Institute of World Policy has published a policy brief “Ukraine is not alone. How the World Supports Ukrainians in Countering Russia’s Aggression”Policy Brief in pdf-format.
Most of Ukrainian experts interviewed by the Institute of World Policy admitted that the amount of support in countering Russian aggression received by Ukraine from the international community is insufficient. For instance, almost half of respondents (44%) evaluated global support as “satisfactory”; they believe that Ukraine receives lukewarm support. According to 18% of experts, Kyiv does not receive adequate support at all, and therefore, they “graded” the foreign governments’ assistance with “F” (low grade). However, 36% of the pollees chose an option stating that “Ukraine receives sufficient support, but it might have been increased”, which is why they graded the world’s efforts with “B” (good grade). Only one (!) of fifty Ukrainian experts evaluated the efforts of international community with “A” (excellent grade). The Institute of World Policy has estimated the real amount of aid provided to Ukraine by the international community. Results of the research displayed that the world supports Ukraine not only with declarations and statements, but also with real actions, providing consultants, humanitarian aid, armor vests etc.
Obviously, the international community should not limit its assistance to the aforesaid articles. Most of the Ukrainian analysts (38 out of 50 respondents) presumed that the global community should assist Ukraine by supplying armaments and military equipment. A significant part (27 out of 50) of the experts stand for the world aiding Kyiv by providing substantial security guarantees or granting financial support for reforming the country’s defense system (as well as for the other reforms). Certain analysts (8 out of 50) tend to believe that the Western democracies should send their troops to Ukraine in order to neutralize the terrorist activity in the Eastern part of the country. Indeed, stronger support would confirm that Ukraine is not alone in this conflict.
The criticism towards the international community that does not supposedly aid Ukraine or provides insufficient assistance in the latter’s struggle against Russia’s aggression is widespread in Ukrainian public opinion. On the one hand, such an attitude by the opinion leaders is aimed mainly at inciting the Western partners to provide stronger support. On the other hand, excessive criticism may also result in undesirable solutions. First, such protest activity lays foundation for the Russian propaganda on the territory of Ukraine. Such propagandist messages could be simplified to the following: “We have warned you that nobody is waiting for you on the West. The Russians are your real partners.” Furthermore, the states which have already provided Ukraine with multi-million aid and were affected by the sanctions could perceive Kyiv’s criticism as unconstructive approach that would discourage other governments to support Ukraine. In addition, there is a paradoxical situation, when the Russian government presents their intention to grant Ukraine a credit as a heroic effort to save the neighbor (especially in Russian public opinion), while more substantial aid provided to Ukraine by the EU is perceived as something not worth attention. In addition, pro-Russian opinion leaders are often using the presumption that the Russian Federation is sustaining Ukrainian economy as their conclusive argument.
Consequently, a portion of Ukraine’s population has developed an opinion that Russia provides Ukraine with natural gas and credits (obviously, the gas price for Ukraine is irrelevant for the adherents of Kremlin), while the EU only offers moral support and makes demands. A research conducted by the Institute of World Policy showed a significant amount of aid which is not communicated to Ukrainian public opinion. Obviously, there is a lack of communication regarding the EU’s support programs in Ukraine.
The Institute of World Policy aimed at summarizing the information on the aid provided to Ukraine in order to define its real amount. Our analysts have also conducted an expert poll to determine the major expectations regarding potential support. Interviews with the members of the Ukrainian government (representatives of the MFA and the Ministry of Defense) conducted during the preparation of this document showed that the public opinion shapers and the decision makers have notably common expectations.
The “deeply concerned” joke
The skepticism towards the Western democracies has been expressed by Ukrainians early during the protests at the end of 2013. Numerous pro-democratic experts and politicians criticized the USA and the EU for their soft response to the regime established by the former President Yanukovych. Such expressions as “concerned” or “deeply concerned” were perceived by Ukrainians judicially. The “Euromaidan” initially enthralled by peculiar pro-European romanticism had been consumed by euroscepticism rapidly Russia’s aggression against Ukraine produced similar skeptical response towards the Western governments, starting from February 2014. Critical comments against the USA and the EU states concerned not only their delayed response to the actions of the Russian government, but also the questionable behavior of some European officials, that could be perceived as teaming up with the Kremlin. For instance, at the end of June the Austrian government held a visit of the President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin, despite all the warnings. French administration also disregarded the admonitions expressed by their EU partners and put a substantial effort into justification of executing the contract for selling the Mistral class landing platform helicopters to the Russian Navy (it is known at the present moment, that Paris has currently postponed the contract which is, however, still effective).
In Ukrainian discourse, such phrase as “deeply concerned” is commonly perceived with irony and became a joke. After this common diplomatic slang expression has been widely ridiculed, the MFA officials working in Ukraine could be forced to find different ways to express their resentment towards the other states’ policies.
The EU officials provided several reasons for their delayed response to Russia’s aggression. The expectations towards ultimately peaceful conflict resolution were among the most significant ones. That approach had obviously failed, as Moscow perceived the EU’s peaceful attitude as manifestation of weakness. Paradoxically, the more the Western democracies induced Vladimir Putin to peace, the more radical his actions became. The EU’s passive approach also could not solve the problem, as Moscow confidently accomplished its objectives by first annexing the Crimea and then destabilizing situation in Eastern Ukraine.
What has been done and what should be done
Аs of September 2014, Ukraine was provided with aid in four dimensions.
1. Political support.
The world’s leaders have published hundreds of statements supporting Ukraine. However, Ukrainians became fatigued of declarations of support that are not followed by the actions; the world’s political leaders understand that as well. For instance, the President Barak Obama’s speech in Estonia of September 3, 2014 included the statement that “today Ukraine needs more than just words.” However, political support should not be underestimated. Although it can be taken for granted, Ukrainians should realize that not every state in the world could enlist such a high level of global support, even though it is mostly declarative. The diplomats from Republic
of Moldova and Georgia, the states also succumbed to Russia’s aggression, often claim that Chisinau and Tbilisi have not had such strong international support, and therefore their defeats were inevitable. However, several experts interviewed by the Institute of World Policy emphasized that the statements of the democratic governments lack definiteness. Incidentally, one of the experts noted that “the global democratic community should not hide behind the neutral definitions, such as ‘Ukrainian conflict’ or ‘armed hostilities’; instead, it has to be stated clearly that Russia’s military aggression is a fact that constitutes a threat to global order and stability in Europe.”
Furthermore, the experts (almost 60% of the IWP’s respondents) underlined the exceptional importance of providing Ukraine with strong security guarantees. Certain analysts offered to clarify the guarantees stated in the Budapest Memorandum; obviously, this proposal has limited prospects, since one of the guarantors turned into aggressor. Most experts agreed that Ukraine should join the NATO and establish allied relations in major non-NATO ally (MNNA) format with the USA.
2. “Pacifying Russia”.
More than a hundred of Russian citizens were included into the “black list” after the EU had introduced the so-called restrictive measures against the persons involved into both annexation of the Crimea and destabilization of the Eastern Ukraine. The losses caused by the sanctions have reached tens of billions euros. As estimated by the EU’s diplomats, the European business had lost at least 12 billion euros due to Russia’s food import ban. Obviously, no economic damage can be compared with thousands of victims, dead or injured as a result of Russia’s aggression against Ukraine. However, it should be taken into account that Russian lobby is particularly strong in certain European countries, which is why only few experts presumed that Germany could accept at least minimum level of sanctions after Russia started its subversive activities in Ukraine at the end of February 2014. A number of experts interviewed by the IWP emphasized the importance of sustaining political and economic pressure on the Kremlin to Ukraine’s security.
In particular, the analysts proposed the idea of recalling Russia’s status as the host of 2018 Football World Cup. According to one of Ukrainian experts, “financial losses could hardly be comprehended; the costs in the public image, however, would have much stronger and immediate impact. Therefore, the possibility to cancel the sports events should be considered as a priority. Being deprived of the right to host the 2018 Football World Cup would be a very painful fact that will remain in history, which has great importance for Putin.”
3. Financial aid.
Ukraine has already received several billion dollars of financial assistance as either credits or humanitarian aid or financial support for the reforms. The classified figures on the international financial support are attached to this document as the infographics; amounts of aid received were calculated as of September 2014. Every day, more and more governments announce their next aid packages for Ukraine. In the upcoming November a major international donor conference is expected to raise funds for reconstruction of the Donbass region. The developed countries, however, should not limit their efforts with focused support of single region restoration. The state that has not yet recovered from the global financial crisis of 2008 suffered a serious blow to all dimensions of its functioning; obviously, social protests in Ukraine caused by painful salary and social benefit cuts should be considered inevitable. Thus, the peculiar “Marshall Aid” plan widely discussed after the “Euromaidan” events remains vital. Ukraine is not able to perform modernization with its own resources only; therefore, it is important to remember that even after Ukrainian news leave the front
pages of the world press.
4. Military technical aid.
Over 70% of the experts polled by the IWP emphasized that the foreign governments should decide to provide Ukraine with armaments and military equipment. Some leaks to the press showed that this question has been initially raised on the highest level during the meeting of the Prime Minister of Ukraine Arseniy Yatsenyuk with the President Barack Obama on March 12, 2014. The top sources informed The Wall Street Journal that Kyiv has urged Washington to provide armaments, munitions and intelligence; Obama’s administration agreed to provide military rations only. However, in six months military equipment and armaments supplies were considered relatively realistic. It is known that the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine has addressed a number of Western states with request to provide certain types of equipment and armaments. Furthermore, the President Petro Poroshenko addressed the American establishment with similar request right after taking the President office. According to Ukrainian experts, the Western governments denied those requests for the following reasons:
Reluctance to provoke a full-scale war in Europe. The Western countries did not believe that the Russian establishment will go that far; certain Western leaders were lulled into complacency that the conflict would end after annexation of the Crimea. The Western officials hoped that severe sanctions will stop Russia. Therefore, military technical assistance was not on the agenda. The situation changed radically in the late summer. Still, Ukraine and the Western governments perceive armaments supplies differently. While Ukraine regards them as the final step of military technical aid, in some Western capitals they are considered to be the first step towards full-scale military involvement including military operations.
Llack of confidence in the government in general and in the Ukrainian army in particular, especially in terms of corruption. There could be (and there were, actually) Russian agents among the government and military officials, that would transmit information to the Kremlin. In addition, concerns were expressed that the armaments could fall into the pro-Russian terrorists’ hands and that Ukrainian soldiers were not completely loyal to the “center” and could defect to the Russian armed forces.
In addition to military gear and rations, Ukraine needs surveillance drones, personal protection equipment, thermal imagers, etc. Since the beginning of Russia’s aggression, a significant, but not dominant group of the American analysts and politicians have been supporting the idea of supplying Ukraine with the armaments. As the former US Ambassador to Ukraine John Herbst stated in April 2014, if Vladimir Putin “knew that Ukrainian armed forces were supplied with Western anti-tank and anti-aircraft defense systems, the costs of invasion would rise dramatically.”
Some experts’ proposals concerning the assistance required to counter Russia’s aggression:
1.“It is vital to grant Ukraine the status of an ally of the USA and the NATO Membership Action Plan. Furthermore, it could be expedient to consider expulsion of the Russian Federation as an aggressor state from the UN Security Council by making eligible amendments to the UN Charter
and to deny the veto power to all of the Council’s members, at the next UN General Assembly in September. In order to balance the Security Council, it would be beneficial to co-opt Germany, India, Brazil, Japan, South Africa and possibly other states of the G20».
2. “The foreign governments should provide unpredictable, asymmetric and prompt response. They should declare Ukraine the NATO member immediately and announce the application of Article 5 of the Treaty.”
3. “The decision to send ground troops is unrealistic and is not on the agenda; however, air forces should be sent to support ground operations of the Armed Forces of Ukraine.”
4.“The USA should grant Ukraine a major non-NATO ally status. Ukraine needs large-scale presence of the unarmed observers at state borders (North, South and East). Humanitarian aid should be targeted and clearly labeled and has to be used as an argument in favor of Ukraine’s aspiration towards the Western democracies.”
5.“Taking into account the violations of international law committed by the Russian Federation and its attempts to undermine the international security system, the governments of the USA and the EU should state that Vladimir Putin wages a terrorist war against Ukraine and establish a system of countermeasures similar to those used against the al-Qaeda and Osama bin Laden.”
6.“A coalition of Ukraine’s allies should be established.”
7.“The foreign governments should grant Ukraine special status within relations with the USA and adopt the positive decision on Ukraine’s potential membership in the NATO. Moreover, the modernized international “Marshall Plan” is essential for overcoming the consequences of both political and economic crisis and Russia’s military aggression.”
8. “Extensive joint military exercises on the territory of Central Ukraine is vital, as well as a “red line” statement by the USA and their allies or the NATO.”
9.“The Budapest Memorandum should be renewed and amended with clear security guarantees.”
10.“Our partners should take decisive preventive actions against Russia in financial and energy industries.”
List of experts
1. Lyubov Akulenko, Director of the European Program, Centre UA
2. Iryna Bekeshkina, Director, Ilko Kucheriv Democratic Initiatives Foundation
3. Natalya Belitser, Expert, Pylyp Orlyk Institute for Democracy
4. Roman Bezsmertnyi, Ambassador Extraordinary and Preliminary of Ukraine.
5. Vyacheslav Bryukhovetskyi, Honorary President, National University of “Kyiv-Mohyla Academy”
6. Andriy Chubyk, Executive Director, Centre for Global Studies Strategy XXI
7. Oleksandr Demyanchuk, Head of the Political Science Department, National University of Kyiv-Mohyla Academy
8. Rostyslav Dzundza, Chairman of the Board, Bureau of Social and Political Developments
9. Volodymyr Fesenko, Head, Centre for Applied Political Studies “Penta”
10. Alyona Getmanchuk, Director, Institute of World Policy
11. Oleksiy Haran, Professor, Department of Political Science, University of Kyiv-Mohyla Academy; Scientific Director of the School for Political Analysis
12. Bohdan Hawrylyshyn, Bohdan Hawrylyshyn Charitable Foundation
13. Mykhailo Honchar, President, Centre for Global Studies Strategy XXI
14. Hanna Hopko, Coordinator, Civil Initiative “Reanimation Package of Reforms”
15. Taras Kachka, Vice-President, American Chamber of Commerce in Ukraine
16. Daria Kaleniuk, Executive director, Anticorruption Action Centre
17. Mykola Kapitonenko, Executive Director, Center for International Studies
18. Igor Kogut, Chairman of the Board, Agency for Legislative Initiatives
19. Oleh Kokoshynskiy, Deputy Head, Ukraine-NATO Civic League
20. Ihor Koliushko, Head of the Board, Centre for Political and Legal Reforms
21. Valeriy Kravchenko, Expert, Center of International Security (Donetsk)
22. Ostap Kryvdyk, Political Scientist
23. Anatoliy Lutsenko, director, GMT Group
24. Yuliya Lymar, Editor-in-Chief, Information-Analytical Agency “Glavcom”
25. Vasyl Moysiyenko, Associate Professor, Department of Legal and Government Studies, National Bohdan Khmelnytsky University of Cherkasy (Cherkasy)
26. Taras Mykhalniuk, Director, Open Ukraine Foun dation
27. Oleh Ovcharenko, Chairman, Kremenchuk In forma tive-Eluci dative Center “European Club”
28. Oleksandr Palii, Independent expert
29. Olena Pavlemko, president, DiXi Group
30. Inna Pidluska, Deputy Executive Director, International Renaissance Foundation
31. Oleksiy Plotnikov, Doctor of Economics, Professor, Honored Economist of Ukraine
32. Oleksandr Potyekhin, Professor, Kyiv University of Law, National Academy of Science of Ukraine.
33. Oleh Rybachuk, Head, Centre UA
34. Oleksiy Semeniy, Director, Institute for Global Transformation
35. Oleh Shamshur, Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary Ambassador of Ukraine
36. Viktor Shlinchak, Head of the Board, Institute of World Policy
37. Dmytro Shulga, European Program Initiative Director, International Renaissance Foundation
38. Bogdan Sokolovsky, Ukraine’s President’s Representative on In ternational Energy Security (2008-2010)
39. Mykola Sunhurovsky, Head of Military Programs, Razumkov Centre
40. Dmytro Tkach, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Ukraine, Vice-Rector for International Relations, KROK University
41. Vadym Tryuhan, Expert on International and European Law; Partner, Law Firm “Constructive lawyers”
42. Yaropolk Tymkiv, Associate Professor, Department of Internation al Information, Lviv Polytechnic National University; Project Development Expert, UCBI Project
43. Yulia Tyschenko, Head of the Board, Ukrainian Center for Indepen dent Political Research
44. Oleksandr Tytarchuk, Research Fellow, Foreign Policy Research Institute, Diplomatic Academy under the Ministry of Foreign Af fairs of Ukraine
45. Oksana Urban, Associate Professor of the Department of Economic Theory and International Economics, Lutsk National Technical University (Lutsk); The “European Vector of Volyn”
46. Mykhailo Vynnytsky, Associated Professor, National University of “Kyiv-Mohyla Academy”
47. Volodymyr Yermolenko, Director of EU-Related Madia Projects, “Internews-Ukraine”
48. Viktor Zamiatin, Leading Expert of Political and Legal Programmes, Razumkov Centre
49. Pavlo Zhovnirenko, Chairman of the Board, Center for Strategic Studies
50. Maria Zolkina, Political Analyst, Ilko Kucheriv Democratic Initiatives Foundation