As war broke out in eastern Ukraine in 2014, internally displaced persons (IDPs) fled to towns and cities across Ukraine. By 2019, this number had risen to 1.5 million displaced Ukrainians, with those remaining facing continued human rights abuses in areas under the control of Russian-led forces. In addition to serious damage to homes and infrastructure, the Kremlin’s occupation has created lasting mental and physical trauma in the Donbas, preventing any significant progress toward reintegration. A stalled peace process and continued incidents along the contact line complicate efforts to rebuild the Donbas and plan for its economic, political, and social reintegration into Ukraine.
As the ceasefire continues to be violated and the conflict simmers on, what steps can be made by the Ukrainian government and international partners to improve the humanitarian and security situation? What support is most urgently needed for IDPs, and how can efforts for reintegration and reconciliation make progress with or without a ceasefire? How can Ukraine encourage the renewal of trade and investment ties to the occupied territories that could benefit the local population and facilitate the return of IDPs?
Oleksii Reznikov, deputy prime minister and minister for reintegration of the temporarily occupied territories of Ukraine, Hryhoriy Nemyria, member of the Verkhovna Rada and first deputy chairman of the Committee on Foreign Policy and Inter-Parliamentary Cooperation, Kateryna Moroz, senior adviser at Right to Protection, and Šimon Pánek, chief executive officer of People in Need, discuss these important issues. Melinda Haring, deputy director of the Atlantic Council’s Eurasia Center, moderates.
Russia in the Donbas
Conflict in Eastern Ukraine
Following more than seven years of conflict in Ukraine’s east, diplomatic efforts to end the violence are still punctuated by episodes of military confrontation in the Donbas. In his first major interview of 2021, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said that if an easy solution to the war existed, someone would have found it already. With more than 1.4 million people displaced and over 13,000 dead, the Normandy Format discussions have made little progress and, in March 2021, more Russian military forces amassed on Ukraine’s border and in occupied Crimea.
Sun, Apr 4, 2021
Russia has sparked alarm in recent days by massing its armed forces close to the Ukrainian border. The military build-up has raised fears of a dramatic escalation in the simmering seven-year conflict between the two countries.
Tue, Apr 13, 2021
Since 2019, Moscow has distributed hundreds of thousands of Russian passports to Ukrainians living the occupied east of the country. Kremlin officials are now vowing to defend these Russian citizens if necessary.
UkraineAlert by Peter Dickinson
Tue, Apr 13, 2021
The Russian-led conflict in eastern Ukraine and the construction of the Nord Stream 2 pipeline are the two most contentious issues on the Euro-Atlantic security agenda today. Linking the two could broaden the space for negotiation.
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.