For 2015, Six Critical Themes for Meeting Russia’s Threat to Europe

A Crisis Index by Atlantic Council’s UkraineAlert

Throughout Russia’s assault this year on Ukraine, one of Europe’s most dangerous wars since the close of World War II, the Atlantic Council has analyzed the conflict for ways to sustain Europe’s stability and the right of 43 million Ukrainians to the independent, democratic future they have chosen. The Council’s initiative includes UkraineAlert, our e-mail newsletter on the crisis. As 2014 closes, we’ve gathered an index of key articles from UkraineAlert (and our website) this year. They are grouped below under six headings that Council analysts say reflect ideas basic to meeting this challenge:

  • A First Principle: why Ukraine’s democratic shift is critical to the US—and to Europe
  • How the US and Europe can help Ukraine win its real independence from Russia
  • Why Ukraine must reform and beat corruption—and do it fast, even under the burden of war
  • Despite denials: how the Kremlin is illegally making war on Ukraine
  • Russia’s ‘hybrid war:’ tactical abuse, lies and violence
  • Beyond Ukraine: how to meet Russia’s threat to Europe

A First Principle: why Ukraine’s Democratic shift is critical to the US—and to Europe

Gen. Wesley Clark: America’s Global Strategy Begins with Ukraine (Oct. 9)

Poroshenko to US: Putin Targets Not Just Ukraine, But Europe (Sept. 18)

How the US and Europe can help Ukraine win its real independence from Russia

Ukraine’s Economic Crisis: Is a February Donor Conference Soon Enough? (Nov. 26)

Russian Gas Deal May Show That Western Sanctions Are Working (Oct. 31)

Four Steps US Should Take to Boost Ukraine’s Defense (Oct. 3)

Poroshenko to Atlantic Council: Ukraine Needs Arms ‘to Win the Peace (Sept. 18)

NATO Summit: Transformation for Future, But ‘Serious Failure’ in the Moment (Sept. 08)

Amb. John Herbst: Three Steps for US, NATO to Deter Putin’s Next Aggression (Sept. 02)

Herbst: The West Retreats From Actually Pressing Russia to Stop Ukraine War (July 03)

A Beginning of Dialogue? Russia’s Ivanov, Germany’s Ischinger Discuss Ukraine (June 23)

To Liberate Ukraine, Get the Maidan Movement Back in the Fight (June 02)

The Mission in the Middle: OSCE Team Challenged Amid Ukraine’s War (May 08)

Beyond the Crisis, Hope for Ukraine: an Unlikely ‘Hero’ on His Country’s New Unity (Mar. 14)


Why Ukraine must reform and beat corruption—and do it fast, even under the burden of war

Measuring Ukraine’s War on Corruption: Signs to Watch in 2015 (Dec. 19)

Ukraine’s New Cabinet Prepares for Reform: Here’s Whom to Watch (Dec. 16)

US Ambassador Pyatt: Ukraine’s Greatest Danger is ‘Business as Usual’ (Dec.9)

Ukraine’s Reform Crisis Means New Government Has No Time for Infighting (Nov. 6)

Today’s Corruption Video: Which Ukrainian Officials Own These Palaces? (Oct. 27)

From Lugansk to Las Vegas: The Corrupt Empire of Oleksander Yefremov (July 31)

Ukraine Needs, and Can Manage, a Polish-Style ‘Shock Therapy’ Reform (June 09)

Wilson: Poroshenko & Klitschko Win, Now Must Govern and Reform Effectively (May 25)

In Ukraine’s East, the Cautious Middle Path of Oligarch-in-Chief Rinat Akhmetov (May 15)

Despite denials: how the Kremlin is illegally making war on Ukraine

How a Retired Russian Army Officer Sends (Paid) ‘Volunteers’ to Fight in Ukraine (Dec. 27)

Russia’s Col. Igor Girkin on His Role in Ukraine War (Nov. 18)

Putin’s ‘Project Sparta:’ Build Militarized Mini-States in Donbas (Nov. 12)        

Russian Cossacks Run a Conquered Ukrainian City on Soviet Nostalgia (Nov. 10)

Russia May Expand Ukraine Invasion in Spring 2015 (Karber, (Nov. 7)

No Russian Troops in Ukraine?’ They Were Just Drinking Vodka With Reporters!  (Oct. 24)

Russians Protest Putin’s War, But Ukraine Is on Its Own (includes 10 ways in which the evidence—much of it from Russians themselves—refutes Putin’s claim he’s not making war on Ukraine – Sept. 22)

Kremlin Speaks Power to Truth: Thugs Beat Official Who Revealed Army Dead in Ukraine (Sept. 04)

Russia Secretively Buries Its Troops Killed in the Ukraine War (Aug. 28)

Russian Lt. Col. Igor Bezler: a Brutal ‘Demon’ in Ukraine’s War (July 28)

Russian Army Gunner Brags: ‘All Night Long We Pounded Ukraine’ (July 23)

Russian-Backed Commander: Yes, Our Forces Had Missile That Downed Airliner (July 23)

Needing Better Control in Ukraine War, Russia Sends in an Old KGB Hand (July 17)

Ukraine’s Female Soldier-Pilot Surfaces in a Russian Prison (July 10)

Putin Secretly Rewards the Ex-Cons, Bullies, Armed Bikers Who Helped Seize Crimea (June 19)

Russia’s Unmarked Tanks in Ukraine: Putin is Probing the West’s Resolve (June 13)

Russian Fighters, Killed in Ukraine, Are Buried Quietly Near Moscow (June 09)

Journalists Escort Home Bodies of Russian Fighters Killed in Ukraine (June 05)

Russia Allows—or Organizes—Chechen Fighters to Join War in Ukraine (May 30)

Kremlin Gives Medals, Pensions to ‘Objective’ Russian Journalists in Ukraine (May 29)

How An Agent From Moscow Builds Greater Russia, One Province at a Time (May 22)

Russia’s Col. Igor Girkin Complains: Donbas Men Aren’t Volunteering to Fight Kyiv (May 19)

Ukraine Names the Russian Army Colonel Secretly Leading Ukrainian ‘Rebels’ (Apr. 28)

Ukraine’s Intelligence Chief to Atlantic Council: 100 Russian Officers Lead ‘Rebels’ (Apr. 22)

Russia’s ‘hybrid war:’ tactical abuse, lies, and violence

Amid Ukraine’s War, a Village’s Ordeal: Elderly, Poor Villagers Cannot Flee Assault (Dec. 23)

Russian Crackdown in Crimea Targets Tatars: 19 Abducted or Disappeared (Oct. 6)

Russian-Backed Rebels Parade Ukrainian Prisoners as ‘Neo-Nazis’ (Aug. 25)

Call it ‘Terrorism:’ The Unacknowledged Tactic of Russia’s War in Ukraine (June 26)

Ukrainian Filmmaker in Kremlin’s Prison for Protesting Its Seizure of Crimea (June 13)

‘How I Voted—Four Times—in the Donetsk Republic’s Referendum’ (May 12)

Russian Human Rights Activists Challenge Putin on Crimea Seizure (May 08)

The Fears of Ukrainians Living as a Minority Within Russia (May 01)

Why Did Gunmen So Easily Seize Donbas? Umm, Here’s Why (video) (Apr. 28)

A ‘Dirty War’ in Donetsk: An Execution-Style Killing Deepens the Brutality (Apr. 24)

Author Anne Applebaum: Putin Draws From Soviet 1940s Playbook (Apr. 3)

Ukraine vs. Russia: The Cyber Front Unfolds (Apr. 02)

Ukraine Security Official to Atlantic Council: We Fear Larger Russian Invasion (Mar. 27)

Beyond Ukraine: how to meet Russia’s threat to Europe

Ruble’s Collapse Will Force Putin to Move. But Which Way? (Dec. 17)

Moldova at a Tipping Point: Four Ways the US Should Help (Dec. 15)

Ukraine War Raises Instability Risk in Western Balkans: What to Do About That (Nov. 2)

The Information War: How to Combat Kremlin Disinformation (Oct. 30, with Legatum Institute)

George Soros: Europe Is Sleeping Through Its Decisive War (Oct. 24, with NY Review)

To Bolster Baltic States Amid Ukraine War, Here’s an Easy Victory (Oct. 20)

Putin in Serbia: He Presses Balkans Also to Forgo Europe (Oct. 16)

Amid Ukraine Crisis, Can US and NATO Boost Support for Georgia? (July 03)

Standing Up to Gazprom: How Lithuania Did—and Others Can—Beat Putin on Gas (June 23)

Three Simple Ways to Blunt Russia’s Gas Attack on Europe
(June 18)

How Long Could Ukraine’s War Last? In Nagorno-Karabakh, It’s Been 20 Years (May 12)

Ukraine Crisis Will Revive an Old NATO Idea: Conventional Deterrence in Europe (Apr. 14)

Manning & Clad: Why We Can Play the Long Game on Russia (Apr. 09)

Amb. Pascual: To Secure Gas for Ukraine and Europe, Build Markets (Apr. 03)

Rajan Menon: Why the Ukraine Crisis Won’t Save NATO (Apr. 1)

How to Avoid Wars: NATO’s Article 5 and Strategic Reassurance (Mar. 31)

Related Experts:

Image: A soldier aboard a Russian army vehicle confronted a Ukrainian security post in March, with a Russian flag waving behind him, as Russia seized the Crimean Peninsula from Ukraine. Russia has used armed invasions, proxy militias, economic pressure, and propaganda campaigns in an effort to keep Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine from associating with Europe and its institutions. It also has backed European extremist parties in an effort to undermine the European Union’s internal unity, Atlantic Council analysts and others say. (Reuters/Baz Ratner)