A third year of war on European soil

By Nina Bachkatov

It is uncommon to “commemorate” the invasion of a country still under occupation and subjected to daily bombings by its neighbour. However, the war in Ukraine has followed an unconventional pattern due to political and military fluctuations since February 2022. The stark reality is that no one has presented the “innovative” approach called for by General Zaluzhny in his notable December 2023 letter to the American magazine Time. This notion has been reiterated during commemorations to emphasise the inadequacy of persisting with the same approach, albeit with improved equipment and greater coordination. The fact is that the year 2023 did not unfold as anticipated, and the prospects for 2024 appear uncertain for both internal and international reasons.

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President Zelensky’s Parisian challenge

By Nina Bachkatov and Andrew Wilson

Finally, the members of the Normandy Four format will hold their first meeting since 2016 with the intention to create the necessary conditions for peace to return in the Donbass where rebels, backed by Moscow, are still confronting the Ukrainian army and hoping for a political solution. Continue reading “President Zelensky’s Parisian challenge”

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”

The symbolic visit of Putin in Paris

By Nina Bachkatov and Andrew Wilson

Vladimir Putin occupied a prominent place in the great international gathering in Paris to mark the century of the 1918 armistice. His presence led to odd moments, especially when the Russian President, so often accused of threatening peace on the Continent, attended the opening ceremony of the Forum for Peace. Continue reading “The symbolic visit of Putin in Paris”

The Syrian imbroglio – Putin’s cautious reaction to Western bombs

By Nina Bachkatov and Andrew Wilson

The Western intervention in Syria tested the “new” Vladimir Putin – between his reelection and inauguration. He seems much the same person, preparing for the next stage of political developments while not controlling fully the existing situation. There was not much he could have done to prevent the Western intervention. After the diatribes of president Trump, Russia raised the red flag on various fronts with declarations by a few generals, by the foreign minister and some ambassadors, by a few political figures, and by Putin himself – all making the expected statements, each in their roles. Continue reading “The Syrian imbroglio – Putin’s cautious reaction to Western bombs”


By Nina Bachkatov and Andrew Wilson

The meeting between presidents Macron and Putin was a demonstration of cultural diplomacy at its best. Culture and history provided a key background to this first meeting between the presidents of two countries whose diplomatic relations had suffer of the general Western distaste towards Putin’s Russia. Continue reading “Moscow-Versailles”