As the coronavirus pandemic and growing economic hardship affect both Russia and Ukraine, and as the United States is absorbed with the pandemic, protests, and the approaching presidential election, some experts fear the Kremlin may launch a new strike against Ukraine in the late summer. Possible targets include Mariupol and the canal near Kherson, Moscow has been building bases on its border with Ukraine for years and the current strength of the Russian Armed Forces along that border speaks for itself: an estimated 87,000 Russian military personnel and over 5,000 Russian tanks, armored vehicles, and heavy weapons system. As Kremlin military officials reorganize and restructure neighboring Russian forces, questions remain as to what Putin’s plans are for Ukraine in the near future. Has the Kremlin’s military posture in the region changed? How can Ukraine and the West best prepare for further Russian aggression, and how worried should they be?
Dr. Pavel Felgenhauer, a Moscow-based defense analyst and columnist for Novaya Gazeta; David Kramer, senior fellow at Florida International University’s Vaclav Havel Program for Human Rights and Diplomacy; and Dr. Hanna Shelest, director of the Security Studies Program at The Foreign Policy Council “Ukrainian Prism,” will join us for the discussion. Ambassador John Herbst, director of the Atlantic Council’s Eurasia Center, moderates the discussion.
Waging peace in Eastern Ukraine
Following more than five years of conflict in Ukraine’s east, the leaders of Ukraine, Russia, France, and Germany convened in Paris on December 9 to try to find a lasting peaceful solution to the war in eastern Ukraine. With more than 1.4 million people displaced and over 13,000 dead, the leaders of the Normandy Format nations of France, Germany, Russia, and Ukraine, met most recently in December 2019 to negotiate solutions to the conflict. However, diplomatic efforts to end the conflict are still punctuated by episodes of military confrontation in Donbas.
Mon, Jul 13, 2020
Moscow has sought to justify the war in eastern Ukraine by claiming it historically belongs within the “Russian World”, but this ignores the region’s deep Ukrainian roots and cosmopolitan heritage.
Thu, Jul 9, 2020
A climate of confusion over coronavirus-related checkpoint crossing procedures is creating havoc and adding to the hardships of civilians living close to the front lines of the Russo-Ukrainian War.
Wed, May 27, 2020
For the estimated 1.4 million Ukrainians internally displaced by Putin’s war, the past six years have brought traumatic change. These IDPs are now facing the further challenge of the coronavirus pandemic.
The Eurasia Center’s mission is to enhance transatlantic cooperation in promoting stability, democratic values and prosperity in Eurasia, from Eastern Europe and Turkey in the West to the Caucasus, Russia and Central Asia in the East.