her under the risk, might be emotional in my assessments of these events, but personally I don’t see any political and diplomatic way of solving the conflict. Despite the fact that it is reiterated permanently, and such a statement has become a stop sign for Ukraine, because everybody here is saying that there is no other concept of solving this problem, but the diplomacy. Nothing but diplomacy. And I can’t see the possibility of such a solution at all, because, first of all, diplomacy is based on logic and certain rules. Russia has no logic, nor are there any rules. Recent events in Luhansk, when they «changed the government» so to say, showed us that there is neither a logic, nor any rules. At once a «Constitution» was re-tailored for one particular person. And it is all about Russia.

Being a part of western civilization, of the western world, we, the Ukrainians, also have this weakness — we create these stop signs for ourselves, and then say that if we do this, then Putin will do that. No one can tell what Putin will really do, he himself may not know, he is just a human like us. Here we have just to face the truth and name things as they are — there’s no other way of solving this problem, except for using force. It should not necessarily be the military force, it can be economical force, a force of principles, but it has to be a force. Today’s sanctions of course may be good, but they are not effective, because Russia is still in Donbass, Russia is still in Crimea.


Hence, Putin is using the same ideological and economical weapon against the West which the West applies against him. And it will continue to be this way, unless we stop denying the facts and reality. As a deeply traumatized person, as I have fled the war in Donbass, I may allow myself to say that why the West is treating the Budapest Memorandum the way it does is still a mystery to me. Because, when we hear that when signing this memorandum the West really meant something else, not the security guarantees, that this is just a translation fault, and we just got it all wrong, we get it very well that you are lying. And you understand it too. Everybody understands that.

What it may lead to? Let’s set aside Ukraine, but after about 20 years Russia will crumble down, and what will you do with that nuclear weapon, which is there and which will be in possession of different state subjects, so to say? Who will give away their weapon for flimsy security guarantees? The same problem with North Korea may blow up much sooner. So, we just need to be brave to face the reality and respond to it adequately.


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