Editor’s note: This short story describes a hypothetical future war in northern Europe between Russian and NATO forces using advanced technology.
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  • How Pro-Russian Forces Will Take Revenge on Ukraine

    On September 12, the leaders of two key pro-Russian parties made important public statements that should not be overlooked. Sergei Lyovochkin, deputy head of the Opposition Bloc and a former leader in President Viktor Yanukovych’s administration, and Vadym Rabinovich of the For Life political party, both spoke about the “active consolidation” of the two political parties prior to the upcoming presidential election. Both parties are pushing for a normal relationship with the Kremlin.

    According to recent polls, Yulia Tymoshenko could expect almost 13 percent among decided voters if the election was held now, while her closest opponent, President Petro Poroshenko, is polling at 8.4 percent. In the meantime, Rabinovich and Yuriy Boyko of the Opposition Bloc are polling at 4.3 percent and 7.1 percent, respectively. Their possible agreement on a single candidate could put their politician in the second round. (No candidate is expected to win outright in the first round in March 2019.)

    There are three wings in the negotiation process currently occurring in the pro-Russian camp.

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  • Ukrainian Patriarch Warns Russia Will Exploit Split in Orthodox Church

    Patriarch Filaret, Patriarch of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church—Kyiv Patriarchate, is eager to get Washington’s support for the peaceful unification of two church factions, warning that Russia will use any hint of conflict as an excuse to expand its aggression in Ukraine.

    For Filaret, the church issue is a key factor in the war in eastern Ukraine. In remarks at the Atlantic Council in Washington on September 19, he warned that to stop further aggression by Moscow, “we need to stop [Russian President Vladimir] Putin at Ukraine.”

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  • Will Ukraine’s Presidential Candidates Ever Get Real?

    This year’s Yalta European Strategy (YES) conference, known as the Ukrainian Davos, did not disappoint. Held in Kyiv on September 13-15, the meeting featured the obligatory celebrities and A-list dazzle. Bono turned up in purple-tinted glasses. Host Victor Pinchuk unveiled a silver spaceship-like creation by Japanese artist Marico Mori urging everyone to focus on the future. The American punk band Gogol Bordello was electric.

    But the real drama took place on the second day, when BBC HARDtalk presenter Stephen Sackur took to the stage to interview three leading presidential candidates, one at a time. He interviewed frontrunner and former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko, former defense minister and leading reform candidate Anatoily Gritsenko, and rock star Slava Vakarchuk, who may or may not be running.

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  • Meet the Young Talent That Will Outlast and Might Outdo Ukraine’s Old Guard

    Two Saturdays ago was a gloomy day in Kyiv, but the weather didn’t manage to dampen the mood at the opening ceremony of the Ukrainian Leadership Academy, as its new students marked the beginning of its fourth year. ULA is a private, year-long residential-based initiative that prepares students who are between the ages of 16 to 20 for leadership positions by focusing on their intellectual, physical, and emotional growth. On September 8, 250 new students from every oblast in Ukraine and a few from overseas joined the ULA community. 

    ULA seeks to raise up a generation of talented young people who are already taking responsibility for their country in order to influence Ukraine’s reform process and politics. Its strategy is long-term.  

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  • President Bush Backs Macedonia in NATO, Urges Participation in Historic Referendum

    On April 2, 2008, then US President George W. Bush addressed other NATO leaders at their Bucharest Summit, arguing forcefully for the Alliance to extend an invitation to Macedonia. His administration had championed Macedonia’s membership aspirations as part of a strategic enlargement of NATO into the Western Balkans, also to include Albania and Croatia, and to advance a Europe whole, free, and at peace.

    As Athens and Skopje failed to settle a name dispute, Greece was unwilling to welcome Macedonia under its interim name (the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia) and the Alliance did not extend an invitation.

    A decade later, Bush is once again voicing his support for Macedonia’s aspirations. His office released a message this week encouraging Macedonians to vote in a September 30 referendum that will pave the way for NATO to welcome its 30th member and resolve the twenty-seven-year name dispute.

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  • Rick Perry to Europe: Energy Security Tantamount to National Security

    Describing energy security as “tantamount to national security,” US Energy Secretary Rick Perry urged Europe to reduce its dependence on Russian gas and diversify its energy sources.

    Europe’s dependence on Russian natural gas “is truly a cause for concern,” Perry said in remarks at the closing session of the Three Seas Initiative’s Business Forum in Bucharest on September 18.

    Perry also affirmed US President Donald J. Trump’s opposition to the Nord Stream 2 pipeline, which will deliver gas from Russia across the Baltic Sea to Germany and Western Europe. Supported by Berlin, Nord Stream 2 received an endorsement from Austrian President Alexander van der Bellen at the first day of the Three Seas summit on September 17. Central European countries and the United States oppose the project.

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  • A Letter to the Citizens of Macedonia from President George W. Bush

    English | Macedonian | Albanian

    September 17, 2018

    To the Citizens of Macedonia:

    From the day of your nation's independence, the United States of America has been your steadfast friend. The American people have admired your peaceful emergence from the ashes of Yugoslavia. We have respected your courage in upholding democratic values and free institutions. And we have supported your aspirations to achieve prosperity and security in a Europe that is whole, free, and at peace.

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  • The Geopolitical Divorce of the Century: Why Putin Cannot Afford to Let Ukraine Go

    Next month, Europe’s leading budget airline will begin regular flights from Ukraine to a host of EU destinations. This is the latest milestone in a Ukrainian aviation boom that is seeing additional routes announced on a weekly basis and record passenger numbers at airports across the country. Each new flight serves to broaden Ukrainian horizons and anchor the country more firmly within the wider international community. Meanwhile, there has not been a single direct flight between Ukraine and Russia since October 2015.

    The changes in Ukraine’s air travel industry are just one of the many ways in which the country has turned away from Russia and gone global since the climax of the Euromaidan Revolution in early 2014 and the start of Vladimir Putin’s hybrid war. Since then, Russia’s share of Ukrainian exports has tumbled from 24 percent to around 9 percent, while Russian imports to Ukraine have halved. As economic ties between Kyiv and Moscow loosen, Ukrainian businesses have begun to discover life after Russia.

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  • Six Steps to Move Ukraine Forward Before the 2019 Elections

    Ukraine has less than four months before the presidential campaign season begins in earnest on December 31. The media is already full of populist promises and ads defaming political competitors. Outdoor advertising is dominated by catchy slogans and the old faces of party leaders. TV channels are being redistributed between their oligarch owners.

    What can parliament and the government accomplish before the start of the election season? Not much. We must be realistic and prioritize. Among the many vital reforms Ukraine needs, the focus should be on those that enable an environment for further transformations and ensure the country’s resilience in the face of a possible worsening of the political climate following the elections. That list includes at least six specific reforms.  

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