The new regional axis Minsk-Kiev

By Nina Bachkatov and Andrew Wilson

Belarus president does not want the world to forget that the first agreements on Donbass were signed in its capital, Minsk, in February 2015, and that it represented a diplomatic success for the man still qualified at the time by Westerners as “the last dictator of Europe”. It led indeed to a thaw in the relations between Belarus, the European Union and Washington without antagonising Moscow. Continue reading “The new regional axis Minsk-Kiev”

A new chapter for Ukraine

By Nina Bachkatov and Andrew Wilson

The classic expression used to qualify the situation of Ukraine after the 21st July parliamentary elections is “a new start”. Indeed, millions of Ukrainians have been betting twice in the space of 3 months on new political figures in the hope of being dragged out of the hard and confused situation into which they have been plunged for too long. Continue reading “A new chapter for Ukraine”

President Zelensky’s difficult succession

By Nina Bachkatov and Andrew Wilson

Volodymyr Zelensky is the youngest president of Ukraine, the least experienced, but also the first who had to fight with parliament to decide the date of his inauguration. Elected on 21 April, Zelensky was finally inaugurated on 20 May after a long fight with a hostile parliament where he has no party and even no deputies. The present members of parliament have been fighting for their survival as much as they wanted to teach a lesson to the new president who wished the ceremony to be held on early May, then on 19th. Continue reading “President Zelensky’s difficult succession”

The strange reaction of the Kremlin

By Nina Bachkatov and Andrew Wilson

The ill-inspired reaction of Vladimir Putin to the election of Volodymyr Zelensky will not help the future Ukrainian president to give the impulse to better relations with Russia that he promised during his campaign. Instead of keeping the low profile adopted during the electoral campaign, mostly for lack of candidates to support, the Kremlin unwisely decided to test the newly elected president on its own terms. Continue reading “The strange reaction of the Kremlin”

The strange second round of Ukraine’s presidential election

By Nina Bachkatov and Andrew Wilson

The campaign for the second round of Ukrainian presidential elections was much the same that for the first round: petty and dirty, with public trolling, giving samples for medical tests under cameras, endless provocations and promising not so much a better future as an Armaggedon in case voters will choose the wrong candidate. Continue reading “The strange second round of Ukraine’s presidential election”

Geopolitical election in Ukraine

By Nina Bachkatov and Andrew Wilson

If someone is tempted to ignore we are living in a fudgy post-Cold war atmosphere, suffices to look at Ukraine’s presidential elections. Those have been turned into a geopolitical game by outsiders, but also by the candidates. Part of that singularity is linked to the country’s war condition, but only part. Continue reading “Geopolitical election in Ukraine”

Lotto elections in Ukraine

By Nina Bachkatov and Andrew Wilson

Like everyone else, the West has been surprised by the success in the polls of a newcomer to the electoral Ukrainian scene – the comedian Volodymyr Zelensky. According to polls, Zelensky is going to lead with about a third of votes in the 31 March election – the favourite among 39 presidential candidates. Next is expected to be incumbent President Petro Poroshenko (17.1%), opposition Fatherland party leader Yulia Tymoshenko (12.5%) and the co-chairman of the Opposition Platform – For Life bloc Yuri Boyko (10,4%). Four other candidates could pass the 5% hurdle. Continue reading “Lotto elections in Ukraine”

Politico-military escalation around the Azov sea

By Andrew Wilson and Nina Bachkatov

For months it has been evident that the Azov Sea will be the next flash point between Russia and Ukraine, with in the background the later presidential election. At the moment, circulation in a sea most people barely cared about earlier is regulated under a bilateral treaty of 2003. The texts only mentioned that Ukrainian and Russia civilian and military ships will have freedom of navigation in the Azov Sea and the Kerch Strait. It states too that no military ships from tiers countries can enter the Sea without the autorisation of both countries. Continue reading “Politico-military escalation around the Azov sea”

Dangerous failures of Humint

By Nina Bachkatov and Andrew Wilson

Recent revelations by American media show once again how the lack of proper human intelligence concerning Russia and Russians plays a central role in the world’s growing tension and lack of trust. Continue reading “Dangerous failures of Humint”