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An Ukrainian military convoy is pictured through the shooting spot of an armored personnel carrier (APC) on the road from Kramatorsk to Debaltseve in Donetsk region, December 24, 2014.

The Ukraine Crisis: Risks of Renewed Military Conflict after Minsk II

Europe Briefing N°73, 1 April 2015

Danger of renewed fighting in Ukraine’s east is mounting. Crisis Group’s new briefing shows that neither side is looking to compromise or able to win outright. Our accompanying statement sets out a new Western strategy with Russia to defuse one of the greatest post-Cold War threats to European stability and global order.

Statement on Ukraine
Belarus’ President Alexander Lukashenko, Russian President Vladimir Putin, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, France's President Francois Hollande and Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko (L-R) arrive for a family photo at the presidential residence in Minsk on February 11, 2015.

Statement on the Ukraine Crisis and European Stability

1 April 2015: The crisis in Ukraine presents one of the gravest threats to global order in the past quarter century. Military action by Russia against Ukraine is a breach of international law and a violation of the terms of the Budapest Memorandum of 1994. It pits Moscow directly against Western powers at a time of deep instability in other parts of the world, including Europe’s southern neighbourhood and at the borders of several post-Soviet states. The crisis poses serious challenges for bulwarks of regional and wider international peacemaking and cooperative security, including the EU, the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and the UN. That it involves nations whose collective military spending amounts to nearly two-thirds of the global total and which have enormous nuclear-weapons capability means that it should be of grave concern across the world.

Defeating the Iraqi State, One Victory at a Time

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26 March 2015:What progress is being made against jihadi insurgents occupying large swaths of north-western Iraq is simultaneously undermining what is left of a state whose frailty and malfunctions created the environment in which jihadism was able to surge in the first place. This is particularly apparent in the battle for Tikrit, where much of the fighting is by Shiite militias under the guidance of Iranian Revolutionary Guard commanders. For residual central authorities in Baghdad to make a comeback at this late stage and rebuild the state, they must reclaim a role in the immediate aftermath of tactical victories in places such as Tikrit by re-empowering local elites, providing services and establishing legitimate local security forces.

Clearing the Landmines from Iraqi Kurdistan’s Future

Kurdish Peshmerga forces stand guard near the town of Makhmur, south of Erbil, capital of Iraqi Kurdistan after Islamic State (IS) insurgents withdrew. 18 August 2014.

24 March 2015: When Islamic State jihadis erupted onto the Iraqi scene, they revealed the total fragmentation of the country’s political system. The military reaction that followed has prompted new problems, including foreign intervention that is deepening partisan divisions. In this blog, Crisis Group's Middle East and North Africa Director Joost Hiltermann looks at how Iraqi Kurds responded to the IS surge and discusses a possible long-term strategy against IS while strengthening Kurdish autonomy.

Nigeria’s Dangerous 2015 Elections

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Nigeria’s Dangerous 2015 Elections: Limiting the Violence

21 November 2014: Nigeria’s postponed 2015 general elections, essentially between the ruling People’s Democratic Party (PDP) and the opposition All Progressives Congress (APC), have been a fierce contest. As Nigeria’s politics has been sliding dangerously towards violence, our last Nigeria report published on November 2014 examines the volatile environment in which electoral preparations are taking place and outlines urgent measures to curb the looming violence.

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