The EU needs to remold its support for fundamental political reform in Eastern Partnership partner states—and use this as a firmer base from which to assuage tensions with Russia.
Ukrainian society—particularly sectors that pushed for greater accountability and transparency during the EuroMaidan Revolution—and Western governments, particularly the United States, are pushing Poroshenko to rein in the oligarchs.
The conflict in Ukraine is anything but frozen. The dynamics of this conflict are driven as much by Ukrainian domestic affairs and local commanders’ decisions in the conflict zone as they are by any Cold War-style stand-off between East and West.
Old totalitarian practices can reemerge with new symbols, from new directions. And a struggle against the symbols of past unfreedom isn’t enough to protect against a lack of liberty in its latest incarnation.
The tensions in Russian-Western relations will not lead to a direct collision between Russia and NATO. The current surge of mutual psychosis has no relation to the military security.
The fact that the process of prisoner exchanges is still incomplete after months of fits and starts volumes about the messiness of the situation in eastern Ukraine.
Civil society now plays an outsized role in Ukrainian politics.
To avoid a dangerous meltdown in Ukraine, the West must lean hard on Kiev in support of economic and political reform.
Prospects for Ukraine’s long-term success and cohesion will be determined by its ability to pursue far-reaching reforms to modernize the state and to check the power of the oligarchs.
The Minsk agreements are fragile.How effectively they are implemented will depend primarily on the Europeans’ ability to convince Moscow to pressure separatists into observing the ceasefire, and on Kyiv’s ability to keep nationalist militias in line. If either side fails to do so, the fighting is likely to resume.