Showing posts with label Ukraine. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Ukraine. Show all posts

14 August 2018

Crimea: A Bridgehead or a Barricade?

Pavel Luzin

What Russia's military spending on the Crimea says about the Kremlin's strategy on the Black Sea

5 August 2018

Ukraine’s Defense Industry Slowly Moves Toward Adopting NATO Standards

By: Oleg Varfolomeyev

Ukraine has begun mass producing ammunition for 40-millimeter automatic grenade launchers, the state defense industry monopoly Ukroboronprom recently announced. This caliber is widely used by the militaries of North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) member states; whereas, the Ukrainian Armed Forces have, thus far, utilized mainly 30-millimeter ammunition for their grenade launchers. Ukroboronprom said the new ammunition, which corresponds to NATO standards, is being manufactured jointly by the Shostka-based state-controlled Impuls plant and the Kyiv-based Kuznya na Rybalskomu (, July 18). The latter is part of the business empire of President Petro Poroshenko.

3 August 2018

NATO in Ukraine: High Strategic Stake, Irresolute Engagement

United States President Donald Trump’s behavior at the North Atlantic Treaty Organization’s (NATO) recent summit in Brussels (July 11–12) and in its aftermath has cast a shadow on this landmark event. Trump’s follow-up actions, including the meeting with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin, continued hitting at NATO and the European Union from afar. Trump’s persona and his possible motivations furnished the main topic of analysis throughout these events, diverting attention from the actual results of the NATO Brussels Summit. Its agenda and decisions clearly identified Russia as the main source of threats and challenges to the Alliance. The summit’s balance sheet is a mixture of significant accomplishments and unfinished business left over from years past, notably in the Black Sea region and NATO’s eastern neighborhood.

1 August 2018

Daily Memo: Iran's Political Instability, Eritrea's Rehabilitation, the Price of Supporting Ukraine

Indicators of Iran’s political stability continue to flash negative. Its currency is falling in value –AP reported that on the black-market exchange, the Iranian rial dropped to 112,000 to the dollar on Sunday from 98,000 the day before, while the steady decline of the official rate continues. A reformist newspaper headline led with a story about a potential “economy coup,” while the newspaper for a minority party in the Iranian parliament said Iran is moving toward a crisis that can be solved only by shaking up senior levels of government. A leading hard-line paper, while blaming economic issues on Iran’s enemies, also called for “revolutionary decisions” to resolve the country’s woes. Al-Monitor reported that the latest factional dispute in the Iranian government has pitted Iran’s chief of staff against a vice president. The country’s top security body released two prominent opposition leaders from prison. The Majlis Research Center, the research arm of the Iranian parliament, published a report on the controversial issue of mandatory hijab wearing and discovered that 55 percent of Iranian women are against such a policy. And this is in just the past 48 hours – and as small protests over water scarcity and other economic issues continue.

24 July 2018

All wild on Ukraine’s eastern front


A smallholder farmer named Galina Korovaytseva had left it tethered in her yard late last month in Urzuf, a village on the Sea of Azov about 50 kilometers west of the frontline between the government of Ukraine and Russian-backed separatists. When she came home, just before dark, she found it had been killed by wolves, which had devoured its insides. “My husband was still at work,” Korovaytseva said. “We always put [the calf] inside at night. But they came and ate it.” More than 10,000 people have been killed in the more than four years of fightingin eastern Ukraine’s Donbas region. An estimated 1.6 million more have been displaced. The economy has been devastated. And there’s risk of environmental damage — contamination of the soil and air from destroyed factories, flooded coal mines, landmines and exploded military ordnance.

24 June 2018

Kerch Strait Now a Flashpoint for Russian and Ukrainian Forces

By: Paul Goble
Source Link

The next major battle between Russian aggressors and Ukrainian defenders may take place not in Donbas but on the waters of the Sea of Azov and the Kerch Strait, a development that could prove even more dangerous to regional stability than earlier Russian acts of aggression. The situation has been deteriorating since March 26, when Ukraine seized a Russian ship that had violated its territorial waters and threatened further retaliation on other waterways, (see EDM, April 12, May 1). But over the last few days, conditions there have deteriorated sharply, with each country warning that it will use military force to defend its ships. In such a tense environment, an attack on even a merchant vessel could easily become perceived by the other side as an act of war.

2 June 2018

What would a cyberattack in Ukraine mean for the U.S. government?

By: Frank Bajak
Source Link

LONDON — Network technology company Cisco Systems said Wednesday that a half a million routers had been compromised in preparation for what could be a major cyberattack against Ukraine, raising the specter of large-scale disruption timed to the upcoming Champions League soccer final there. The announcement leaves federal cybersecurity officials in the United States scrambling. Ukraine’s Cyberpolice said in a statement that it was possible the hackers planned to strike during “large-scale events,” an apparent reference either to the match between Real Madrid and Liverpool in the capital, Kiev, on Saturday or to the country’s upcoming Constitution Day celebrations.

28 May 2018

FBI seeks to thwart cyber-attack on Ukraine

Preparations for a cyber-attack on Ukraine have been thwarted by the FBI. It seized a website that was helping communicate with home routers infected with malware that would carry out the digital bombardment. More than 500,000 routers in 54 countries had been infected by the "dangerous" malware and the FBI is now trying to clean up infected machines. The Kremlin has denied an allegation by Ukraine that Russia was planning a cyber-attack on the country. Kill command A key step in thwarting the attack came on 23 May when a US court ordered website registrar Verisign to hand over control of the domain to the FBI.

27 May 2018

Cisco Systems warns that Russian hackers have infected at least 500,000 routers and storage devices in preparation for another massive cyber attack on Ukraine

Cyber firms warn on suspected Russian plan to attack Ukraine 

Cisco Systems Inc (CSCO.O) on Wednesday warned that hackers have infected at least 500,000 routers and storage devices in dozens of countries with highly sophisticated malicious software, possibly in preparation for another massive cyber attack on Ukraine. Cisco’s Talos cyber intelligence unit said it has high confidence that the Russian government is behind the campaign, dubbed VPNFilter, because the hacking software shares code with malware used in previous cyber attacks that the U.S. government has attributed to Moscow. Cisco said the malware could be used for espionage, to interfere with internet communications or launch destructive attacks on Ukraine, which has previously blamed Russia for massive hacks that took out parts of its energy grid and shuttered factories.

26 May 2018

Ukraine and Russia: Peace, War and the Future

Volodymyr Dubovyk

ODESSA: Russia relations with Ukraine in the post-Soviet era may certainly be divided into two periods uneven in length. The first one was a period of relative peace between 1991 and 2014. The second one is ongoing, a time of war, since the end of February 2014. Hopefully, the second period will end up much shorter one than the first. However, there are many reasons to expect that the next period – the post-war one – will differ from the first. It might yet be another period of peace, but a very different kind of peace.

8 May 2018

Ukraine Is Worth Fighting For

Anders Åslund

Kyiv. The new conventional wisdom is that four years after Maidan, reforms have stalled in Ukraine and corruption has consumed the leadership. But this picture is hardly true. Certainly, the economy has stabilised, but economic growth stopped at 2.1 per cent last year. Yet a broad reform agenda is still proceeding, though everything is contentious. The most striking impression from one week of intense meetings with senior policymakers and businessmen in Kyiv is that every issue is contested. The many conflicts slow down the speed with which things move forward, but they also block reversals.

Open and transparent

26 March 2018

Russian Analytical Digest No 214: The Armed Conflict in Eastern Ukraine

By Nikolaus von Twickel, Gwendolyn Sasse and Mario Baumann for Center for Security Studies (CSS)

The three articles in this edition of the RAD look at 1) the “people’s republics” of Donetsk and Luhansk in eastern Ukraine, arguing that though they may be best described as Russian puppet states, Moscow’s denial of formal ties to these entities makes a comprehensive analysis difficult; 2) the attitudes and identities of the Donbass region’s population, including both the Russian and Ukrainian controlled areas; and 3) key factors driving the recurrence of violence in eastern Ukraine and the potential for peacekeeping efforts to address them.

24 March 2018

The Armed Conflict in Eastern Ukraine

By Nikolaus von Twickel, Gwendolyn Sasse and Mario Baumann for Center for Security Studies (CSS)

The three articles in this edition of the RAD look at 1) the “people’s republics” of Donetsk and Luhansk in eastern Ukraine, arguing that though they may be best described as Russian puppet states, Moscow’s denial of formal ties to these entities makes a comprehensive analysis difficult; 2) the attitudes and identities of the Donbass region’s population, including both the Russian and Ukrainian controlled areas; and 3) key factors driving the recurrence of violence in eastern Ukraine and the potential for peacekeeping efforts to address them.

13 March 2018

Behold Vladimir V. Potemkin

Antony J. Blinken

If Xi Jinping is the world’s most powerful man, conventional wisdom puts Vladimir Putin a close second. He’s made his own bare-chested virility synonymous with a resurgent Russia. Mr. Putin seems to be playing on every chessboard, from what Russia calls its “near abroad” to the Middle East, from Europe to America. When it comes to sowing doubt about democracy and fueling dissension among Americans, Mr. Putin is eating our lunch. And Russia retains the world’s largest nuclear arsenal, with new weapons in the works that Mr. Putin saw fit to brag about during last week’s state of the nation speech — even if his rhetoric far outpaced their technical reality.

Ukraine’s hybrid war

By Wesley Clark and Jack Keane
Source Link

Four years ago this week, Moscow launched its hybrid war against Ukraine and seized Crimea. Six weeks later, it began its not-so covert military operation in Donbas. One of the great, if unheralded stories of this war has been the largely successful effort of Ukraine to defend itself against this hybrid war in the east. Ukraine has been on the front lines of a new generation of warfare where Russia blurs the lines between peace and war. Moscow’s aggression began with the seizure and then annexation of Crimea in February and March, and then the not so-covert war in Donbas in April.

7 March 2018

4 Years After the Revolution, Ukraine Still Battles Corruption and Russian Aggression

Nolan Peterson 

Ukraine’s capital city was, at that time, reeling from months of street protests and a revolution in which nearly 130 people died. The city’s central square, the Maidan, was left a charred ruin, still brimming with protester encampments and ad hoc defensive barricades. Months earlier, in November 2013, protesters first took to the Maidan to oppose a last-minute decision by Ukraine’s then-President Viktor Yanukovych to ditch a trade deal with the European Union in favor of one with Russia.

2 March 2018

Ukraine four years after the Maidan

Steven Pifer

In late February 2014, following three months of demonstrations on Kyiv’s Maidan Nezalezhnosti (Independence Square), then-President Victor Yanukovych fled the Ukrainian capital on a tortuous path that ultimately took him to Russia. On February 22, 2014, Ukraine’s parliament appointed an acting president and acting prime minister, who promptly announced their intention to press reforms and bring Ukraine closer to Europe.

Four years later, Ukraine finds itself in a low-intensity but still very real war with Russia. Russia seized Crimea and has prosecuted a conflict in the eastern Ukrainian region of Donbas that has claimed more than 10,000 lives. While President Petro Poroshenko and his governments have implemented serious reforms, the pace has slowed markedly. Many are particularly frustrated that more has not been done on the anti-corruption front.

28 February 2018

Ukraine Cuts Dependence on Russian Nuclear Fuel, Moves Away From Coal

By: Oleg Varfolomeyev

Westinghouse will extend nuclear fuel deliveries to seven of Ukraine’s fifteen nuclear power units to 2021–2025, in line with a contract signed between this firm and Ukraine’s state-owned nuclear power company Energoatom. Deliveries to Ukraine under the new deal are to begin immediately after the current contract expires in 2020. Moreover, fuel components for local nuclear power plants (NPP) will be produced not only in the United States, but also in Ukraine, with assembly to be made at a Westinghouse facility in Sweden. Energoatom President Yury Nedashkovsky said his company is the world’s only operator of the Soviet-designed VVER-1000 reactors to have fully diversified its sources of fuel supply (, January 29).

How to Solve the Ukraine Crisis: Peacekeepers?

Dave Majumdar

The Ukraine crisis continues to be the main source of tension in the NATO-Russia relationship according to the alliance’s top official. The alliance hopes to reduce tensions by working with Russia to implement the Minsk agreements and potentially deploy UN peacekeepers in the war-torn Donbas region.

“During the meeting today [with Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov] we addressed Ukraine and I underlined the importance of the implementation of the Minsk agreements,” NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg told reporters at the Munich Security Conference onFeb. 17. “I also said that the situation in Ukraine is the main reason for the deterioration of the relationship between NATO and Russia and also the main reason why NATO has adopted its defensive posture in the eastern part of the Alliance.”

20 February 2018

Taking the Temperature of the Ukraine Conflict

As highlighted in the 2018 Annual Forecast, progress toward a deal to deploy U.N. peacekeepers to intervene in the conflict in Eastern Ukraine is distinctly possible. Recent signs of compromise over other aspects of that conflict, such as prisoner exchanges, indicate that the forecast is on track.

The idea of deploying U.N. peacekeepers to Eastern Ukraine was broached several months ago amid growing intensity in diplomacy surrounding the conflict between Russian-backed separatists and pro-government forces there. This weekend's Munich Security Conference will offer a chance for more talks over the issue, but given the differences of opinion over the size, scope and mission of any U.N. force, there's no guarantee that an agreement will be struck. But some signs of compromise over the peacekeepers issue — and the opportunity offered by the security gathering that will attract representatives from key powers — make real movement on the issue a possibility.