Eastern Europe

  • Trump Doesn’t Have to Quit NATO to Undermine It, Expert Warns

    On January 14, the New York Times confirmed that President Donald Trump talked about pulling out of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization more than once in 2018.

    But can the president quit NATO unilaterally?

    Read More
  • Putin’s Dream Scenario for Ukraine

    Ukraine’s problem is not that it hasn’t changed enough. It’s that it’s changed too much too fast, thereby raising popular expectations, undermining long-existing patterns of behavior, creating uncertainty, and thereby increasing the popularity of populists who argue that a return to the good old days is imperative.

    Read More
  • Ukraine’s Euromaidan Democrats Have No Shot at the Presidency, but What About Parliament?

    Ukraine’s anti-oligarchic forces have finally started the process of forming a broad pro-reform coalition in advance of the 2019 presidential and parliamentary elections. On January 11, a congress of various reformist groups announced its support for the presidential candidacy of former Minister of Defense Anatoliy Hrytsenko. While the meeting was largely an event of Hrytsenko’s Civic Position party, it included a number of small parties and civil movements which backed Hrytsenko as well. In addition, a number of prominent MPs from the well-known “Euro-Optimists” inter-factional group in parliament, including Svitlana Zalishchuk, Serhiy Leshchenko, and Mustafa Nayem, joined the congress.

    Nayem called for a broader coalition of pro-reform politicians to work together, urging Lviv Mayor Andriy Sadovyi and the lead singer of the popular band “Okean Elzy” Sviatoslav Vakarchuk to back Hrytsenko. Nayem also touched upon the crucial question of the entire enterprise: Will the new alliance eventually become broad enough to exert real political influence?

    Read More
  • How Will Ukraine’s Next President View the World? A Look at the Top 5 Candidates

    Ukraine’s presidential election season is in full-swing. After the holiday recess, the campaign is getting even more dynamic with about forty candidates who have already declared. While the ratings fluctuate almost daily, the top five remain steady, so it’s time to dig in and start evaluating their various views. Below we’ve analyzed their foreign policy platforms. 

    Read More
  • The Best Ukraine Can Hope for with Russia in 2019

    Donald Trump has been president of the United States for two years, but it remains uncertain whether he has a Ukraine policy. His administration does, but Trump is famously superficial in his knowledge.

    Trump has repeatedly praised Russian President Vladimir Putin, hardly said anything negative about Russia, and insisted on the need to cut sanctions to improve relations with Russia. Trump has had numerous phone calls with Putin that have not been reported and two scandalous private meetings with Putin from which nothing has become known.

    In practice, US policy on Russia has been tough.

    Read More
  • Two More Ways to Make Ukraine Independent

    Ukraine’s Orthodox Church just broke with Moscow, and it’s time for us to move farther away from Russia in the energy sector as well. Even though it is an election year, Kyiv must deliver on the country’s two strategic priorities: increasing gas production in Ukraine and jointly operating Ukraine’s transmission system. After all, energy independence is amatter of sovereignty and national security for Ukraine.

    Read More
  • Herbst Quoted in NBC News on Russia's seizure of Ukrainian ships

    Read More
  • Why a Comedian’s Bid for Ukraine’s Presidency Is No Laughing Matter

    Most experts have reacted negatively to the announcement that Ukrainian comedian Volodymyr Zelenskiy will stand in the presidential election in spring 2019. Indeed, Zelenskiy’s candidacy is problematic for at least three reasons. Still, for all the skepticism, Zelenskiy’s participation in the race may also have a bright side.

    Read More
  • Ukraine’s 2019 Elections May Be Completely Unpredictable but Five Things Are Certain

    2019 is election year in Ukraine. Ukrainians will select a new president this spring and a new parliament in the fall. Even though the outcome of the presidential race is unpredictable, there are five things about this political cycle that are not.

    Read More
  • Dispatch from the Road: Ukraine’s Most Impressive Civil Society Project Is Where?

    One could be forgiven for mistaking thirty-six-year-old Yuriy Fylyuk as just another of the bearded foodie entrepreneurs who dominate Ukraine’s culinary scene. But the soft spoken Fylyuk is far more.  

    Yevhen Hlibovytsky, high priest of Ukraine’s civil society and partner at the Pro.mova consulting firm, has yanked me out of Kyiv to see what he describes as the most impressive civil society project in the country—in Ivano-Frankivsk, a town of 230,000 in western Ukraine. The details are scant, but anytime Hlibovytsky offers to take you on a road trip, the answer is, “Absolutely.”  

    Read More