What to Expect When You’re Expecting

 17 September 2014

Author: Kalev Stoicescu

First, let’s take a brief look at Ukraine, where Russia still has unfinished business. Ukrainian president Petro Poroshenko has agreed on a ceasefire with the “separatists” during talks in Minsk, and then started to implement the deal without any real guarantees from Moscow concerning the withdrawal of Russian troops from the conflict area. The Donbas regions of Donetsk and Luhansk have now been given, by law, special rights for three years. In fact, the “separatists” have been legitimized and will go unpunished, whereas Ukraine is already implementing the “peace plan” that the Russian president announced two weeks ago in Mongolia.

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posted by: RKK/ICDSComments

Armistice in Ukraine Leaves Part of Donbas Under Russian Control

 15 September 2014

Author: Vladimir Socor

Ukraine has been “coerced to peace” by Russia after five months of hostilities, as Georgia was in 2008 after five days. Russia’s hybrid war methods, rehearsed already against Georgia and deployed fully against Ukraine, proved indecisive, until Russia escalated to the level of conventional war operations. Ukraine has been defeated by superior forces in battle, and leaves the field all but exhausted economically.

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posted by: RKK/ICDSComments

The Abduction of Eston Kohver: Consequences and Significance

 10 September 2014

Author: Kalev Stoicescu

At around 9:00 am on September 5th, Internal Security Service (Kaitsepolitsei) officer Eston Kohver was abducted by representatives of the Russian Federal Security Service (FSB) on Estonian territory near the village of Miikse and the Luhamaa border crossing. The Russian operatives undoubtedly acted very quickly, supposedly using smoke and/or shock grenades in addition to light weapons. It now seems that the Russians are not only capable of surprising almost everyone by seizing territories of neighbouring countries (e.g. Crimea) in a few days, but also of kidnapping people—and not just anyone, but a professional—outside Russia’s territory in a few minutes.

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posted by: RKK/ICDSComments [1]

Russian-Speaking Mariupol Says No to Novorossiya

 10 September 2014

Author: Vladimir Socor

Mariupol illustrates the failure of Russia’s Novorossiya’s project to attract popular support in southeastern Ukraine. That project might have been expected to meet with success in many large cities, including Mariupol. This city of 500,000 (second-largest in the Donetsk province) is thoroughly Russified linguistically, closely linked economically with Russia, and under a municipal administration fully controlled by the Party of Regions, notwithstanding the regime change in Kyiv. Although ethnic Ukrainians slightly outnumber ethnic Russians in Mariupol (49 percent to 44 percent), 89 percent of the city’s population speaks Russian as the everyday language, according to the latest census, which was held in 2001. Such imbalances stem from linguistic Russification of Ukrainians in Tsarist and Soviet times, and would continue under recent “federalization” proposals.

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posted by: RKK/ICDSComments

Mariupol: A High-Value Target in Russia’s War Against Ukraine

 10 September 2014

Author: Vladimir Socor

Russia opened its second front against Ukraine in late August on the Azov Sea coast, threatening to capture the port city of Mariupol (Donetsk region’s outlet to the sea), and potentially to link up with Crimea. The opening of this second front, coordinated with Russia’s thrust in the Donetsk-Luhansk area (Donbas), compelled an exhausted Ukraine to accept the September 5 armistice.

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posted by: RKK/ICDSComments

NATO’s presence in the Baltic states

  2 September 2014

Author: Martin Hurt

In recent weeks, Estonia has seen an active discussion about NATO’s presence in the Baltic states. What type of presence do the Baltic states require? Is the current level enough, or should it increase? Should the deployed units be permanent or rotating? Do we need fully equipped units or are prepositioned stocks enough? Should the forces be deployed at significant or symbolic levels? Why should NATO continue to honour the 1997 Founding Act between NATO and Russia, if Russia itself no longer honours that agreement?

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posted by: RKK/ICDSComments

Putin’s Ukraine Plan Revealed. Need Trans-Atlantic – Ukraine Response

  2 September 2014

Author: Maksym Bugriy

As Russian regular troops joined insurgents over the weekend to push back Ukrainian forces in a counter-offensive near Mariupol, the Kremlin agreed to a negotiated retreat of entrenched pro-Kyiv volunteer battalions via agreed an corridor on August 30. Meanwhile, Kremlin apparently undertook an information campaign to explain what the Russian and the insurgents’ war means and clarify Vladimir Putin’s strategic ends and tactics. President Putin, his press officer, and several pro-Kremlin experts shed light on the strategic thinking that may be behind these moves.

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A Playbook for Hybrid War in Cyberspace?

 29 August 2014

Author: Piret Pernik

With hybrid warfare, nation-states seem to prefer to outsource both kinetic and cyber attacks to non-state proxies in order to disclaim any responsibility. However, Russia’s ongoing military offensive in Ukraine shows that for more sophisticated kinetic operations, regular forces are apparently preferred to militias to avoid collateral damage, among other reasons. The same seems to be true in cyberspace – when stakes are higher, professionals are preferred over amateurs.

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posted by: RKK/ICDSComments

NATO kohalolekust Balti riikides

 29 August 2014

Autor: Martin Hurt

Viimastel nädalatel on Eestis aktiivselt arutletud NATO kohaloleku üle Balti riikides. Millist laadi kohalolekut Balti riigid vajavad? Kas praegune tase on rahuldav või peaks see suurenema? Kas siiratud üksused peaksid olema alalised või roteeruma? Kas vajame täiskomplekteeritud üksusi või piisab varustuse eelpositsioneerimisest? Kas väed peaksid olema märkimisväärsed või sümboolsed? Miks peaks NATO kinni pidama 1997. aastal sõlmitud NATO-Venemaa suhete aluslepingust kui Venemaa sellest ise enam kinni ei pea?

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posted by: RKK/ICDSComments

Increasing NATO’s Role in Cyber Defence

 28 August 2014

Author: Piret Pernik

Estonia is a perfect location for NATO’s cyber education and training. The location of Alliance’s cyber training field in Estonia sends a clear signal that NATO takes seriously its role in defending both against kinetic and cyber attacks alike.

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posted by: RKK/ICDSComments