The argument for splitting Ukraine has little to do with either real divisions in the country or popular preferences. Until the Russian invasion of Crimea, the issue of separatism was simply absent from public debate.
Russia's annexation of Crimea is proving costly. If Putin thought seizing Crimea would make the rest of Eastern Europe deferential to Moscow, the opposite is occurring, as anti-Russian/pro-NATO sentiment surges throughout the region.
What Russia seeks from its adventure is status, importance and free reign in its neighborhood, for a start. If sanctions and other responses are short-lived, Moscow will feel victorious, and possibly emboldened to future aggression.
The Russian military intervention caught many foreign policy analysts by surprise. Articles explaining why Russia wouldn't intervene ran in Foreign Affairs, Time, and the New York Times; and even the intelligence community was caught off guard. Events have proven them wrong.
Russia's increasingly brazen violation of Ukraine's territorial integrity threatens to undermine the widely accepted principle that international borders are not subject to further revision, a principle that has contributed to a global decline in interstate war in recent decades.
Western concern over the crisis in Ukraine intensified with Russian military advances into Crimea. With Russian President Putin defending the incursion and Secretary of State Kerry on the ground in Kiev, RAND experts say a diplomatic solution is the only viable option.
The situation in Ukraine evokes eerie echoes of the Cold War, not to mention czarist preoccupation with what has come to be called Russia's “near abroad.” The situation is dangerous, and in that circumstance, wishes are not policy. Neither is foot-stomping.
In the face of Russian military advances in Crimea, Secretary of State John Kerry’s visit to the strife-ravaged Eastern European nation is the kind of high-level diplomatic engagement that is needed to reassure Kiev that the West is on its side.
The Ukrainian crisis has taken a dangerous and deadly turn for the worse with violent clashes between protesters and Interior Ministry troops. The West should move quickly on an aid package conditioned on economic and political reform.
The EU-Ukraine Association Agreement would benefit both Ukraine and Russia in many ways, especially in greater trade, social, and cultural exchanges. Ukraine's closer association with the EU would actually increase Russian trade with Ukraine as long as Russia does not impose artificial restrictions.
The United States and the EU have a strong stake in keeping open a European option for Ukraine. A reorientation of Ukrainian policy back toward Russia would shift the strategic balance in Europe and have a negative impact on the prospects for democratic change on Europe's eastern periphery.
While some see Ukraine choosing between European-style democracy and economic, political, and cultural backwardness in Russia's shadow, the fact is that Ukraine faces a difficult and murky path in any direction. The country is in dire financial straits, needing billions in loans to avoid bankruptcy.
The Center for Russia and Eurasia, part of the International Programs at RAND, provides policymakers, scholars, business leaders, and citizens with an in-depth understanding of developmental processes in Russia and the New Independent States in Eurasia
The EU should conclude the Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Agreement (DCFTA) with Ukraine only if the Yanukovych administration demonstrates clear commitment to European values, write F. Stephen Larrabee and Taras Kuzio.
United States Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's visit to Ukraine on July 4-5 provides an important opportunity to reassure Ukrainians that the U.S. remains committed to Ukraine's sovereignty and democratic evolution, write Taras Kuzio and F. Stephen Larrabee.
The Russian invasion of Georgia has sent shock waves throughout the West and the former Soviet space - especially Ukraine. Indeed, Ukraine could be the next potential crisis, writes F. Stephen Larrabee.