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

24 June 2018

Kerch Strait Now a Flashpoint for Russian and Ukrainian Forces

By: Paul Goble
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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
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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 ToKnowAll.com 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
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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 (Energoatom.kiev.ua, 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.

16 February 2018

Ukraine’s Grey-Zone Conflict: What Lies Ahead?

by David Carment

On Jan. 18, 2018, Ukraine’s parliament voted in favour of a controversial full draft of a new law on the conflict in Eastern Ukraine.1 The law has gained a lot of attention, despite the fact there is no final document yet, because it identifies Russia as an aggressor and occupying state. The new law is important for a few other reasons. First, its primary purpose is to stymie Russia’s geopolitical aspirations by having Ukraine retake the disputed territories by force. Second, it makes no mention of the Minsk agreements, the acceptance of which was a provision for the lifting of sanctions against Russia. Nor does it recognize the Luhansk People’s Republic (LNR) and the Donetsk People’s Republic (DNR) as legitimate parties to the conflict. Indeed, there is no reference to the peace agreement brokered by France and Germany in 2015, which obliged Kiev to develop legislation regarding autonomy and amnesty for its minorities. Instead, the trade and transport blockade between Ukraine and the Donbass will be strengthened. And last, the law dramatically realigns Ukraine’s military forces by granting extra powers to the Ukrainian president, commander of the country’s united forces.

14 February 2018

Why Ukraine should become a Balkan country

Ukrainian politicians, diplomats, journalists and intellectuals should start paying more attention to how the countries of South-Eastern Europe (SEE) are currently preparing for their entry into the European Union. Kyiv can accelerate its own European integration by entering a number of SEE cooperation formats specifically designed to prepare the Western Balkan states for their future EU membership. 

13 February 2018

Ukraine is already on a second iteration of combat-ready war robots

By: Kelsey Atherton 

Robot soldiers from cinematic nightmares are glistening silver automatons, with rictus skulls or towering automaton bodies. Robot soldiers in real life? Not so much. They look very much like the rough assemblage of improvised weaponry that they are: a camera and a gun on a wheeled or tracked body. And rather than the exclusive domain of just a few wealthy states, these improvised robots are put together by irregular and low-budget forces, and fighting on active fronts.

Like in Ukraine.

Robots have seen action in Ukraine since at least 2016. Here’s a description of one such use in May 2017, from the Minsk Monitor:

8 February 2018

An Atmosphere of Growing Political and Societal Instability in Ukraine

By Susan Stewart

For some time now, both Ukrainians and foreign observers have been inquiring whether the time is right for a ‘Third Maidan’. The protests that took place on 17 October 2017 and in subsequent weeks were not the beginning of anything larger. Rather, they were initiated primarily by political actors and did not have the potential for mass mobilization. However, these protests convey important messages about the political and societal situation in the country. Against the backdrop of developments in recent years, they are a sign that the situation could heat up dangerously in the coming months.

7 February 2018

Why Ukraine should become a Balkan country


Günther Fehlinger

Ukrainian politicians, diplomats, journalists and intellectuals should start paying more attention to how the countries of South-Eastern Europe (SEE) are currently preparing for their entry into the European Union. Kyiv can accelerate its own European integration by entering a number of SEE cooperation formats specifically designed to prepare the Western Balkan states for their future EU membership.