President Poroshenko’s failure to move ahead with reforms or to resolve decisively the political crisis in Ukraine has dismayed his U.S. partners. That made for a difficult visit to Washington.
Ukraine’s Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk has been under pressure to resign, but unexpectedly lived to fight another day after a parliamentary vote of no-confidence against him failed. What lies behind his political survival?
Kyiv seems to view the Crimea blockade as a pressure release valve - a way to allow agitated nationalists to blow off steam without sacrificing its own power. As such, the blockade is vastly preferable to some of the alternatives – namely allowing nationalists to vent their grievances in the Donbas, which would invite reprisals from Russia and the EU alike.
Ukrainian political activists have stepped up their campaign to isolate Crimea by sabotaging its electricity supply. Ordinary residents of Crimea are hostages of a hybrid political struggle between Ukraine and Russia.
Poroshenko must rely on a patchwork of political alliances that are alternately cooperative and confrontational. If he begins investigating officials — whether from the Yanukovych regime or otherwise — he will quickly face an army of new enemies and upset the fragile balance that allows him to remain in power.
A new proposal to extend repayment of a Russian intergovernmental loan to Ukraine may ultimately suit all parties.
The turmoil in eastern Ukraine has shaken the post–Cold War order. But there is reason to hope a more effective approach to building regional security might be possible.
While local elections proceeded peacefully, the fires are still burning around Kyiv.
Many people are trying to rewrite the history of the 2008 Georgia-Russia War in the light of the Ukraine crisis. The EU’s report on the war is still a useful baseline and a reminder of how different the two conflicts are.
Russian public opinion polls since the beginning of the Ukraine crisis reveal a contradiction: ordinary Russians are against war and intervention abroad. But a skillful television propaganda campaign has persuaded them that in Ukraine they are helping their own and opposing Western designs against them.