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 colour 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.

The report “Evidence of Russian presence”

The report “Evidence of Russian presence and military aggression 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 contains evidence on the Russian Federation Armed Forces presence and military aggression in Eastern Ukraine and 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”


Day 1 - October, 30 (Wednesday)
  • 18.00 – 20.00Opening reception and awl session
Day 2 - October, 31 (Thursday)

08.00 Registration, welcome coffee

09.00 Opening remarks

9:30 — 10:30 History: Lessons Learned?

Geographical, historical, and cultural aspects have always been and will remain crucial for 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.

10:30 — 11:00 Coffee break. Press conference

11:00 — 12:30 Understanding and Denying Threats

The annexation of Crimea and Russian military aggression in eastern Ukraine has made it 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 defence and security cooperation is urgently needed in order to rebuild international security order.

12:30 — 14:00 Lunch

14:00 — 14:30 Media as critical infrastructure

Philip Seib, Annenberg School of Communication, University of Southern California (USA)

14:30 — 15:45 Critical Infrastructure: Resilience or Insecurity?

Acknowledging vulnerabilities. State policy to protect critical infrastructure. Ownership of critical infrastructure as a threat. Community resilience. Critical infrastructure in Donbas and Crimea.

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 difficulty 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 effective state policy and development of a high level of community resilience.

15:45 — 16:15 Coffee break

16.15 – 17.15 Youth Panel

Future of Baltic-Black Sea Region. Youth’s Vision.

Day 3 - November, 01 (Friday)

09:00 — 10:30 Militarization of Crimea: Challenges for the region

It has become obvious that annexation and further militarization of Crimea is a part of Russian aggressive military policy towards the West, aimed at Russian dominance over the international trade through one of its most important corridors, shaped by Black and the Mediterranean Sea. The western partners of Ukraine in the region face challenges in building collective security, even with the support of NATO. How shall international military cooperation in the region be built in order to balance the situation? What can Ukraine do in order to strengthen its position in the region and deter Russia from further aggression from the Southern flank?

10:30 — 11:00 Coffee break

11:00 — 12:30 Strategy in the Baltic-Black Sea Region: Guaranteeing Security Through the International Legal Framework

Are the international regulations of the situation in the Baltic-Black Sea region a decelerating factor or a launchpad 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?

12:30 — 13:30 Lunch

13:30 — 14:45 Ukrainian prisoners of war: without status, but with hope for coming back home

Key partner Ukrainian Helsinki Human Rights Union

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?

14:45 — 15:30 Wrap-up session





Kęstutis Kristinaitis

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Kęstutis Kristinaitis in 1985 obtained a university degree of an engineer-land planner. Working in the Ministry of Agriculture he led 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.


Oksana Syroid

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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 the University of Ottawa, Ottawa and Taras Shevchenko Kyiv National University and Bachelor degree in Political sciences at the National University of Kyiv-Mohyla Academy.


Lawrence Freedman

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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 June 2009 he was appointed to serve as a member of the official inquiry into Britain and 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).


Molly McKew

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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 she has 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 defence of Georgian democracy.


Ambassador Tacan Ildem

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Ambassador Tacan directs the Public Diplomacy Division that works to raise the Alliance’s profile with audiences around the world to build an 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.


Taras Tsymbrivskyy

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Taras Tsymbrivskyy holds a 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

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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 a senior mentor in Poland and abroad. He has published many articles on strategy and defence economics. Currently, he is a member of the Defence Reform Advisory Board for Ukraine


Oleksandra Matviichuk

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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 Stanford University.


Ibrahim Al-Marashi

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He obtained his doctorate at the 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 Middle East. 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).


Ray Wojcik

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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

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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.


Gheorghe Magheru

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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 (Retd) Glen Grant

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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 years 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 groundbreaking paper on Reform of the Ukraine Military in Kyiv Post.

He has a Masters degree in the Leadership of Innovation and Change from York St John University in the UK. Glen lives in Latvia and is a lecturer in strategy and crisis management at Riga Business School.


Hanna Shelest

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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, Odesa 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 the 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.

Kari Liuhto

Kari Liuhto

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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 the 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 the 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.


Mykhaylo Basarab

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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, the status of Russia-occupied territories and Ukrainian labour 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.


Philip Seib

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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.


Sergiy Korsunsky

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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 the 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.


Taras Kuzio

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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.


Marcel H. Van Herpen

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In Ukraine, he is known as the author of the book “The Putin Wars. Chechnya, Georgia, Ukraine: Lessons Learned from the Past ”, published in Ukrainian and Russian by Kharkiv Publishing House“ Vivat ”under the program“ Ukrainian Book”.

Marcel H. Van Herpen studied Western sociology at Radboud University in Nijmegen (The Netherlands). During his studies, he was the chairman of the Democratic Socialist Union of Politeia Students, an active member of another student liberal democratic organizations and movements. Van Herpen lectures on geopolitics, Putinism ideology, information warfare, EU-US relations; conducts international security seminars in English, Dutch, German and French.

Marcel Van Herpen has authored numerous articles and appearances in Forbes, The National Interest, Project Syndicate, The Moscow Times and Japan Times. He has interviewed such visions as The New York Times, Financial Times, BBC, International Herald Tribune, United Press International, MSNBC, El Mercurio and Newsweek.


Özgür Ünlühisarcıklı

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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.

Contact Us

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Contact Person

Suprun Marta
Project Manager

Contact Details

Phone: +38 097 528 32 43