Russia in Europe: Old mistakes and new challenges
The history of Russia`s relations with Europe is similar to the oscillations of a pendulum – the warmer they become, the more aggravated the confrontation between them. Ukraine has been the geographical and geopolitical hostage of this fluctuation for many centuries.
The color of Kyiv on the political map depends on who is the winner in the confrontation between Europe and Russia.
Can Russia be an equal partner for Europe without using force and fear?
What is the real value of Russian money invested in critical infrastructure – gas pipelines, media, democratic institutions?
Transatlantic unity was threatened for the first time since the Second World War.
The countries of the Baltic – Black Sea region are under threat and forced to find ways to enhance their collective security against conventional and non – conventional threats.
geopolitical development of states, and the history of civilization has proven it more than
once. The problem is that the lessons of history are often devalued; putting history aside
means risking making the same mistakes that have already taken millions of lives in the past.
First and foremost, we mean the lessons after the end of the World War I and the Versailles
Treaty signing, and the World War II: in particular, the values and foundations upon which
the European Union was built.
clear that the final aim of aggressive Russian policy is not Ukraine, but the broader West.
The Eastern European countries between the Baltic and the Black Sea are the potential
further target of this aggression, experiencing overwhelming economic, informational, and
even direct military threats. A common understanding of these threats in the region, as well
as developing strategic defense and security cooperation is urgently needed in order to
rebuild international security order.
critical infrastructure as a threat. Community resilience. Critical infrastructure in Donbas
The threat in this region has not yet been observed in the light of access to ports, airspace
security, communications, economic development and, therefore, through the prism of
security of the local population. In the era of non-conventional, non-linear hybrid wars these
objects become a primary target for the aggressor, causing casualties and paralyzing the
lives of societies. The dif iculty in protecting such objects of critical infrastructure is often in
that because they are rarely owned by the state, being a property of private individuals or
even foreign agents. Protection of critical infrastructure requires ef ective state policy and
development of high level of community resilience.
International Legal Framework
decelerating factor or a launch pad for development? The conventions governing access to
specific regions have been established in certain historical periods to provide the system of
checks and balances. Can they still carry out this function and what can be done about them
to help enhance security in the region?
Since the breakout of the Russian aggression against Ukraine in 2014, the topic of the
exchange of prisoners of war in Donbas has been the object of political bargaining and
manipulation. The Ukrainian state has not managed to grant them the status they poss de
facto, referring to them as hostages. Could the legal status of the prisoner of war influence
the conditions of their detention or their release? What are the NATO standards and best
international practices of exchange of prisoners? What could be the peculiarities in view of
the hybrid war conditions?
The report “Evidence of Russian presence and military agression in Crimean autonomous republic and occupied territories of Luhansk and Donetsk oblast in 2014-2-17” is the project implemented by NGO Prosvita Institute with the support of NATO.
The report “Evidence of Russian presence and military agression in Crimean autonomous republic and occupied territories of Luhansk and Donetsk oblast in 2014-2-17” is the project implemented by NGO Prosvita Institute with the support of NATO.
The contains evidence on the Russian Federation Armed Forces presence and military aggression in Eastern Ukraine and in the Crimea. All pieces of evidence were collected from open sources of information including private and official investigations, data from social networks of Russian Armed Forces active military personnel, Russian medias’ news reports etc. The report also contains an identification of Russian military equipment and active Russian military personnel by name, pieces of evidence on Russian Federation Armed Forces encroachment on Ukrainian territory as recorded by satellite imagery, data regarding Russian humanitarian convoys transportation, and international community reaction towards the investigated episodes of the Russian-Ukrainian war.
Each video material, film or news story used in the report is accessible for viewing on a special YouTube channel called “Russian military aggression in Ukraine”
the Minister of Agriculture of Lithuania in 1999-2001More InfoBack to speakers list
Kęstutis Kristinaitis in 1985 obtained a university degree of an engineer-land planner. Working in the Ministry of Agriculture he leaded the Land Use Board, the Land Reform Division, was in positions of a First Deputy Minister and the Minister of Agriculture (1999-2001). From 1992 (with the break) up to now he is the President, of Ltd. Corporation Matininkai and takes the responsibility of the management of the enterprise. Well acknowledged with the real property privatization, administration and valuation systems. In 1994-2000 he was a president of the Lithuanian Association of Property Valuers and since 2002 up to now – the Chairman of the Board of the Lithuanian Association of Property and Business Valuation Enterprises. Participates as a board member in numerous international and national public organizations, and gives papers in international meetings.
CEO of Fianna StrategiesMore InfoBack to speakers list
Molly K McKew is a writer, researcher, and lecturer on Russian influence and information warfare. Her articles have appeared in Politico, Wired, the Washington Post, Lawfare, and other publications. She comments on Russian strategy and disinformation for TV/radio, and frequently briefs military staff and political officials on Russian doctrine and hybrid warfare.
McKew is CEO of Fianna Strategies, a strategic consulting firm. Her recent work has focused on the European frontier — including the Baltic states, Georgia, Moldova, and Ukraine — where shehas worked to counter Russian information campaigns and other elements of hybrid warfare. Previously, she worked as an adviser to the Georgian National Security Council (2009-2013), and designed a project on national identity-building for former Moldovan Prime Minister Filat.
McKew serves as a board member of the Stand Up Republic Foundation. In 2013, she was awarded the Order of Honor by the President of Georgia for her service in defense of Georgian democracy.
Ambassador Tacan Ildem
NATO Assistant Secretary General for Public Diplomacy.More InfoBack to speakers list
Ambassador Tacan directs the Public Diplomacy Division that works to raise the Alliance’s profile with audiences around the world to build understanding of and support for NATO’s policies and operations. He also oversees the coordination of all Strategic Communications activities across NATO. Ambassador Ildem is a senior Turkish diplomat. Since the start of his career in 1978, he has held bilateral and multilateral positions including Ambassador to the Netherlands and Permanent Representative to NATO and the OSCE.
Chief of USAID Program “Human rights in action”More InfoBack to speakers list
Taras Tsymbrivskyy holds PhD in international law. He has been the chair of theory of law and human rights department, Ukrainian Catholic University (april 2016 – march 2018). Currently he is chief of USAID Program “Human rights in action” and Ukrainian Helsinki human rights union. He is also a member of the editorial board Baltic Journal of Law and Politics.
Dr Andrzej FAŁKOWSKI
Lt. Gen. (Ret.), Member of Defence Reform Advisory Board for Ukraine, PolandMore InfoBack to speakers list
Dr Andrzej Fałkowski, Lieutenant General (Ret.), got his PhD in Economics in 1997.In the past he was i.a. the Polish Military Representative to the NATO and EU Military Committees in Brussels, Deputy Chief of General Staff of the Polish Armed Forces, Defence, Military, Naval and Air Attaché in Washington D.C., Director of the Logistics and Resources Division of the NATO IMS in Brussels. He also worked as a visiting academic lecturer and senior mentor in Poland and abroad. He has published many articles on strategy and defence economics. Currently, he is a member of Defence Reform Advisory Board for Ukraine
Emeritus Professor of War Studies King's College LondonMore InfoBack to speakers list
Lawrence Freedman was Professor of War Studies at King's College London from 1982 to 2014,
and was Vice-Principal from 2003 to 2013. He was educated at Whitley Bay Grammar School and
the Universities of Manchester, York and Oxford. Before joining King's he held research
appointments at Nuffield College Oxford, IISS and the Royal Institute of International Affairs.
Elected a Fellow of the British Academy in 1995 and awarded the CBE in 1996, he was appointed
Official Historian of the Falklands Campaign in 1997. He was awarded the KCMG in 2003. In
June2009 he was appointed to serve as a member of the official inquiry into Britain and the 2003
Iraq War. His most recent books are Strategy: A History (2013), The Future of War: A History
(2017), and Ukraine and the Art of Strategy (2019).
A human rights defender who works on issues in Ukraine and the OSCE regionMore InfoBack to speakers list
At present she
heads the human rights organization Center for Civil Liberties,
and also coordinates the work of the initiative group
Euromaidan SOS. The activities of the Center for Civil
Liberties are aimed at protecting human rights and
establishing democracy in Ukraine and the OSCE region. The
organization is developing legislative changes, exercises
public oversight over law enforcement agencies and judiciary,
conducts educational activities for young people and implements international solidarity programs.
The Euromaidan SOS initiative group was created in response to the brutal dispersal of a
peaceful student rally in Kyiv on November 30, 2013. During three months of mass
protests that were called the Revolution of Dignity, several thousand volunteers provided
round-the-clock legal and other aid to persecuted people throughout the country. Since the
end of the protests and beginning of Russian aggression in Ukraine, the initiative has been
monitoring political persecution in occupied Crimea, documenting war crimes and crimes
against humanity during the hybrid war in the Donbas and conducting the
#LetMyPeopleGo and #SaveOlegSentsov international campaigns to release political
prisoners detained by the Russian authorities.
Oleksandra Matviichuk has experience in creating horizontal structures for
massive involvement of people in human rights activities against attacks on rights and
freedoms, as well as a multi-year practice of documenting violations during armed conflict.
She is the author of a number of alternative reports to various UN bodies, the Council of
Europe, the European Union, the OSCE and the International Criminal Court.
In 2016 she received the Democracy Defender Award for "Exclusive Contribution to
Promoting Democracy and Human Rights" from missions to the OSCE. In 2017 she
became the first woman to participate in the Ukrainian Emerging Leaders Program of
An Associate Professor at California State University San Marcos, and a visiting summer school professor at Charles University in Prague and Ivan Franko University in LvivMore InfoBack to speakers list
He obtained his doctorate at University of Oxford, completing
a thesis on the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait. His past research
focused on Soviet-Iraqi relations, and his current research is on Russian foreign policy in the
He is co-author of Iraq’s Armed Forces: An Analytical History (Routledge, 2008), The Modern
History of Iraq (Routledge, 2017), and A Concise History of the Middle East(Routledge, 2018).
DIR, Center for European Policy Analysis, WarsawMore InfoBack to speakers list
Ray served in numerous command and staff assignments in the U.S./Europe, and as
Army-Attaché, Poland. His career focused on transatlantic security. Coauthor:
“Unfinished Business,” CEPA’s case for permanent U.S. forces in Poland.
Andrew A. Michta
Dean of the College of International and Security Studies, George C. Marshall European Center for Security Studies in Garmisch, GermanyMore InfoBack to speakers list
Dr. Michta’s areas of expertise are international security, NATO, and European politics and security, with a special focus on Central Europe and the Baltic States. Prior to the Marshall Center, he was the Professor of National Security Affairs at the U.S. Naval War College, an Adjunct Fellow at the Center for Strategic and International Studies and an affiliate of the Minda de Gunzburg Center for European Studies at Harvard University. From 1988 to 2015, Dr. Michta was the M.W. Buckman Distinguished Professor of International Studies at Rhodes College. During2013 to 2014, he was a Senior Fellow at the Center for European Policy Analysis in Washington, D.C. During 2011 to 2013, he was a Senior Transatlantic Fellow at the German Marshall Fund of the United States (GMFUS) and the founding Director of the GMFUS Warsaw office. During 2009 to 2010, he was a Senior Scholar at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington, D.C.
Ambassador(ret), Member of the Scientific Council, New Strategy Center(NSC)More InfoBack to speakers list
A graduate of the University of Bucharest in English Studies, he was born in 1951. Advisor to the Minister of Foreign Affairs for academia and previously Director General for Political Affairs (2013 – 2016), Gheorghe Magheru joined the diplomatic service in 1990. Permanent Representative of Romania to the Council of Europe (2001 – 2006) he has chaired the Committee of the Ministers’ Deputies of the Strasbourg organisation during the tenure of the Romanian Chairmanship (2005). Several times director general or director for global, regional and bilateral affairs, Gheorghe Magheru is the Governor for Romania in the Asia – Europe Foundation (ASEF), since 2009, and, since 2016, Member of the Scientific Council of the New Strategy Center(NSC), a Romanian think tank specialized in foreign policy and security issues. He is fluent in English, French and Spanish.
Lt Col British Army (Retired) Glen Grant
Military expert (UK), defence and reform expert in Ukraine for the Ukrainian Institute for the FutureMore InfoBack to speakers list
Lt Col (Retd) Glen Grant, formerly British Army, works as a defence and reform expert in Ukraine for the Ukrainian Institute for the Future. He is also a Senior Fellow in the UK Institute for Statecraft on their Building Integrity Initiative countering Russian influence. Glen graduated from the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst and the Joint Staff Defence College at the Royal Naval College Greenwich. During his 37 year military career Glen commanded the UK Military Prison and an Artillery battery of 8 tracked guns. He worked on the operational and policy staffs in MOD UK, various army headquarters and Combined Air Operations Centre 5. He was Defence Attaché in Finland, Estonia and Latvia.
His key work in the last twenty years has been delivering reform and change for defence and security organisations in Europe. He has worked in the defence ministries or armed forces of fifteen European countries including Ukraine, Bulgaria and Poland. In January 2018 Glen published a ground breaking paper on Reform of the Ukraine Military in Kiev Post.
He has a Masters degree in the Leadership of Innovation and Change from York St John University in UK. Glen lives in Latvia and is a lecturer in strategy and crisis management at Riga Business School.
PhD, Editor-in-chief at UA: Ukraine Analytica and Member of the Board at the Foreign Policy Council “Ukrainian Prism”More InfoBack to speakers list
Prior to this, she had served for more than 10 years as a Senior Researcher at the National Institute for Strategic Studies under the President of Ukraine, Odessa Branch. In 2014, Dr. Shelest served as a Visiting Research Fellow at the NATO Defense College in Rome. Dr. Shelest was an adviser of the Working Group preparing Ukrainian Navy Strategy 2035. Previously she had experience in PR and lobbying for government and business, as well as teaching at universities. Her main research interests are foreign policy of Ukraine, conflicts resolution, security and cooperation, especially in the Wider Black Sea Region and the Middle East. She has more than 50 academic and more than 100 articles in media published worldwide. Dr. Shelest is a Rotary Peace Fellow 2010, Black Sea Young Reformer 2011, John Smith Fellow 2012, and Marshall Memorial Fellow 2016.
Professor and Director of the Pan-European Institute at Turku School of Economics, University of Turku (Finland)More InfoBack to speakers list
Professor Liuhto has acted as the Professor of Russian trade and the Director of the Pan-European Institute at Turku School of Economics since 2003. Since 2011 he has also acted as the Director of the Centrum Balticum Foundation (Finland). Professor Liuhto’s main research interests lie in innovation activities between EU and Russia, outward direct investments of Russian corporations and energy-related issues in the Baltic Sea region. During his career, Prof. Liuhto has acted as the responsible leader of several projects related to East-Europe and Baltic Sea region. At University of Turku he is responsible for courses related to the Russian market economy, business in the Baltic Sea region, EU-Russian economic relations and investments in Central Eastern Europe.
Political analyst, analytical group Korner Solutions (Ukraine)More InfoBack to speakers list
Graduated from the Shevchenko National University in Kyiv (cum laude degree in political science). Post-graduate degree “Candidate of Science” from the Institute of Political and Ethnic Studies (National Academy of Science).
Mykhailo Basarab holds vast experience in political and social studies, as well as in communications; election, crisis and risk consulting. He’s been actively supporting several legislative and pressure initiatives pertaining to constitutional amendments, status of Russia-occupied territories and Ukrainian labor migrants abroad. He is also a regular commentator for various Ukraine media.
Basarab is a co-founder of the “Zakryi Pelku Kremliu” – a civic initiative raising awareness of the Ukraine media secretly controlled by Russia, and pushing for legal scrutiny on them.
Professor of Journalism and Public Diplomacy and Professor of International Relations at the University of Southern CaliforniaMore InfoBack to speakers list
He served 2009-2013 as director of USC’s Center on Public Diplomacy, and as Vice Dean of USC’s Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism 2015-2016.
He is author or editor of numerous books, including Headline Diplomacy; New Media and the New Middle East; The Al Jazeera Effect; Real-Time Diplomacy; and The Future of Diplomacy. His latest book is As Terrorism Evolves: Media, Religion, and Governance. He is editor of an academic book series on international political communication, co-editor of a series on global public diplomacy, and was a founding co-editor of the journal Media, War & Conflict.
Ambassador, Dr. Sergiy Korsunsky holds the position of Director of the Hennadii Udovenko Diplomatic Academy of Ukraine since October 2017More InfoBack to speakers list
He served as Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Ukraine to the Republic of Turkey in 2008-2016. In 2006-2008 he served as Director-General of the Economic Department, Ukrainian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. His portfolio included responsibility for strategic policy development, foreign trade, investments and finance, energy security, science and technology.
Ambassador Korsunsky has extensive professional experience with strategic planning and development, including energy, trade and investment policy, regional security. He is a well known expert on geopolitics of energy. He previously held senior positions at the embassies of Ukraine in the USA and Israel. Dr. Korsunsky authored more than 200 publications, including 10 books. In 2008 he was awarded by President of Ukraine for his economic achievements.
Professor in the Department of Political Science, National University of Kyiv Mohyla Academy and a Non-Resident Fellow in the Foreign Policy Institute, School of Advanced International Studies, Johns Hopkins University, Washington DCMore InfoBack to speakers list
Taras Kuzio is a Professor in the Department of Political Science, National University of Kyiv Mohyla Academy and a Non-Resident Fellow in the Foreign Policy Institute, School of Advanced International Studies, Johns Hopkins University, Washington DC. His previous positions were at the University of Alberta, George Washington University, University of Toronto, and Chief of Mission to the NATO Information and Documentation Office in Ukraine.
Taras was born in the UK with Ukrainian and Italian parents and grew up in the Ukrainian community of Halifax, Yorkshire, where he was a member of the Ukrainian choir and Spilka of Ukrainian Youth (SUM) and attending Ukrainian school and the Ukrainian Catholic Church. He received a Batchelor of Arts degree from the University of Sussex, Master of Arts from the University of London and a PhD in political science with a speciality in Ukrainian nation building and national identity at the University of Birmingham. His Post-Doctoral research was at Yale University in the USA.
In the 1980s he worked for Prolog Research Corporation and Suchasnist publishing house and was a member of the external representation of the Ukrainian Supreme Liberation Council (zpUHVR). In London, Taras headed the Ukrainian Press Agency (UPA) in London which published samvydav documents from and analysed political developments in Ukraine as well as smuggled books, journals and printing equipment to Ukrainian opposition groups. His work ensured that he was placed on the KGB blacklist and could not travel to the USSR until after the August 1991 putsch. The second time he was placed on a blacklist was in December 2013 during the Euromaidan Revolution of Dignity by the Party of Regions and Viktor Yanukovych’s regime.
Taras Kuzio is the author and editor of seventeen books, including (with Paul D’Anieri) The Sources of Russia’s Great Power Politics: Ukraine and the Challenge to the European Order (2018), Putin’s War Against Ukraine. Revolution, Nationalism, and Crime (2017, 2019), Ukraine. Democratization, Corruption and the New Russian Imperialism (2015), From Kuchmagate to Orange Revolution (2009), and Theoretical and Comparative Perspectives on Nationalism (2007). He is the author of five think tank monographs, including The Crimea: Europe’s Next Flashpoint? (2010). Taras Kuzio has been invited to be the Guest Editor of Communist and Post-Communist Studies, East European Politics and Society, Demokratizatsiya, Eurasian Geography and Economics, Nationalities Papers, Journal of Communist Studies and Transition Politics, and Problems of Post-Communism. He has authored 38 book chapters and 100 scholarly articles on post-communist and Ukrainian politics, democratic transitions, colour revolutions, nationalism, and European studies.
The director of GMF's office in Ankara, TurkeyMore InfoBack to speakers list
His area of expertise is Turkish foreign policy with a special emphasis on relations with the U.S. and Europe, Turkish domestic politics and civil society. Prior to joining GMF, he was the manager of the Resource Development Department of the Educational Volunteers Foundation of Turkey. Previously, Ünlühisarcıklı worked as the director of the ARI Movement, a Turkish NGO promoting participatory democracy, and as a consultant at AB Consulting and Investment Services.
Vice Speaker of the Parliament of Ukraine (Ukraine)More InfoBack to speakers list
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.
Lt. Gen. Ben Hodges
Commander of NATO Allied Land Command (USA)More InfoBack to speakers list
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; 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.
THE WORDS THAT CHANGE THE BORDERS
Open statement due to the publication of the map of Ukraine without the Crimean Peninsula…More Info All News
Open statement due to the publication of the map of Ukraine without the Crimean Peninsula by New York Times* and The Economist*
By Oksana Syroyid
Co-Chair of Lviv Security Forum and Leader of Samopomich Union Party, Ex-Vice Speaker of the Parliament of Ukraine
We enjoy our lives in time of change of balance in the world. This is not the first time in history when humanity must survive through death and birth of geopolitical constructions. The biggest misfortune of such periods – human lives and human dignity that are sacrificed for the change of the shape. And in modern times it is not only tanks or missiles, but also the words of media that change the borders, kill people, destroy houses and undermine human dignity.
The media’s attention has been drawn to Ukraine over the years, precisely because one of the most important geopolitical battles is taking place on Ukrainian territory and for control of Ukraine. Understanding the nature of this battle and its impartial coverage can save Europe and, probably the World from the new World War as well as save the millions of lives.
Nowadays Russia is dissatisfied with its role on the world stage and doesn’t hide their desire to reshape the world security order in their favor. Its not the first time when Russia is using war in order to increase their influence in the world. Every time during its aggressive expansion, Russia views the territory of Ukraine as a source of resources and a buffer security zone.
Since the creation of the Moscow Kingdom, its eastern and northern territories have been protected by the seas and surrounded by mountains. However, the main human resources, agricultural lands and infrastructure has been located along the western border. In addition, the Moscow Kingdom which had the greatest natural resources, didn’t have access to warm ports. This determined the main strategy for its westward expansion – to provide access to the Baltic and Black seas and to increase the buffer zone around important infrastructure and resources.
The defeat of the Russian Empire in the World War I and the October revolution in 1917 by no means changed the imperial policy of the Bolshevik Russia. On the contrary, immediately after the rise of the soviet state in the 1917 RSSR began the occupation of newly formed Ukrainian Peoples Republic. The occupation began from the formation of the Ukrainian Peoples Republic of Soviets, an enclave, which was controlled by Bolsheviks (The ORDLO of that time – territories of Ukraine occupied by Russia).
During the Paris Peace Conference in Versailles in 1919-20, the leaders of three countries – the United States, Great Britain and France – distributed statehood to peoples, who came out of the wreckage of the European empires. The leaders of Ukrainian Peoples Republic sought support to oppose the Bolsheviks and waited for the recognition of their statehood. However, the offensive of Bolshevik Russia prevented the recognition of the Ukrainian National Republic. The Western countries were exhausted by the First World War and didn’t have strength and desire to confront the Bolsheviks whose intentions were unclear to them. They decided to isolate and ignore the Bolsheviks.
Germany was the first country who broke the international isolation of the Bolshevik dictatorship and to recognize Bolshevik Russia and all its conquests. The Treaty of Rapallo, concluded between Russia and Germany in April 1922, extended its power to the so-called Union Republics, in particular to the Ukrainian Socialist Soviet Republic. The treaty provided not only the resumption of diplomatic relations abused by the First World War, but also the establishment of close trade and economic cooperation.
The conquest of Ukraine and access to its resources opened new opportunities for the Russia Bolshevik Empire. The most valuable was the grain that could be exported in exchange for industrialization of the Soviet Union. The appropriation of grain from the household farmers (kulaks) was a difficult process, but collectivization needed modern equipment.
German industrialists were ready to supply technologies in exchange for supplies, the most important of which was Ukrainian grain. The Hanomag WD Z 50 tractor, which in 1924 transformed into the Kharkiv Communard, obviously played its historic role in the mechanization of agriculture during the collectivization era. The German industrial magnates, the key among whom was Gustav Krupp, the main arms manufacturer in Germany, did not hide their discontent with the pacified Weimar Republic and had a commercial interest in restoring Germany’s military greatness. At their request and in exchange for their technical assistance Stalin ordered the German Communists to support Hitler during the 1931 coup. This support brought the Nazis to power, though it killed the German Communists.
Collectivization and “disillusionment” provoked thousands of peasant uprisings across Ukraine. People demanded that land and self-governance were returned to the village. In order to eradicate the peasant rebellions and guarantee the control over land and grain- the soviet main currency in the world’s trade – Stalin killed millions of Ukrainian peasants by famine in 1932 – 1933 (Holodomor). While people in Ukraine were dying out of the hanger, the world was silent so as not to spoil relations with the Soviet Union. Even countries like the UK and the USA were buying grain from the soviets. Later on the money for the grain, sold out on international markets made on death helped Stalin to implement industrialization. The Soviet Empire, which was in isolation for decades, returned to world’s arena as a ‘’new market’’ and a great trading partner.
The Hitler’s Germany attracted Stalin’s attention the most. . Hitler and Stalin used each other’s resources in preparing for their own wars. Stalin intended to move to the West to establish control over the seas and increase the “sanitary zone” under the banner of the socialist revolution. Hitler, on the other side, needed Ukrainian land and human resources for building his own future empire.
Between 1939 and 1941, Germany and the Soviet Union signed five economic and security treaties. The most famous of these is the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact, which allowed each of the parties to move a few steps towards achieving their strategic goals. Stalin, at the same time, expected that Hitler would be exhausted by the war in Central Europe and that it would be easier for the Soviet army to “liberate the fraternal peoples.” However, Hitler’s resources began to deplete only at Stalingrad.
Ukraine, or to be more precise – its land, remained the main trophy in the war between the two dictators. Therefore, people were not sorry. About 40% of all human losses of the Soviet Union in the Second World War constitute Ukrainians.
Athrough, the Second World’s War was resolved by both of dictators, only Hitler was ever punished. Stalin ended the war as a winner who dictated conditions. As a result, the Soviet empire in 1945 pushed its borders to Berlin. Stalin intended to move further west. Initially, he besieged the West Berlin, but later violated the conditions of maintaining the occupation zones, establishing the German Democratic Republic (another “ORDLO”). In 1952 he attempted an expansion to the West again, proposing German leader Konrad Adenauer to unite the DDR and the Federal Republic of Germany in exchange of amnesty for former Nazis, new elections, and non-aligned status of the united Germany. Chancellor Adenauer replied that quiting German’s integration with the West will lead to control of Germany by the Bolsheviks and will be tantamount to «political suicide».
Despite unsuccessful attempts at further expansion to the west, the Soviet empire achieved the cherished dream of all Russian tsars. The control over the Baltic Sea was guaranteed by the Kaliningrad enclave – the remnant of the Kingdom of Prussia with the capital in Königsberg, as well as occupation of Poland, Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia and the DDR. The Black Sea was under control due to control over Crimea and the Ukrainian coastline, which was guaranteed through Russian occupation of Georgia, as well as establishing socialist satellite states -Bulgaria and Romania. The sanitary zone was expanded enough to keep the empire’s “line of life” safe.
Meanwhile, Europe had to recover from the past war, defend itself against the imminent soviet military threat, and prevent the wars in Europe in the future.
After the Second World War, the European economy was eroded not only by physical, human and infrastructure losses. There were no governments, currencies, banks, productions. European countries on their own did not have the chance to quickly regain economic capacity and economic ties. Understanding the economic and geopolitical role of a democratic Europe as an ally, the US government actually funded the economic recovery of European countries through the Marshall Plan. And the newly established World Bank managed the first major project, spending over tens of billions of US dollars in the years 1947-1951 alone.
The rebuilding of post-war Europe inevitably affected the restoration of German sovereignty in territories controlled by the United States, Britain and France. Adenauer demanded “full sovereignty”, which for many, including the French, meant something like this: “the Germans will return to Ruhr again, make tanks again and start a war again.” Germany was rigorously pacified, and Alfried Krupp, the heir to the main manufacturer of Hitler’s weapons, after Nuremberg process was sentenced in the United States for the use of slave labor during the war.
Only the genius of Jean Monnet and Robert Schumann, who offered to exchange German sovereignty for the extraterritorial management of steelmaking in European countries (that is directly related to weapons production) helped to resolve the situation. In 1951, the European Coal and Steel Community was established, giving birth to the European Economic Community. US involvement in the balance of powers was veiled, but significant. In particular, in February 1951, John McCloy, US High Commissioner in Germany, and previously the President of the World Bank, released Alfried Krupp from prison. Alfried returned to his property, personal possessions and business, which he managed until 1967, becoming a famous German philanthropist. Today, the Alfried Krupp Foundation finances, in particular, the summer Ukrainian school at the University of Greifswald.
The economic recovery of Europe had its “side effects”. “In Europe, it has become increasingly apparent our aid, though life-giving and welcome, has not uniformaly endeared us to our allies. Indeed, the growth of anti-American feeling has assumed in certain quarters dangerous proportions.” This is the experience of John McCloy in 1953. Stalin, according to McCloy, “… confidently predicted that differences between non-communist nations would grow as Germany and Japan seek to expand their markets. At the same time, “… the Soviets today is combining [political, militaristic and ideological] all these threats carry out a far-reaching policy of division among free peoples of the world. … Wherever the Communists find natural or artificial divisions they act rapidly to accentuate and encourage them. ”
In order to maintain a geopolitical balance on the European continent, a North Atlantic Alliance was created, which, in the words of its first General Secretary, Lord Ismay, was to “keep the Soviet Union out, the Americans in, and the Germans down.”
The democratic world correctly assessed the aim and methods of the Soviet threat. It was mistaken only in the nature of this threat – for decades of the Cold War, the West regarded communism itself, not the imperial nature of Russia, as a threat.
That is why the Western world in the second half of the eighties became interested in the idea of democratization of the USSR, and later of Russia. That is why US President George W. Bush, speaking in Kyiv on August 1, 1991, called Ukrainians’ desire for independence “suicidal nationalism.” That is why the Budapest Memorandum became possible – the Americans sought to reduce the number of territories with nuclear status, in viewing Russia an equal geopolitical actor, instead of a threat, and Ukraine as a “small beer” in the sphere of Russia’s geopolitical interests. That is why Germany considers Russia as its partner and, forgetting history, builds the Nord Stream with Russia without any remorse or concern. That is why Russia has, over the past two decades, been able to penetrate almost unnoticed in key democratic processes in the West through election interference, media control, political party funding, participation in hydrocarbon production and transportation.
That is why, unfortunately, Russian aggression against Ukraine was inevitable. Russian President Vladimir Putin has not accidentally called the collapse of the Soviet Union “the greatest geopolitical catastrophe of the twentieth century.” Without control over the Baltic and Black Seas as well as without control over Ukrainian resources, “Greatest Russia” is impossible. Initially, Russia took advantage of the fact that Ukrainians lacked the experience of statehood and the management of their resources after independence and during the large-scale privatization they freely bought strategic enterprises and critical infrastructure. Most of those who are now called “oligarchs” have monopolized the Ukrainian regional gas companies, power companies, thermal power plants, shipyards, and access to key natural resources for Russian money and in Russia’s interests. They have never had a Ukrainian identity or interest in the development of Ukraine, so they have easily withdrawn and continue to withdraw money from Ukraine, enriching offshore jurisdictions. At the same time, in order to maintain their monopolies and guarantee the movement of Ukraine in the Russian fairway, these people established control over Ukrainian politics through dependent media and political projects. After all, today, these oligarchs no longer hide their dependence on Russia, openly lobbying both in Ukraine and in the US the Russian “reconciliation” scenario.
However, even such a great control of Russia over Ukrainian political and economic life still lacks the main component. . Generations of people were born and raised in Ukraine for whom any pro-Russian sentiments is alien and who increasingly look into the West, identifying themselves with European civilization rather than with the “unified Slavic people.” Time was playing against Russia – the territory was getting out of control.
The revolution of dignity was only a pretext for the Russian invasion. The major objective of the illegal annexation of Crimea is to gain control over the Black Sea and to increase geopolitical leverage in the greater Mediterranean region. In the same way, the major reasons for the occupation of Eastern Ukraine is obtaining leverage over Ukraine in persuading Russian interest both in the internal and foreign policy of Ukraine.
Understanding the nature of the conflict shapes the reflections on it. The historical context defines the words that are used to describe reality. There is no “conflict in Ukraine”, there is “Russian aggression”, “Russian military intervention”. There are no “militants”, there are “Russian armed forces invading Ukrainian sovereign territory” and “Russian proxies”. There is no “civil war”, there is “Russian-Ukrainian war”. And the words create the world because the words you use design the things you believe. If you use the right words, there will be no mistakes in the maps.
And the last but not the least, the place you stand defines your perspective and often determines the words you use. From early post-soviet times, Moscow remains the headquarter place for major international media covering Ukraine. Notwithstanding the unbiased position of specific journalists, general coverage of Ukraine is very often soaked with Russian flavor. Considering Russian war against Ukraine, it is very high time to find better location that will broaden the perspective of respective media.
* On November 6 The New York Times corrected the map of Ukraine. The earlier version of this article published on November 3 included a map of Ukraine suggesting that it was separate from Crimea. The map should have indicated the area, annexed by Russia in 2014, with a dashed border line.
Building effective army model in current security conditions
Glen Grant, Former Lt. Colonel at British Army (UK) at Lviv Security Forumon reforming of ukrainian…More Info All News
Glen Grant, Former Lt. Colonel at British Army (UK) at Lviv Security Forumon reforming of ukrainian army:
Talking about armed forces we have to accept where we are. Compared to 2014 the frontline is really good – the most of boys are still alive. We are still losing too many lives, but despite attacks boys are alive and we are also recapturing land. But my thought is that since that time the big system has not changed.
And there are three points:
- Operational focus. There should by focus on mobility. Russians are always beaten by mobility. They have never been beaten by full-scale warfare. When you are focused on mobility it drives other things – almost everything. Especially people who fight and command – they are getting better. Education system is still not designed for mobility warfare. It is still soviet. International partners should concentrate in this area since it will have a long-term influence.
- 2. Structures. Current structures were designed for soviet type of warfare. You fight and lots of people die. And that was ok. These structures are not designed for mobile warfare. There is not enough staff in general staff. We have joined headquarters for Donbas, but none for Azov, South or Kyiv. One person cannot possibly control everything and general Muzhenko as well. No person can do it. Ukraine needs proper headquarters – joint headquarters that work and analyze situation 24 hours day. And it cannot be Muzhenko. One man cannot run your system especially if he has to wait for decision of the president weather to start shooting. You cannot run army on the phone.
We should concentrate on what we have and spend our energy on improving it. Spending money generally on reforms doesn’t work. We have to ask people on the ground what they need. We have to make sure that each brigade is being supported and this support is getting better. The principle must be “Every day better!”
3.Decentralization of budget. You cannot manage, if you cannot spend money. The officer has to have money to make his job proper. If you don’t trust these people with money, then what are they doing on the frontline defending your country?
Another issue is how to get people into army. We can have a long debate on whether conscription system works. But people without equipment are not an army. You cannot make someone fight without providing them with all equipment.
And finally. If you have leadership in army – people will come.
Amb. Shota Gvineria, Senior Fellow, Economic Policy Research Center (Georgia)
Situations of Georgia and Ukraine are similar in many ways:
1) the wars going on in Ukraine and Georgia are the same war for Russia – the war for influence in the region;
2) war in 2008 was only a small episode of a hybrid war going on since the independence of Georgia.
Comprehensive approach towards security is a must as hybrid warfare is the new normal and it will not go away. We need to make ourselves resilient to this constant fight.
Since Russia is using all elements of national power against the adversary, we need to adopt a total defence approach where non-governmental sector, private sector and state work together to counteract the immense pressure coming at us.
Georgia has a very strong civil society, which in some cases is even leading the process. The private sector, however, still does not really understand the importance of joint action. More secure environment enhancing trade, capacities against cyber attacks are to name a few arguments of how the private sector will benefit from participating in a defence as they may be a target as well.
We need to stop thinking about NATO in terms of black and white, joining or not joining. The integration process itself is bringing huge benefits to the countries in terms of legislation and standards harmonization.
Pavel Rozhko, Lieutenant Colonel of the Armed Forces of Ukraine at the Lviv Security Forum 2018:
I would like to draw attention to the need to build an effective mobile army model. Mobility in the army depends on all systems, especially on the system of management.
Therefore, the reformation of the Armed Forces should not begin from the bottom or from the top, but should go in parallel – reform of the army management system, reform of the units, and also preparation the units and the system of combat training.
The current situation in the East of Ukraine is very delayed. We have to draw conclusions. There must be some kind of political decision, and, I think, the Armed Forces are ready to fulfill the task.
Mark Voyger, Senior lecturer in Eastern European and Russian Studies at the Baltic Defense College in Tartu (Estonia), at Lviv Security Forum 2018:
A reform of armed forces in Ukraine cannot exist in vacuum. It has to be a reaction on Russian war strategy. Russian goal is not to allow any neighboring country, Ukraine especially, to be economically stable and successful.
General Gerasimov, head of general staff of Russian armed forces, has named three principles of their war strategy:
– Hybrid war is a blitzkrieg of the future.
– Hybrid war allows aggressor to deprive the victim of aggression its sovereignty
– In future purely hybrid can go without conventional tools, but conventional warfare will always involve hybrid
Russian armed forces have established a new term of “integrated forces” which provide for integration of conventional and hybrid forced. Our analysis has shown that Ukraine in a testing ground of this new concept. Ukrainian armed forces is the only army in Europe fighting these new integrated forces. Europe has a lot to learn from you since you have proven general Gerasimov wrong.
When talking about Ukraine joining NATO I have no doubt that this will happen. But you have to look through experience of Baltic states. They have limited defense forces, but they have other things from which they can draw strength. In Estonia they have established Defense league where citizens and even foreigners are trained and gathered on regular basis in order to master their skills. Defense league is a strong component which Ukraine should consider.
And finally, your armed forces have to master English fluently. You cannot join NATO and be an effective member, if your military are not able to communicate freely with their counterparts from other countries.
Stepan Yakymyak, Сhair of Naval Forces Department of Ivan Chernyakhovskyi National Defence University, Captain 1st rank at Lviv Security Forum 2018:
Experience is what we should take into account when developing Armed Forces of Ukraine. A few related facts and rhetorical questions:
The Crimea was occupied from the sea. How it influenced the national security priorities?
The Naval Forces of Ukraine lost over 75% of their resources in the Crimea – human, infrastructural, other. And what impact did it have on the review of the order of resources supply of the Armed Forces of Ukraine?
Ukraine lost over 60% of the exclusive maritime economic zone. What other state in the world has lately lost as much and in the “peaceful times”?
Ineffective state policy regarding the integration of the peninsula in the all-national culture and spiritual space was the main reasons of the losses in Crimea. How is it taken account in the current activities of the state?
Policy towards occupied territories: how to prevent new «grey zones» evolving
Nataliya Ishchenko, ukrainian journalist and political scientist at Lviv Security Forum 2018: With regards to…More Info All News
Nataliya Ishchenko, ukrainian journalist and political scientist at Lviv Security Forum 2018:
With regards to the experience in the post-Soviet area, Moldova and Georgia, one must learn from the mistakes of others. These are the two different examples of how things should not be done.
For example, in Moldova there is a creeping reintegration of this enclave. What relates to Georgia the program of peaceful reintegration of territories is being implemented there with the support of the international community. This program, which has been implemented over the past few years, has provoked even greater rejection of the occupied territories.
As soon as Georgia adopted the relevant laws, decisions and began to implement a program of approximation of these territories, Russia has taken very hard steps of cutting off these territories from Georgia. Even visually it is clear. They began to build borders. On the borders of Abkhazia and Ossetia there are no border guards. There are FSB troops, which are also Russian border guards. Their presence there is official. They did this when Georgia was allegedly trying to reintegrate peacefully. They received a reverse effect.
In Ukraine, the civil society and politicians simply did not let it happen. That’s why it did not happen. But now Russian propagandists began to write: “Why do not Ukrainians behave like Georgians?”
If we resigned in 2014 after Ilovajsk or in 2015, after Debaltsevo, this plan would be implemented. But for some reason we began to resist, and this did not happen. And, I think, now the chances of realization of this scenario are lower than in 2014-2015 years”.
Rosian Vasiloi, security analyst, Institute for Development and Social Initiatives (Moldova) at Lviv Security Forum 2018:
During 27 years of Russian aggression in Transnistria Moldova has not recognized this fact. Only in 2017 Constitutional court recognized Russian troops in Transnistria. However, the government did not adopt any acts as a reaction on this decision.
We have to recognize that Russian aggression has two components in Moldova – external and internal. Internal component consists of our domestic actors supporting separatist regime in Transnistria.
In 2017 a number NGOs in Moldova presented an analysis about occupation troops in Moldova with direct reference to international law and decisions of UN Court of Justice. However, our national authorities still do not recognize occupation.
Moreover, our government implements the so-called “strategy of small steps”, provides for re-integration people instead of re-integration of the territory. The strategy of small steps is just providing occupied territories with sovereignty which is a great trap for Moldova. Our Moldovan experience of occupied territories makes me say it out loud to my Ukrainian friends: “Do not repeat our mistakes!”
Roman Bezsmertny, politician, public figure at Lviv Security Forum 2018:
There is nothing stronger than action. Speaking about European perspectives, how many commitments have we taken on ourselves? And how many have embodied? So “the action”, gentlemen. ”The Action” at the Minsk negotiations, “the action” at the front, “the action” in the rear.
In the current situation, things are very well manifested, which can become the basis for “the action”. This applies not only to the Donbas, but to almost all the points of tension that we are talking about today.
If I were asked what I would do, then I would do two things these days – I would suggest Kurt Volker head the Ukrainian delegation in Minsk and do everything possible to make the owner of the Ukrainian GTS either “Halliburton” or somebody else.
Propaganda – Leading asymmetric wars
Mykhaylo Basarab, political expert, analytical group «Korner Solutions» (Ukraine) at Lviv Security Forum 2018: Everything…More Info All News
Mykhaylo Basarab, political expert, analytical group «Korner Solutions» (Ukraine) at Lviv Security Forum 2018:
Everything what Russia is doing in Ukraine and in the West is enough to understand that global war is already on. Energy, politics, propaganda – Russian intervention is all over these spheres.
Russia is doing its best to more or less comply with law: it corrupts politicians, who are getting paid from Russia, so called media are using freedom of speech in order to produce disinformation. That’s the way Russia is working with minds.
Russian propaganda is intensifying confrontation in societies. Russians are using divisive topics: racial issues and gun control in the US, Euroscepticism and euroloyalism in Europe, in Ukraine – language, history and other issues that facilitate confrontation.
EU is taking some measures to confront it – media education, refutation of fake news, etc. But we don’t have time to do these things.
We have to do everything possible to destroy the center that spreads propaganda. We have to make sure that Putin has no money to spread lies.
One more thing – we have to wake up, because China is silently using Russia in order to get into our backyard. And realizing it is very important.
Veronika Vichova, European Values Foundation (Czech Republic) at Lviv Security forum 2018:
People don’t get that propaganda is not only disinformation. It is also connected to political corruption, abusing minorities, conducting acts of espionage. We have to have a comprehensive strategy in order to fight it. Not many countries take that approach.
Baltic countries took strategic approach cooperating closely with civil society and private entities in order to combat propaganda. Their governments also have political will not only to recognize propaganda, but also seek stronger support within EU.
Similar cases can be found in Scandinavian countries. Swedish government, for instance, took measures to prevent possible election meddling, because electoral process is probably the most vulnerable place.
Another group within Europe – the so-called “awakened countries”. They already were affected by Russian propaganda and started to recognize it. For example – Czech Republic. The government made solid review of security area, consulted civil society, established an action plan for fighting propaganda.
Finally, there are countries in denial of Russian propaganda or collaborating with Russia. In order to work with them more actions from EU and NATO are needed.
Victor Rud – The Chair of the Committee on Foreign Affairs of Ukrainian American Bar Association (USA):
Russia is very good at strategic deception. We in the West are also involved in strategic deception, but we mostly do it to ourselves.
Most Western leaders continuously made a massive mistake by making the equivalent between Russia and the USSR. Putin took it and utilized it: the West always called Russia USSR, so we are gathering our lands.
Question: why do we transfer without a second thought ideas belonging to the West to Russia when it doesn’t work. The experience of the West with Russia was never acute or long enough to be embedded in the Western population. We are still unprepared to believe the unbelievable. Listen to the victims, to the truthtellers. West has historically ignored and ridiculed them. Let’s start giving attention to the criminal.
In 2000, it was clear who Putin was and what his goal was to the West. So, the notion of sending sleeping bags to Ukraine on a civilian plane not on a military is all that was necessary for Putin to understand Obama’s mentality.
The NKGB had tortured people for them to confess to a lie – “a slaughter of the mind”, a reality reversal. The Kremlin has been an expert on it for centuries, it allowed them to develop an empire and control it. In Ukraine the
Russia has reached a virtual destruction of the national ethos, a national Stockholm syndrome. Only recently an opposite process begun.
Nerijus Maliukevičius (Vilnius Institute of International Relations and Political Science) at Lviv Security Forum 2018:
There is an abundance of tools in countering propaganda. What we are sometimes lacking is the political will to tackle it. And it is probably more true with regard to the Western states.
Sweden and Lithuania found that the answer to propaganda is social resilience. A resilient society is knowledgeable about the existing threats, capable and empowered to act against them. Resilience is built from trust in institutions but also from trust in your neighbors.
The study has discovered vulnerabilities that expose states to disinformation attacks: low political trust, soviet nostalgia, vague representation of Russian threat in the public discourse (no practical tools delivered to society to tackle it), low level of civil participation and integration of national minorities.
What Russia does is not so much an informational warfare, it’s a war against information. Russia is trying to brake our democracy through a war against journalism and electoral systems. So, the solution is in reinforcing media competences, enriching school education with full course on informational security and social networks.