Struggle for Ukraine


Pandemic Unsettles Ukraine’s Zelensky

In Ukraine, the chaos caused by the coronavirus pandemic combined with the country’s existing political problems could sharpen the appetite for authoritarianism in Ukrainian society.

Ukraine’s Unromantic Reshuffle

Having dismissed his young government, President Zelensky risks joining the ranks of Ukraine’s failed reformers. The reshuffle is being seen as a victory for business as usual and oligarchic interests.

Last Man Standing: How Avakov Survived in Ukraine

Arsen Avakov has survived Ukraine’s change of regime. President Zelensky needs him because of his links to the dark side of the Ukrainian deep state, against which the president’s young reformers are often powerless. The omnipotent minister is prepared to put aside his personal ambition to become the regime’s informal mainstay.

Cracks Emerge in Ukraine’s Ruling Party

Faced with a fluctuating approval rating, President Zelensky is attempting to instill order in his party’s ranks. The voting machine that he built from his parliamentary majority is beginning to malfunction as deputies refuse to be mere cogs in that machine.

Why the Normandy Summit Was Not a Waste of Time

Solving humanitarian problems and stabilizing the area around the line of contact is the bare minimum outcome of talks on Ukraine that all sides consider necessary. At the same time, each side suspects that for its opponents, this minimum is also the maximum in terms of what is politically acceptable.

Ukraine’s New Economic Policy Juggles Populism With Libertarianism

Zelensky’s economic path has turned out to be as contradictory as his political path. Various promises ranging from libertarian reforms to classic social populism are hindering the implementation of any meaningful policy.

Specter of Revolution Looms Over Moves Toward Peace in Ukraine

Street protests in Ukraine and the threat of destabilization are working to strengthen the authoritarian tendencies of President Zelensky’s rule. He sees that everywhere he has not managed to install his power vertical and his people, the seed of chaos and sabotage is germinating.

Ukraine Prepares to Grasp the Nettle of Its History Politics—Again

Two things have become clear following the dismissal of the head of Ukraine’s Institute of National Memory. First, Ukraine’s history politics must become more inclusive, and move away from the extremes of revolutionary fervor and the principles of party affiliation. Second, if the institute cannot be closed down, then it must be radically reformed. Above all, it must not be allowed to be monopolized by representatives of a single political persuasion.

Ukraine’s President Can’t Avoid Showdown With His Oligarch Backer

Kolomoisky has been making use of his ambiguous position as the future president’s business partner since the very start of Zelensky’s election campaign, but this didn’t prevent Zelensky from sweeping to victory in the elections. Now, however, the trickster oligarch is becoming increasingly toxic for Zelensky’s team, not only within the country but also abroad.

Fresh Approaches Enable Russia-Ukraine Prisoner Swap

For the Kremlin, key conditions for the prisoner exchange were President Zelensky’s reference to joint work by two states and two presidents, recognition that there were advantages to the swap for both sides, and the exclusion of the exchange from the victory/defeat paradigm.
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