This week on Hold Your Fire!, Richard Atwood and Naz Modirzadeh talk to Olga Oliker, Crisis Group’s Europe and Central Asia director, about the Russian military build-up around Ukraine, new U.S. sanctions on Russia and hostility between Russia and Ukraine and Western capitals.
Tension fuelled by Russia’s massing of forces near Ukraine’s borders in recent weeks have been compounded by sanctions, expulsions of diplomats and hostile words between Moscow and Western capitals. Calibrated deterrence paired with dialogue could reopen negotiations regarding Ukraine and help reverse a dangerous escalation.
This week on War & Peace, Olga Oliker and Hugh Pope talk to Anna Kovalenko, Deputy Head of the President's Office in Ukraine, about reforms in the security sector and reaching a peace deal with Russia.
In this week’s episode of Hold Your Fire!, Olesya Vartanyan, Crisis Group’s senior South Caucasus analyst, opens up about how the recent flare-up in Nagorno-Karabakh is affecting her personally. It could be the “big war” between Armenia and Azerbaijan that everyone was dreading would happen.
Ceasefire pledges have surfaced and frayed repeatedly over the six years of war in Ukraine’s Donbas region. Crisis Group’s Senior Analyst for Ukraine Katharine Quinn-Judge joins Olga Oliker and Hugh Pope this week to explain why and at what socio-economic costs to civilians on either side of the front line.
Years of conflict have exacerbated the economic woes of Donbas, once an industrial powerhouse. Authorities in Kyiv should take steps now to aid pensioners and encourage small trade while also planning ahead for the region’s eventual reintegration with the rest of the country.
President Aliaksandr Lukashenka’s government is teetering after he declared victory in a rigged 9 August vote. Protests have exploded. Moscow, Brussels and other stakeholders should avoid transforming the Belarus crisis into a European one, cooperate to warn against repression and insist on new, fair elections.
Ceasefires in Ukraine's Donbas repeatedly fray because no side is fully invested in peace. Until the sides can agree on a long-term political solution, they should focus on protecting civilians through carefully targeted sectoral disengagements. If this facilitates peacemaking, so much the better.
The threat of coronavirus looms large in six self-declared republics that have broken away from post-Soviet states. War and isolation have corroded health care infrastructure, while obstructing the inflow of assistance. International actors should work with local and regional leaders to let life-saving aid through.
This week on War & Peace, Olga Oliker and Hugh Pope discuss what can be done to break the impasse and move toward a durable peace in Ukraine and broader security concerns in Europe and Russia that must be taken into account.