UkraineAlert

On November 25, Russia seized three Ukrainian naval vessels as they were preparing to enter the Sea of Azov through the Kerch Strait. The Russian Coast Guard rammed a Ukrainian tugboat and fired on the three Ukrainian ships, injuring up to six crewmembers. Twenty-three Ukrainian sailors are now in Russian custody.

This is the first direct naval engagement between the two countries’ militaries since the early days of the conflict in 2014.

Read More

On November 25, Russia attacked Ukraine again. It was a vivid reminder that Ukraine is at war and the situation can escalate at any time. Three Ukrainian vessels were shot at and seized by Russian maritime forces. Twenty-three Ukrainian sailors are now in Russian captivity. It's the first time Russia has openly attacked Ukrainian forces.

Read More

On November 25 Russian vessels blocked Ukrainian ones from entering the Sea of Azov, fired on Ukrainian ships in the Black Sea, rammed some of those ships, seized three Ukrainian ships, and wounded six in these exchanges. Russia also dispatched helicopters to the area to maintain surveillance and fire capability over any approaching Ukrainian vessels. By any standard, these are acts of war. We should remember that the United States went to war with Great Britain in 1812 because of such incidents. Second, Moscow’s claim to own Crimea, the Sea of Azov, and the Kerch Strait as inviolate Russian territory is wholly illegal. Russia’s claims rest on nothing more than force directed against supposedly weaker targets. We can be sure that it would not behave this way toward a NATO ally. 

Read More

On November 25, Russia fired on the Ukrainian Navy in the Black Sea, injuring at least two Ukrainian sailors. Many experts have warned that Russia is opening a new front in its forgotten war in Ukraine on the Black and Azov Seas, illegally boarding commercial Ukrainian vessels and increasing its military presence to about 120 patrol boats and ships. The Russian MFA twitter feed is full of insinuations about a Ukrainian provocation. 

We asked Atlantic Council experts and friends the following: How should Ukraine respond? How should NATO and the West react to this latest round of Russian aggression? What would it take to force the Kremlin to stop its menacing actions in Ukraine and around the world?

Read More

It’s Black Friday in Kyiv, Ukraine, and retail is booming. Abundance is everywhere. Like everywhere else, Black Friday sales are plastered on store windows around town.

For Ukrainians, this reality comes in shocking contrast with the events of 1933 eighty-five years ago. Ukraine was breadless and in crisis. Corpses littered the streets in central and southern Ukraine, then part of the USSR.

William Henry Chamberlain, the American journalist and Moscow correspondent of The Christian Science Monitor traveled to Ukraine in October 1933. He only reported what he saw in 1934, after he had permanently left the Soviet Union. He famously said: “There was no other catastrophe of such scale in human history that would have drawn so little attention of the world.” Chamberlin’s book Russias Iron Age was one of the few, if not the only, comprehensive contemporary views on the effect of Russia's five-year economic plan, and the famine which devastated parts of the Soviet Union, particularly Ukraine, during 1932-1933. 

This year—as is the tradition on the third Saturday of November—Ukraine is commemorating the 85th anniversary of the Holodomor, a man-made, politically induced famine which took the lives of over four million Ukrainians. This famine was an instrument of the national policy of the Bolsheviks and their last effort to conquer the resistance of the Ukrainian peasantry against the Soviet system. 

Fast forward to today. Many are shocked by the tactlessness of shops which nevertheless advertise their sales with a "Black Friday" message. Just one day before every Ukrainian is asked by the National Memory Institute to light a candle in memory of the innocent victims of the Holodomor, the Black Friday craze begins. It’s beyond tone deaf.

Read More

As McDonalds prepared to open its first restaurant in the Soviet Union in 1990, the fast food company embarked on a program to train its future staff to smile and thank customers. During the training session one of the young new hamburger restaurant recruits raised his hand and asked the American instructor: Why should I say thank you? I’m the one with the meat!’

Soviet customer service was notorious for showing no gratitude. Much of that is now history.

Read More

Western democracies are under threat from outside meddling, and Ukraine is the testing ground for this interference. Former Assistant Secretary of State David J. Kramer looks at why Ukraine’s position on the frontline of freedom has led to increase foreign interference in Ukraine and why the West must pay attention to possible influence operations in the upcoming March 2019 presidential elections.

Read More

Russia is desperately trying to prevent the Ukrainian Orthodox Church from finally freeing itself from Moscow, and its tactics aren’t working.

Having gotten used to enjoying influence over the hearts and minds of some believers in Ukraine, the Russian Orthodox Church (ROC) through its puppet body, the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of Moscow Patriarchate (UOC MP), has naturally resisted the process of Ukraine breaking free of Russia's "religious" claws.

Read More

As Ukraine’s 2019 elections approach, Moscow’s interests have come into greater focus. Despite the pro-European momentum delivered by the 2014 Euromaidan Revolution, parties more closely aligned with Moscow’s interests may see a more realistic path to power than is widely assumed.

Read More

Western democracies are under threat from outside meddling, and Ukraine is the testing ground for this interference. Russian President Vladimir Putin’s persistent efforts to influence the domestic politics of his neighbors and countries well beyond Russia’s borders have posed enormous challenges in Europe and across the Atlantic.

Read More