Armistice Opens Way to Russian Partition of Ukraine’s Donetsk and Luhansk Provinces

 26 September 2014

Author: Vladimir Socor

On September 20 in Minsk, negotiators from Ukraine, Russia, the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE)—which together constitute the Tripartite Contact Group—as well as the Russia-installed Donetsk and Luhansk leaders finalized an agreement on the main elements of an armistice in the ongoing conflict.

Read more

posted by: RKK/ICDSComments

Afghanistan: Light at the End of a Very Long Tunnel?

 24 September 2014

Author: Pauli Järvenpää

After more than three months of intense political arm-wrestling and vote-counting and re-counting, the two presidential contenders, Dr. Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai and Dr. Abdullah Abdullah, signed on 21 September 2014 an agreement in Kabul to establish a government of Afghan national unity. The deal gave the presidency to Dr. Ghani, but it also created a new position of “chief executive officer” (CEO), which could be approximately likened to the position of the prime minister in Western governments.

Read more

posted by: RKK/ICDSComments

Ukrainian Leaders Walk Away From Law on Self-Administration in Occupied Territories

 24 September 2014

Author: Vladimir Socor

Utter confusion surrounds Ukraine’s just-adopted law on the “special procedure of local self-administration in individual districts in the Donetsk and Luhansk provinces.” Pursuant to the September 5 ceasefire protocol, President Petro Poroshenko initiated this law, his administration drafted it, and the parliament adopted it on September 16.

Read more

posted by: RKK/ICDSComments

Ukraine Grants More Powers to Localities in Russian-Controlled Territory

 22 September 2014

Author: Vladimir Socor

On September 16, the Ukrainian parliament approved a “Law on the special procedure of local self-administration in individual districts in Ukraine’s Donetsk and Luhansk provinces” (Russian version’s terminology: poryadok, samo-upravlenie, raiony). Those two provinces of Ukraine are now, de facto, partitioned into Russian-controlled and Ukrainian-controlled zones. The law applies temporarily to Ukraine’s territory controlled by Russian military and proxy forces. The September 5 ceasefire protocol had prescribed for Ukraine to confer a special status on that territory by law.

Read more

posted by: RKK/ICDSComments

What Ukraine needs to defend against cyber, information and psychological operations

 19 September 2014

Author: Piret Pernik

Ukraine needs tangible assistance from the West to confront current threats. In cyber space this will entail projects in three areas: cyber defence skills and capabilities development; cyber security policy, legislation and strategy development; and material and technical assistance.

Read more

posted by: RKK/ICDSComments

Russia Wields Upper Hand in Ukraine’s Donbas Post-Armistice

 18 September 2014

Author: Vladimir Socor

Russia’s war against Ukraine is a multi-dimensional conflict undertaking. It has come to a standstill on the battlefield in Ukraine, but continues nonetheless in its military aspect (below the combat threshold) and in its political, economic, propaganda, and cultural aspects. Russia’s overall objective is to halt and reverse the completion of Ukraine’s nation formation, state-building, and orientation to the West.

Read more

posted by: RKK/ICDSComments

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.

Read more

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.

Read more

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.

Read more

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.

Read more

posted by: RKK/ICDSComments