Ukraine

Must Read

Los Angeles Times: In Ukraine, the Jobless and Aimless Replace the Revolutionaries

Author: Carol J. Williams

"Russia's moves on Crimea, where its Black Sea fleet is based on territory leased from Ukraine, has diverted the international spotlight from Maidan. And the shift of battle lines from Kiev to Simferopol, Crimea's regional capital, has raised further questions about why and whether the revolutionary stragglers at Maidan are serving any useful purpose."

See more in Ukraine; Defense and Security

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New Yorker: Who Will Protect the Crimean Tatars?

Author: Natalia Antelava

"There are about three hundred thousand Crimean Tatars on the peninsula, and although they constitute only fifteen per cent of its population they have great political significance. If they do not back the upcoming referendum, it will be far more difficult for the pro-Moscow government in Crimea to legitimize what is in effect a Russian annexation of the peninsula."

See more in Ukraine; Politics and Strategy

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Political Violence at a Glance: Boarding Up Windows of Opportunity in Ukraine

Author: Andrew Kydd

"Eventually the new regime will consolidate power and increase its ties to the West, possibly joining the EU or even NATO. At that point, intervention would be prohibitively risky and Russia would simply have to live with the loss of Ukraine.…This seems to leave Putin no choice but to intervene now and press his advantage to the point of peaceful partition, if the Ukrainians do not resist, or civil/international war if they do. Windows of opportunity are powerful things. When you combine demonstrated hostility, present weakness and future strength, the incentive to act can be overwhelming."

See more in Ukraine; Politics and Strategy

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CNN: If Russia Swallows Ukraine, the European System is Finished

Author: Timothy Snyder

"In Vienna, where I live, one also hears constant mentions of 1938. Austrians and other citizens of European Union countries are beginning to consider what the end of Ukraine might mean for their own European system. The point is not that Putin is like Hitler; the point is that the removal of a state from Europe has consequences for the continent."

See more in Ukraine; Politics and Strategy

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n+1 Magazine: Ukraine, Putin, and the West

"What role has the American intellectual community played in this saga, if any? Certainly we failed to prevent it. But there is more. For the past two years, since Putin re-assigned himself to the Russian presidency, we have indulged ourselves in a bacchanalia of anti-Putinism, shading over into anti-Russianism."

See more in Ukraine; Politics and Strategy

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New Yorker: Putin Goes to War

Author: David Remnick

"Putin's reaction exceeded our worst expectations. These next days and weeks in Ukraine are bound to be frightening, and worse. There is not only the threat of widening Russian military force. The new Ukrainian leadership is worse than weak. It is unstable. It faces the burden of legitimacy."

See more in Ukraine; Wars and Warfare

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New York Review of Books: Fascism, Russia, and Ukraine

Author: Timothy Snyder

"To set its own course, Ukraine needs normal public debate, the restoration of parliamentary democracy, and workable relations with all of its neighbors. Ukraine is full of sophisticated and ambitious people. If people in the West become caught up in the question of whether they are largely Nazis or not, then they may miss the central issues in the present crisis."

See more in Ukraine; Russia and Central Asia; Politics and Strategy

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WSJ: Ukraine Exposes EU Policy Disarray

Authors: Stephen Fidler, Laurence Norman, and Bertrand Benoit

"The deadly violence that exploded this week in Ukraine has another victim: Europe's foreign-policy credibility.

A few months ago Ukraine looked on course to be drawn into the Western orbit through a wide-ranging trade-and-aid agreement with the European Union. Today, Ukraine is advertising Europe's helplessness to influence events even in countries close to its borders."

See more in Ukraine; Political Movements and Protests

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Reuters: Why Ukraine Spurned the EU and Embraced Russia

Author: Elizabeth Piper

"What caused the U-turn by the leadership of a country of 46 million people that occupies a strategic position between the EU and Russia? Public and private arm-twisting by Putin, including threats to Ukraine's economy and Yanukovich's political future, played a significant part. But the unwillingness of the EU and International Monetary Fund to be flexible in their demands of Ukraine also had an effect, making them less attractive partners."

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GMF: Georgia outshines Ukraine at recent NATO summit in Riga

Author: Taras Kuzio

This paper from the German Marshall Fund of the United States notes Georgia's better performance compared to Ukraine in two key areas of reform: improving the rule of law and battling corruption. The paper says that Ukraine’s failure to capitalize on the hopes raised by the ‘Orange Revolution’ has been highlighted by the recent Nato summit in Riga, where it became plain that plans to fast track Ukraine’s NATO membership application have been shelved indefinitely.

See more in Georgia; Rule of Law; Corruption and Bribery; Ukraine

Op-Ed

From Putin, a New Tune on Ukraine?

Author: Stephen Sestanovich
Wall Street Journal

Vladimir Putin’s annual call-in show is not where I usually look for important statements of Russian policy. Most of the four-hour event is devoted to semi-comical political pandering (Mr. Putin presenting himself as the friend of struggling dairy farmers, for example). Still, last week’s extravaganza contained unmistakable hints of a new line on Ukraine.

See more in Ukraine; Russian Federation; Presidents and Chiefs of State; Conflict Assessment

Op-Ed

Dealing with Putin

Authors: Robert D. Blackwill and Dimitri Simes
The National Interest

Ambassador Blackwill and Mr. Simes discuss the stage currently being set for an even more dramatic confrontation between the West and Russia over Ukraine. The authors argue that President Obama must recognize the danger to U.S. national interests that the crisis may create and act accordingly.

 

See more in Ukraine; Russian Federation; Conflict Assessment