New Separatist "Protests" in Eastern Ukraine: Endgame or Opening Gambit?

  9 April 2014

Author: Emmet Tuohy

As tensions dramatically increase in key eastern cities like Luhansk, Kharkiv, and Donetsk, there is a great deal of concern about the continued Russian military deployment along the border of Ukraine, especially given that this force, as NATO has observed, is “sized and outfitted and provisioned with everything that it needs to have an incursion” into the country.

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Teine taktika, sama strateegia

  2 April 2014

Author: Piret Pernik

Ilmunud 1. aprillil Postimehes, muudetud 3. aprillil.

Venemaal on käsutada hulk küberrelvi, kuid konfliktis Ukrainaga hoidub ta neid kasutamast, kirjutab SA Rahvusvahelise Kaitseuuringute Keskuse teadur Piret Pernik.

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Different Tactics, Same Story

 28 March 2014

Author: Piret Pernik

Russia may be using different cyber tactics in Ukraine now than it did in Estonia and Georgia, but there is still a common trend: cooperation between its secret services and “patriotic hacktivists”.

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Russia’s praetorian guard on Ukrainian borders

 26 March 2014

Author: Erik Männik

Russia continues to gear itself for intensive military operations against Ukraine. Ukrainian news agency reports that units from the elite 4th Guards Kantemirovskaya tank division and the 2nd Guards Tamanskaya motorised rifle division have been spotted in the vicinity of Ukrainian border. Tanks from these divisions opened fire on Russian Duma in 1993. Other sources report that Russian troops are actively setting up medical facilities, headquarters, etc. in close proximity to the border.

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On deterrence and defense: the case of Estonia

 20 March 2014

Author: Pauli Järvenpää

Russian annexation of Crimea, although couched in a referendum and an appeal by the Crimean Russians for “protection”, has suddenly reinforced a reality that in the last two decades most of the Europeans have rather wanted to forget: that military force is still useable currency and Russia has a President who does not seem to shirk from using it.

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What is Russia up to in Ukraine?

 13 March 2014

Author: Erik Männik

Ukrainian news site Obozrevatel.com has quoted former Deputy Chief of the Ukrainian General Staff Vice Admiral Ihor Kabanenko who claims, that Russian Federation is in advanced stages of readying itself for a front level offensive against Ukraine. Russian airbourne units under command of General Sahamanov are training with strategic aviation units. Russia has completed (1) formation of a task force for penetrating Ukrainian air defences and (2) establishing of an air defence zone of its own. Simultaneously, Russian Federation continues destabilisation activities deep inside Ukrainian territory. Reinforcements keep arriving in Crimea and on the eastern borders of Ukraine. According to website Grani.ru, the grouping of Russian forces on the eastern frontier of Ukraine has grown to 220,000 troops.

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Is All Quiet on the Cyber Front in the Ukrainian crisis?

  7 March 2014

Author: Piret Pernik

With Russia’s de facto military occupation of Crimea, cyber attacks and disinformation campaign have intensified. Unusually large distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks are currently being directed at both pro-Western and pro-Russian Ukrainian news sites as the New York Times reports. Since the start of the crisis, pro-Russian and pro-Crimean “hacktivists” have hacked into the email and social media accounts of Ukrainian opposition leaders, and posted falsified messages to their Twitter accounts. Security analysts worry that hitherto small-scale attacks – such as defacing Ukrainian web sites, censoring pro-Ukrainian content on social media (see also The Moscow Times) – could be expanded to more substantial attacks against critical infrastructures which could disrupt critical services. If attacks were raised to the level of the attacks against Estonia in 2007 and Georgia in 2008, the consequences would be more severe.

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Arms and (no) influence

  4 March 2014

Authors: Tomas Jermalavičius and Kaarel Kaas

In the light of the Russian aggression against Ukraine, the EU says it might ponder targeted sanctions against the Kremlin which could also involve suspending some of military cooperation activities. The ambiguities of national positions and limitations of Western leverage aside, there is one particular area which should immediately be on the table for discussion – military equipment exports, armament cooperation and military technology transfers that are taking place between some of the EU countries and Russia.

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Stopping Russian Blitz in Ukraine

  4 March 2014

Author: Erik Männik

In essence, you could see some similarities between what is happening in Ukraine now to how Germans got stuck in Soviet geography, climate and continuous resistance in WW II.

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Russia, Ukraine, the Neighbourhood: Changing Putin’s Risk Calculus

  3 March 2014

Author: Matthew Bryza

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is part of the highest-stakes gambits of President Putin’s career. Putin is not bent on war or on dismembering Ukraine. Rather, he seeks to reverse his humiliating defeat in failing to intimidate Ukraine into abandoning its return to Europe. Desperate to restore his political authority and avoid the loss of his great strategic prize—a unified Ukraine entering his Eurasian Economic Union—Putin has adopted extreme tactics. His repudiation of Russia’s commitment to guarantee Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity (in the 1994 Budapest Memorandum) and use of force against a completely unthreatening neighbor underscore the Russian president’s desperation. But Putin is not irrational. On the contrary, he is using force in Crimea carefully and cleverly as a negotiating tactic to probe Western leaders in an effort to push how far Russia troops can advance before the costs outweigh the benefits—an effort that has huge potential consequences for Estonia and for the West as a whole.

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