Podcast / Europe & Central Asia 6 minutes

War & Peace (Season 5)

War & Peace is a podcast series from the International Crisis Group, in which Olga Oliker and Elissa Jobson interview experts about all things Europe and its neighbourhood, from Russia to Türkiye and beyond. Their guests shed new light on everything that helps or hinders prospects for peace. Episodes from past series of War & Peace can be found here: Season 1Season 2 Season 3, and Season 4.

Episode 7: Two Years Into Full-Scale War, What Ukraine Needs and What its Backers Can Give

In this episode of War & Peace, Olga and Elissa are joined by Alissa de Carbonnel, Crisis Group’s Deputy Europe and Central Asia Director, and Simon Schlegel, Senior Ukraine Analyst, to talk about the latest developments along Ukraine’s front lines and the uncertainties emerging around support from Kyiv’s Western backers. They talk about the Russian takeover of Avdiivka on 17 February, what it means for the progress of the war and whether further Russian gains should be expected given Kyiv’s shortfalls in ammunition and personnel. They discuss how Europe is reacting to the gridlock in Washington over additional aid for Ukraine and why it has been difficult for the EU to ramp up its own arms production to meet Kyiv’s needs. They also assess how the trajectory of the war and the prospect of declining support from the West is perceived in Ukraine and how Kyiv might adapt in the year ahead. 
Click here to listen on Apple Podcasts or Spotify.

For more on the topics discussed in this episode, check out our Ukraine country page.

Episode 6: Maritime Security in the Red Sea: What Role for the EU?

In this episode of War & Peace, Olga and Elissa are joined by Camille Lons, visiting fellow at the European Council on Foreign Relations, to talk about how Europe is responding to rising tensions in the Red Sea. They discuss what’s behind the recent string of attacks on commercial shipping by Houthi rebels in Yemen and how disruptions to supply chains in these strategic waters might affect prices of energy and consumer goods in Europe. They assess the EU’s proposed naval mission Aspides, its role in upholding maritime security in the Red Sea and whether it could risk drawing Europe into a wider conflict in the Middle East. They also talk about what the EU can do to better address the root causes of instability in the Red Sea beyond military engagement, how it can present itself as an alternative partner to regional actors disgruntled with U.S. policy in the Middle East and whether it should consider cooperating with other powers with interests in the area, including China.

Click here to listen on Apple Podcasts or Spotify. 

For more of Crisis Group’s analysis on the topics discussed in this episode, check out our Gulf and Arabian Peninsula page. For more on the EU’s role in peacemaking around the world, check out the latest edition of our EU Watch List.

Episode 5: Is Moscow the Big Winner from War in the Middle East?

In this episode of War & Peace, Olga and Elissa are joined by Hanna Notte, Director for Eurasia at the James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies, to assess Russia’s stance on the war in Gaza, how Russia is looking to benefit from the war and its approach to the Middle East. They look at how Moscow is trying to leverage the conflict to strengthen diplomatic and military ties with Gulf Arab states and ask just how much all this will damage its relations with Israel in the long term. They talk about Russia’s engagement with Iran and potentially shifting views on Iran’s nuclear program. They also discuss whether or not the war will undermine prospects for arms control in the Middle East.

Click here to listen on Apple Podcasts or Spotify.

For more of Crisis Group’s analysis on the topics discussed in this episode, check out our Israel/Palestine and Russia pages.

Episode 4: Europe’s Struggle to Respond to the Gaza War

In this episode of War & Peace, Olga and Elissa talk with Julien Barnes-Dacey, Middle East and North Africa Program Director at the European Council on Foreign Relations (ECFR), to assess Europe’s response to the Gaza war. They unpack different EU Member States’ positions on the war and why it has been difficult for European leaders to find common ground on policies toward Israel-Palestine. They ask how much leverage Europe has over the conflict actors and what its role might be in Gaza once the war is over. Their conversation also covers the fallout of the fighting on domestic politics across the EU and how it might influence the debate around migration policy. Finally, they weigh the implications of Europe’s lacklustre response for the EU’s global standing and whether a fundamental change in its policy in the Middle East is in the cards in the foreseeable future.

Click here to listen on Apple Podcasts or Spotify.

For more of Crisis Group’s analysis on the topics discussed in this episode, check out our Israel/Palestine page.

Episode 3: Time to Talk? Assessing the Plausibility of Negotiations in the Russo-Ukrainian War

In this episode of War & Peace, Olga talks with Samuel Charap, Senior Political Scientist at the RAND Corporation, about whether the current moment makes negotiations to end the war in Ukraine more or less advantageous for all concerned. They discuss Russian narratives about negotiations, various parties' goals and whether or not Moscow has the upper hand in the wake of Ukraine’s counteroffensive. They also unpack the prerequisites for and attainability of sustainable security for Ukraine and Europe.

Click here to listen on Apple Podcasts or Spotify.

For more of Crisis Group’s analysis on the topics discussed in this episode, check out our Ukraine country page.

Episode 2: Why Women Fight: Gender Dynamics in Insurgencies and Armies

Throughout history, women have been involved in conflict: as soldiers, as insurgents and as civilians. Yet, the ways in which men and women are treated on and off the battlefield and the contributions they make can vary widely, shaped in large part by deeply ingrained societal views about gender.

In this episode of War & Peace, Olga Oliker and Elissa Jobson are joined by Jessica Trisko Darden, Associate Professor of Political Science at Virginia Commonwealth University, to discuss how gender dynamics shape insurgencies and wars. They explore the reasons why women decide to go to war, what motivates insurgent groups and armed forces to recruit women and the perceived benefits and costs of greater gender parity. They discuss the roles women and men take on in war and why these often differ. They take a closer look at how these gender dynamics have played out in Ukraine and elsewhere, the institutional barriers women face within the military and Kyiv’s efforts to recruit more women into its armed forces. They also discuss how the conscription of women differs in armed forces around the world.

Click here to listen on Apple Podcasts or Spotify.

For more of Crisis Group’s analysis on the topics discussed in this episode, check out our Gender and Conflict page.

Episode 1: The Days After: Humanitarian Crisis and Prospects for Peace in Karabakh and the Region

In the first episode of a new season of War & Peace, Olga Oliker is joined by Crisis Group’s South Caucasus experts, Olesya Vartanyan and Zaur Shiriyev, to talk about the implications of Azerbaijan regaining control of Nagorno-Karabakh in a one-day military operation on 19 September. The immediate consequences were the end of the enclave’s three decades of de facto self-rule and a mass exodus of ethnic Armenians. Olya, Zaur, and Olesya discuss the new refugee crisis, Armenia’s response and prospects for the enclave under Azerbaijani rule, including for any ethnic Armenians who stay or those who seek to return in the future. They also address the potential for both peace deals and renewed escalation between Armenia and Azerbaijan and what leverage outside actors, including the U.S., Russia (whose role has been fundamentally transformed), the European Union and Türkiye, can exert to make a sustainable peace more likely.

Click here to listen on Apple Podcasts or Spotify.

For more of Crisis Group’s analysis on the events in Nagorno-Karabakh, check out our recent statement Responding to the Humanitarian Catastrophe in Nagorno-Karabakh and our Nagorno-Karabakh page.

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