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  • Author: Philip Remler
  • Publication Date: 04-2021
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: Over the past decade, the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) has been returning to its origins as a Cold War–era Conference – a forum where states and blocs, often antagonistic to one another and espousing opposing ideals, can air their frictions and hostilities. The OSCE was created without legal personality and with the liberum veto of the consensus principle. These constraints stunted the growth of executive capabilities and bound the OSCE closely to the will of its participating States. That rendered most mediation efforts ineffective, especially where an OSCE state is both belligerent and mediator in the same conflicts. Peace operations have been more effective – notably the Special Monitoring Mission in Ukraine – but the same factors have tightly constrained its activity. Though all participating States committed themselves to democratic governance, rule of law and respect for human rights, these ideals failed in much of the former Soviet Union, and autocrats have used the organisation’s lack of legal personality and the consensus principle to hobble the OSCE’s efforts. If the OSCE’s participating States want it to remain an Organization, not a Conference, they must take action to secure its executive autonomy.
  • Topic: Human Rights, Peacekeeping, Democracy, Conflict, OSCE
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Eurasia, Ukraine, Eastern Europe
  • Author: Mykola Sunhurovskyi
  • Publication Date: 04-2021
  • Content Type: Commentary and Analysis
  • Institution: Razumkov Centre
  • Abstract: This question arises after reviewing numerous comments by domestic and foreign experts on Russia amassing its troops near the border with Ukraine. Most assessments in different variations boil down to the statement that this is nothing but the Kremlin’s informational and psychological operation (bluff) to step up pressure on Ukraine and its Western partners for them to cede down.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Territorial Disputes, Conflict
  • Political Geography: Russia, Eurasia, Ukraine, Eastern Europe
  • Author: Anatol Lieven
  • Publication Date: 06-2021
  • Content Type: Research Paper
  • Institution: Quincy Institute for Responsible Statecraft
  • Abstract: The unresolved conflict between Russia and Ukraine in the Donbas region represents by far the greatest danger of a new war in Europe — and by far the greatest risk of a new crisis in relations between the United States and Russia. The Biden administration does not wish to escalate tensions with Russia, and no doubt appreciates that admitting Ukraine into NATO is impossible for the foreseeable future, if only because Germany and France would veto it. Nonetheless, so long as the dispute remains unresolved, the United States will be hostage to developments on the ground that could drag it into a new and perilous crisis.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Diplomacy, War, Conflict, Negotiation
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States, Ukraine, Eastern Europe
  • Author: Erik J. Dahl
  • Publication Date: 09-2020
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Political Science Quarterly
  • Institution: Academy of Political Science
  • Abstract: In this valuable new book, Austin Carson examines the phenomenon of covert military intervention, which he defines as occurring when an external major power secretly provides military assistance during war. Carson argues that such interventions are more common than might be expected and that they often lead to a puzzling dynamic, whereby an adversary detects the intervention but does not publicize it. Carson’s use of the term “covert” follows the conventional definition of government activities designed to conceal the actor’s role in that activity, but by focusing on covert military intervention, he is studying a phenomenon different from “covert action,” which in the American context usually refers to activities undertaken by the Central Intelligence Agency, rather than by military forces. This book is therefore a complement to other works on covert action, including Lindsey A. O’Rourke’s recent Covert Regime Change: America’s Secret Cold War.
  • Topic: Military Intervention, Book Review, Conflict, Political Science
  • Political Geography: Pakistan, Russia, Ukraine, Israel, United States of America
  • Author: Yuriy Danyk, Chad Michael Briggs, Tamara Maliarchuk
  • Publication Date: 02-2020
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Georgetown Journal of International Affairs
  • Abstract: The conflict in Ukraine has received renewed attention in Washington D.C., and it is worth considering the relevance of this conflict to US national security interests. The open conflict in eastern Ukraine since 2014 has been part of a larger hybrid war, including political and information warfare, cyber warfare, assassinations, promotion of corruption, and traditional (kinetic) warfare carried out by destructive geopolitical actors (DGAs) [1]. The conventional conflict cannot be taken out of context, and it is the less visible and “dark” aspects of hybrid warfare that should particularly worry the United States. Hybrid warfare consists of a wide spectrum of attacks, from conventional to covert, carried out to destabilize one’s opponent. Rather than being isolated incidents, cyber attacks often represent part of a wide spectrum of coordinated, offensive strategies against countries like Ukraine and the United States.
  • Topic: National Security, War, Cybersecurity, Conflict
  • Political Geography: Europe, Ukraine, North America, United States of America
  • Author: Tyler Jess Thompson
  • Publication Date: 09-2020
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: United States Institute of Peace
  • Abstract: On March 23, 2020, as COVID-19 was first appearing in many conflict-affected areas, U.N. Secretary-General António Guterres issued a call for warring parties to cease hostilities and instead wage battle against the pandemic. Drawing on an examination of conflicts in Afghanistan, Colombia, Cameroon, Israel and Palestine, Libya, the Philippines, Syria, Ukraine, and elsewhere—this report looks at how COVID-19 has affected conflict parties’ interests, positions, and capacities, and provides recommendation for how the international community leverage the pandemic to promote peace.
  • Topic: United Nations, Conflict, Peace, Pandemic, COVID-19
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, Ukraine, Israel, Libya, Philippines, Colombia, Palestine, Syria, Cameroon, Global Focus
  • Author: International Crisis Group
  • Publication Date: 07-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: Russia and the separatists it backs in Ukraine’s east are no longer quite on the same page, especially since the Kremlin abandoned ideas of annexing the breakaway republics or recognising their independence. The rift gives the new Ukrainian president an opportunity for outreach to the east’s embattled population, including by relaxing the trade embargo. What’s new? Russia’s gradual retreat from any plans to annex parts of eastern Ukraine has opened schisms between Moscow and its separatist proxies in the region. Why does it matter? For Kyiv, these divides could create opportunities to restart dialogue with the people of the east. Such contacts, in turn, could help lay the groundwork for Ukraine’s unification. What should be done? The rift between Moscow and its proxies should inform new Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s policies. Kyiv should look to rebuild relations with the inhabitants of separatist-held areas, by easing the economic blockade on the east and increasing outreach to the population there.
  • Topic: Non State Actors, Geopolitics, Conflict, Trade
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Eurasia, Ukraine
  • Author: Grigory Karasin
  • Publication Date: 01-2019
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Affairs: A Russian Journal of World Politics, Diplomacy and International Relations
  • Institution: East View Information Services
  • Abstract: This interview discusses Russia's relationships with its neighbours.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Diplomacy, Regional Cooperation, Conflict
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Ukraine, Moldavia
  • Author: A. Vyleghanin, K. Kritsky
  • Publication Date: 01-2019
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Affairs: A Russian Journal of World Politics, Diplomacy and International Relations
  • Institution: East View Information Services
  • Abstract: FIVE YEARS AGO, a coup d’état took place in Kiev. Following demon- strations and arson attacks, a mob seized several government institutions, including the administration building and residence of the constitutional- ly elected president of Ukraine, Viktor Yanukovich. Some members of the Ukrainian president’s security detail who were protecting his residence from illegal seizure were wounded and killed.1 Alexander Turchinov, one of the coup leaders, began serving as the president of Ukraine even though no Ukrainian presidential election had been held. The coup in Kiev led primarily to the U.S. assuming a leading role in Ukraine’s governance – something it had neither during the period of the Russian Empire nor the Soviet era. The February 2014 overthrow of the president in Kiev that took place without elections and in violation of the Ukrainian Constitution de facto divided the country into regions that recognized the new authorities in Kiev and those that opposed the coup (primarily the southern and eastern regions of Ukraine). This occurred not only because the Ukrainian presi- dent was unconstitutionally removed from power but primarily because the “installation” of the putschist government was accompanied by vio- lence, and ethnic and linguistic persecution. In March 2014, the Autonomous Republic of Crimea left the new, “post-coup” Ukraine in accordance with the provision of the UN Charter on the right of peoples to self-determination. Subsequently, following a referendum in Crimea, a treaty on Crimea’s reunification with Russia was signed. A confrontation between the new regime in Kiev* and residents of Donetsk and Lugansk Regions turned into a protracted armed conflict. The forcible replacement in Kiev of a constitutionally elected head of state (Yanukovich) with an unconstitutional leader (Turchinov) directly impacted Russia’s national interests. Russians and Ukrainians lived together within a single state, the Russian Empire, from the 17th century until 1917. During the Soviet period, the border between the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic and the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic did not have international legal significance. It was an administrative bor- der. After the collapse of the Soviet Union, the independent UN member states (Russia and Ukraine) that replaced them continued to maintain close economic and other ties. Their continued integration, including through joint participation in the Customs Union, objectively met the strategic interests of Ukraine and Russia. A friendly Ukraine is also important to Russia from a national securi- ty standpoint, considering NATO’s expansion toward Russia’s borders that began in the early 1990s – i.e., NATO’s absorption of all former member states of the Warsaw Pact, including Poland and even the former Soviet republics of Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia. Russia’s leadership has repeatedly stressed the inadmissibility of dragging Ukraine into NATO. Words about “fraternal” relations between the peoples of Russia and Ukraine are no exaggeration: Millions of family members (both Russians and Ukrainians) live on opposite sides of the Russian-Ukrainian border,2 and at least one-third of Ukraine’s population speaks Russian as a native language. In this context, it is not surprising that Moscow considered the U.S.- orchestrated seizure of power from the head of state in Kiev an event affecting its vital interests. Something else is remarkable: The U.S. administration said that the events in Ukraine, far away from the American mainland, “constitute an unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security and foreign policy of the United States.”4 Westerners promulgated a very different assessment of the forced ouster of Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovich in 2014. The U.S. called it a “people’s rev- olution” and said that the mob action organized in part by the U.S. ambas- sador in Kiev (including the killing of Berkut fighters, the state guard of the Ukrainian president) was a legitimate way of expressing the will of the “Ukrainian people.”
  • Topic: International Cooperation, International Law, Military Strategy, Conflict
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Ukraine, Middle East, South America, Syria, Venezuela, North America, United States of America
  • Author: Anne De Tinguy, Annie Daubenton, Olivier Ferrando, Sophie Hohmann, Jacques Lévesque, Nicolas Mazzuchi, Gaïdz Minassian, Thierry Pasquet, Tania Sollogoub, Julien Thorez
  • Publication Date: 02-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Centre d'Etudes et de Recherches Internationales
  • Abstract: Regards sur l’Eurasie. L’année politique est une publication annuelle du Centre de recherches internationales de Sciences Po (CERI) dirigée par Anne de Tinguy. Elle propose des clefs de compréhension des événements et des phénomènes qui marquent de leur empreinte les évolutions d’une région, l’espace postsoviétique, en profonde mutation depuis l’effondrement de l’Union soviétique en 1991. Forte d’une approche transversale qui ne prétend nullement à l’exhaustivité, elle vise à identifier les grands facteurs explicatifs, les dynamiques régionales et les enjeux sous-jacents.
  • Topic: Defense Policy, Corruption, Democratization, Economics, Health, International Security, Natural Resources, Conflict, Multilateralism, Europeanization, Political Science, Regional Integration
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Ukraine, Caucasus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Turkmenistan