Fighting While Female, How Gender Dynamics Are Shaping the War in Ukraine
Fighting While Female, How Gender Dynamics Are Shaping the War in Ukraine

乌克兰:时不我待

执行摘要及建议

乌克兰临时政府需要克服极大困难,才能坚持到5月25日的总统大选。面对分离主义者的动乱与俄军陈兵边境的困扰,临时政府未能坚持立场,并失去了对东部顿涅茨克州与卢甘斯克州的控制——两州引发争议的公投支持从乌克兰独立。临时政府似乎无法维持东南部大部分地区的秩序,那里的分离主义者得到了莫斯科的支持与鼓励,威胁着乌克兰政权的存活与国家统一。基辅当局以及乌克兰总统候选人们应主动与东南部沟通,解释他们在地方自治与少数民族权利方面的计划,阐明要将乌克兰变为俄罗斯与欧洲之间的桥梁,而非地缘政治的战场。随着莫斯科与西方的关系遭遇严寒,美国与欧盟应当继续实施严厉的制裁,让俄罗斯明白自己将为动摇、分裂邻国的行为付出越来越高的代价;同时,美国与欧盟也应寻求与此对应的强力外交手段,以达成共识,避免最坏情况的发生,并尊重彼此利益。

将亚努科维奇政府赶下台的“迈丹”抗议给人带来的乐观情绪,随着2月以来不断恶化的局势烟消云散。俄罗斯吞并克里米亚之后,克里姆林宫派出的“志愿军”以及很有可能是俄罗斯特种部队(Spetsnaz)掌握了乌克兰东南部的主动权。分离主义者的目的似乎是煽动足够多的动荡与流血事件,令弗拉基米尔·普京总统得以维护他所说的莫斯科的权利,即莫斯科有权保护任何地方的俄语人口。最坏的情况是乌克兰国土的1/3变为新的自治实体,该区域拥有乌克兰许多最重要的经济资源,且最终可能并入俄罗斯联邦。这一切都加深了西方与俄罗斯之间的危机,令解决危机所需的友好和解更难实现。

乌克兰东南部的混乱严重威胁着总统大选。经过数月的街头示威与战斗,临时政府于2月成立,但几乎无法正常运转。大部分政府成员或是经验丰富,但来自名誉扫地的前政体,或是新面孔,没有或几乎没有政府工作经验。政府机构内部的沟通似乎很薄弱,政府与公众整体的沟通则几乎不存在。莫斯科将乌克兰描绘成一个被法西斯政变控制、由极右翼民兵组织主导的国家,俄罗斯公众对此深信不疑,而乌克兰部分地区由于缺乏其它信息也接受了这样的说法。

乌克兰政府必须即刻与人民对话,尤其是东南部地区的人民。东南部与克里米亚不同,俄罗斯人在当地并不占多数,就连亚努科维奇时代执政党的某些主要成员都在谴责分裂国家的言论。政府应当重视语言、自治及腐败问题(公众对最后一项尤为关切),并通过宣传表明自己对于这些问题的重视。另外,腐败与无能困扰了乌克兰20年,造成国家经济凋敝,要挽救经济必须进行深度改革,而改革必然引发阵痛。政府还应当让民众做好准备,迎接改革带来的痛苦。

恢复东南部秩序的军事行动暴露了政府的软弱,也说明乌克兰急需通过对话而非武力解决问题。各方对于乌克兰危机的解读大相迳庭,导致对话解决危机难上加难。在许多乌克兰人及西方看来,民众起义支持乌克兰转向欧洲,但却遭到俄罗斯复仇主义的阻挠;在俄罗斯看来,“迈丹”革命是苏联解体之后又一场精心策划的行动,旨在令邻国与俄罗斯反目,从而包围、威胁并羞辱俄罗斯。

普京总统似乎认为,诞生于群众抗议的亲西方乌克兰政府会为俄罗斯国内树立危险的先例,并阻碍他实现在前苏联共和国尽可能扩大俄罗斯主导地位的野心。俄罗斯正在经历快速的变化,吞并克里米亚之后,普京获得了强劲的民众支持,并正在迅速建立一种公然保守的意识形态,有意识地拒绝西方民主的许多原则与概念。然而,俄罗斯强迫乌克兰屈服,也可能导致俄罗斯在长期失去这个文化与政治上的盟友。

为缓和局势,俄罗斯、基辅、美国及欧盟于4月中旬在日内瓦签署四方协议,但分离主义势力对此置若罔闻,使之成为一纸空文。尽管如此,这一努力应当尽快重启。乌克兰领导人——尤其是总统候选人——应当承诺在大选过后组建一个包括东南部地区重要代表的国家统一政府,并强调希望让乌克兰成为连接俄欧的桥梁,而非分裂俄欧的沟壑,以此作为友好和解的指导原则。乌克兰领导人也应直截了当地表明乌克兰不希望加入北约,承诺保障俄罗斯与乌克兰东南部,乃至整个乌克兰的国防工业纽带及其它联系。

西方对于乌克兰局势的反应十分缓慢,而且往往协调不够,乌克兰临时政府内部的紊乱使得这一问题更为复杂。现在,美国及欧盟需要传达出一致、坚定、统一及慎重的信息,针对莫斯科对乌克兰危机起源的解读,美欧即使无法接受也不能对其置之不理。美国及欧盟应当表明自己对于基辅当局举行选举的政治支持,以及对于乌克兰建立国家统一政府、推行必要稳定措施的政治、资金及专业支持;改善乌克兰国内环境,使之有能力接纳外国投资;若俄罗斯拒不改选更张,则通过进一步制裁来加大对其经济的打击力度;与莫斯科展开秘密高层对话,协调基辅与莫斯科之间的对话,以缓和局势,让乌克兰的未来走向在今后数年内得以自然成型。

自从6年前出兵格鲁吉亚以来,俄罗斯已经习惯于利用武力重新划定边界。如今,这一问题无疑需要通过坚定的威慑措施加以应对,包括实施制裁,以及向北约成员重申履行集体安全义务的承诺。然而,与此同时还必须通过外交手段来减缓对抗。目前,俄罗斯在乌克兰境内占有优势,可随时令局势升级;随着时间的推移,西方可能会在经济及软实力方面占上风。如果乌克兰能够成为一个成功、民主的国家,在经济上大幅度融入西方,但并不加入军事同盟,同时又在文化、语言、贸易上保持与俄罗斯的紧密联系,注意考虑俄罗斯的利益,那么各方都会受益。最后,在基辅以及支持乌克兰当局的国际人士思考未来的时候,所有人都应铭记,乌克兰是一个饱受创伤的国家。创伤的成因远不止分离主义。过去20年的政府无能和腐败横行几乎完全摧毁了乌克兰,造成了今天伤痕累累的国家。

Executive Summary

Ukraine’s provisional government faces an uphill struggle to make it to the 25 May presidential election. Shaken by separatist agitation and distracted by Russian troops on its borders, it has not asserted itself coherently and has lost control of the eastern oblasts (regions) of Donetsk and Luhansk, which have voted for independence in contentious referendums. It appears incapable of keeping order in much of the south east, where separatists, supported and encouraged by Moscow, threaten the state’s viability and unity. Kyiv and the presidential candidates should reach out to the south east, explaining plans for local self-government and minority rights, and for Ukraine to be a bridge between Russia and Europe, not a geopolitical battleground. With relations between Moscow and the West deeply chilled, the U.S. and EU should continue tough sanctions to show Russia it will pay an increasing cost for destabilising or dismembering its neighbour, while pursuing parallel, vigorous diplomacy to reach understandings that avoid the worst and respect mutual interest.

The situation has consistently worsened since late February, as much of the optimism from the Maidan protests that brought down the Yanukovych government has faded. Following Russia’s annexation of Crimea, “volunteers” and quite possibly special forces (Spetsnaz) dispatched by the Kremlin have seized the initiative in the south east. The separatists’ objective seems to be to provoke sufficient disruption and bloodshed so that President Vladimir Putin can assert, if he chooses, what he says is Moscow’s right to protect Russian speakers anywhere – in the worst case scenario by carving off what would in effect be a new autonomous entity embracing almost a third of the country and many of its most viable economic resources, which might eventually be absorbed into the Russian Federation. All this deepens the crisis between the West and Russia, making the rapproche­ment necessary to resolve it much more difficult.

The chaos in the south east seriously threatens the presidential election. The govern­­ment formed in February after months of street demonstrations and fighting barely functions, consists mostly of veterans of a discredited political system and new faces with little or no government experience. Communication within government institutions seems weak, with the public as a whole almost non-existent. Moscow’s depiction of a country in the thrall of a fascist coup, dominated by ultra-right militias, has persuaded the Russian public and for lack of alternatives has taken root in parts of Ukraine.

Kyiv must urgently talk to its own people, especially in the south east, where, unlike Crimea, ethnic Russians are not a majority, and even some leading members of the Yanukovych-era ruling party denounce calls to break up the country. Language, self-government and corruption – the latter of immense public concern – should be high on the government agenda and publicised as such. So too should preparing the population for the inevitable pain of deep reforms required to save an economy wrecked by two decades of endemic corruption and incompetence.

Military efforts to restore order in the south east have underlined both the government’s weakness and the pressing need for a solution through dialogue, not force. Such a solution is made more difficult by the competing prisms through which the crisis is viewed. For much of Ukraine and the West, a popular uprising in support of a more European-oriented Ukraine is being stymied by Russian revanchism; for Russia, the Maidan revolution was another calculated move, since the collapse of the Soviet Union, to surround and threaten Russia with enemies and humiliate it.

President Putin appears to consider that a West-leaning Ukraine government born of mass protests would set a dangerous example at home and thwart his ambition of establishing dominant Russian influence over as much of the former Soviet republics as possible. Russia is changing fast, and buoyed by overwhelming public support after the annexation of Crimea, Putin is rapidly creating an avowedly conservative ideology that consciously rejects many of the principles and concepts of Western democracy. In bringing Ukraine to its knees, however, Russia may also have lost its neighbour as a cultural and political ally in the long term.

A mid-April four-party – Russia, Kyiv, U.S., EU – Geneva agreement to calm the situation was ignored by the separatist forces, so is a dead letter. Nevertheless, the effort should be renewed as soon as possible. Ukrainian leaders – particularly presidential candidates – should commit to forming a post-election government of national unity with important representation from the south east and emphasise, as the guiding principle for rapprochement, that they want their country to link, not divide, Russia and Europe. They should also say forthrightly that they do not desire NATO membership and will guarantee continuation of Russia’s important defence industry and other ties to the south east, indeed to all Ukraine.

The dysfunction within the provisional government has complicated a slow and often fragmented Western response. The U.S. and EU need now to convey a consistent, firm, united and measured message, recognising – even if not accepting – Moscow’s take on the crisis’s origins. Its components should be political support for Kyiv to conduct elections, and political, financial and expert support for a national unity government to carry through the necessary stabilisation measures; measures to make Ukraine viable for foreign investment; further sanctions, to bite deeper into Russia’s economy if it does not change course; and quiet high-level talks with Moscow and facilitation of Kyiv-Moscow talks with a view to calming the situation and allowing Ukraine’s future to resolve itself organically over a period of years.

It is important to recognise that the new Russian readiness to use force to change borders, first evident a half-dozen years ago in Georgia, now clearly requires a firm deterrent response including sanctions and reassuring NATO members of the commitment to fulfil collective security obligations. Those actions must, however, be paralleled by diplomatic steps to lessen the confrontation. On the ground in Ukraine today, Russia has immediate advantages of escalation; over time, the West likely has the economic and soft-power edge. A successful, democratic Ukraine, substantially integrated economically in the West, but outside military alliances and a close cultural, linguistic and trading partner mindful of Russian interests would benefit all. Finally, as Kyiv and its international supporters look to the future, all should keep in the centre of their attention that Ukraine is a profoundly damaged country. This damage goes far beyond separatism and is the fruit of the poor governance and massive corruption that, over the past two decades, has all but destroyed it.

Op-Ed / Europe & Central Asia

Fighting While Female, How Gender Dynamics Are Shaping the War in Ukraine

Originally published in Foreign Affairs

If there is a feminist way to wage war, Ukraine wants everyone to know that this is how it is fighting its battle against Russia. Officials proudly proclaim that up to one-fifth of Ukraine’s armed forces are women. President Volodymyr Zelensky and other senior officials take pains to thank both male and female defenders of the country. Photographs and videos on social media show male soldiers cooking, women fighting, and everyone snuggling kittens and puppies. Prominent Ukrainian feminists have traveled to Washington, D.C., to lobby for weapons.

From the perspective of both gender equality and combat effectiveness, this is heartening. In order to prevail in a conflict in which its very sovereignty is at stake, Ukraine must attract its best and brightest to serve, irrespective of gender. Ukraine’s feminist military narrative also positions the country to stand in sharp contrast to Russia, whose leadership seems to have embraced toxic masculinity as a core value. Even before reports emerged that Russian soldiers had raped and sexually assaulted Ukrainian men, women, and children, Russian President Vladimir Putin’s branding of his country (and often himself) was rooted in what he called tradition but others might define as patriarchy.

But as I have learned over several months of conversations with roughly a dozen Ukrainian and Western officials and analysts, all of whom wished to remain anonymous in order to speak candidly, the Ukrainian military’s claims of being a champion of gender equity fall short of reality. For one thing, women almost certainly make up just nine or ten percent of the armed forces—half of the government’s official tally. That discrepancy is indicative of a larger issue: Ukraine, like many societies, struggles to reconcile the strength and capacity of its women with antiquated attitudes about gender roles. Women were front and center in the Maidan protests in 2013–14, which led to the downfall of Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych, who wanted to scrap a deal with the EU in favor of closer ties with Moscow. But both press coverage and activist messaging during the protests often hewed to traditional gender stereotypes, and women on the frontlines were heralded at least as much for their beauty as their strength. The same dynamic can be discerned today with respect to female soldiers: before the February invasion, the military held a series of beauty pageants for female enlistees and proposed having female cadets march in heels in a military parade.

The full article can be read on the Foreign Affairs' website.

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