Pulaski Commentary

Feb
27

Georgia and Ukraine: Two Stories, Same Strategy?

Traumatized by ongoing fights in Ukraine the Western community continues to challenge Russia diplomatically and with ongoing sanctions. In January alone separatists bombed Mariupol, took control over a devastated Donetsk International Airport and announced plans to further increase the number of their soldiers. When almost full attention is paid to Donbas, two separatist republics in Georgia – Abkhazia and South Ossetia – gain their momentum. Russia is gaining new ground in Caucasus and it might be more and more difficult to return to the status quo. Poland should lead the efforts of the Western community to strengthen NATO and the EU in order to deprive Moscow from its potential counter-legitimacy […]

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Apr
23

Crimea, “bad” separatisms, and great powers’ politics: the grey zone awaits codification

Recent developments in Ukraine confused and shocked the public opinion. In the case of secessionist Transnistria, Russian involvement has undermined sovereignty of Moldova. Then, during Georgian war in 2008, one learned that conventional invasion is still possible in the modern world. In 2014, one see that Crimea not only declares independence but also decides to join the Russian Federation. This analysis aims to show that separatist movements have always been used instrumentally by major powers. Nevertheless, annexation of Crimea is a dangerous precedence which should be avoided in the future, preferably by codification of independence-related “grey zone”. The instrumental use of independence ambitions by Russia (or any other state) helps […]

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Mar
10

Finishing the Job: a “Europe Whole and Free”

Events in recent days have shown that despite the considerable advances of freedom and democracy, and even with the many safeguards of stability created in the decades since World War II, the European neighborhood can still be a very dangerous place. Before the Kremlin’s invasion of Crimea, the European Union, over-full from expansion and still bruised by the financial crisis, seemed to have lost its sense of direction and destiny. Likewise, an overstretched North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), weary from more than a decade of engagement in Afghanistan, seemed unsure of its mission and future.  With a single stroke, though, Vladimir Putin seems to have done what all the wise […]

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Mar
03

Russian Character: How the West Should Respond in Ukraine

In a recent article (Putin’s War in Crimea Could Soon Spread to Eastern Ukraine, New Republic, March 1, 2014), Russian-American journalist Julia Ioffe suggests that Moscow’s invasion of Ukrainian Crimea was an action we should have anticipated, following Victor Yanukovich’s flight from Kyiv, because “Russia was, is, and will be an empire with an eternal appetite for expansion. And it will gather whatever spurious reasons it needs to insulate itself territorially from what it still perceives to be a large and growing NATO threat.”In predicting Russian actions, Ioffe adds, “Pessimism always wins.” I’m not a believer in the theory that Russia will always be the “evil empire” or that there […]

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