The Ukraine Conflict: Where Are We At and Where Are We Headed?
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The Ukraine Conflict: Where Are We At and Where Are We Headed?
30th May 2022 @ 1:00 pm - 2:00 pm
The Russian invasion of Ukraine has shocked and appalled in equal measure. Such naked aggression and scenes of brutality were not expected to the European backdrop of the 21st Century, yet Vladimir Putin’s regime flouts international norms and humanitarian codes of conduct with abandon.
But as the war heads towards the three month mark, and despite the devastation caused by the Russian assault, free Ukraine continues to stand bloodied but unbowed. Russia’s war objectives remain unclear, and given the staunchness of the Ukrainian defence and pushback, there is even the possibility that they will fall short of them, leaving Putin in a compromised position as the autocrat who launched a war of choice and failed to win it. At the same time, a long and drawn out conflict may yet be the end result, with Putin grimly holding out to grind down Ukrainian resistance over the coming months. Some Western voices can be heard demanding that the two nations agree a negotiated peace now to save Putin’s face. Others believe that the scale of the war crimes committed and the nature of the aggression that has occurred mean there can be no gains for Russia from violence.
So where are we at and where might we be heading in the Ukrainian war? And how can Ukraine – with its recent experience forged by the crucible of war – be effectively reconstructed to ensure that liberty and democracy remain at its core? Join us at a special hybrid event with an expert panel from Ukraine and without who will be able to give their views on this important subject.
Edward Lucas is a Senior Vice President at the Center for European Policy Analysis (CEPA), and a columnist for The Times. He was most recently Editor of Standpoint magazine and was previously a senior editor at The Economist.
A graduate of the London School of Economics and long-serving foreign correspondent in Berlin, Vienna, Moscow, and the Baltic states, he is an internationally recognized expert on European and transatlantic security, as well as espionage, subversion, the use and abuse of history, energy security and information warfare.
He is the author of four books: The New Cold War (2008, newly revised and republished); Deception (2011); The Snowden Operation (2014), and Cyberphobia (2015). His website is edwardlucas.com and he tweets as @edwardlucas.
Sir Malcolm Rifkind is a British politician who served in various roles as a Cabinet minister under Prime Ministers Margaret Thatcher and John Major, including Secretary of State for Scotland (1986–1990), Defence Secretary (1992–1995), and Foreign Secretary (1995–1997).
Rifkind was the MP for Edinburgh Pentlands from 1974 to 1997. In 1997, his party lost power and he lost his seat to the Labour Party. He attempted, unsuccessfully, to be re-elected in Pentlands in 2001; the constituency was abolished before the 2005 general election and he was adopted, and subsequently elected, as the Conservative candidate for Kensington and Chelsea. He announced his intention to seek the leadership of the party before the 2005 Conservative Party leadership election, but withdrew before polling commenced.
Rifkind stood for the Kensington seat and was elected at the 2010 general election with a majority of 8,616 votes. He was appointed Chairman of the Intelligence and Security Committee of Parliament by the Prime Minister, David Cameron, on 6 July 2010. In January 2015 he was appointed by the OSCE as a member of their Eminent Persons Panel on European Security. In December 2015, Rifkind was appointed a Visiting Professor by King’s College, London in their Department of War Studies. He was also invited to become a Distinguished Fellow at the Royal United Services Institute (RUSI). In July 2016, his memoirs, Power and Pragmatism, were published. In 2017, Rifkind was invited by the UK Government to become the British Co-Chairman of the Belvedere Polish–British Forum.
Kira Rudik is a Ukrainian politician, member of Ukrainian Parliament, the head of “Golos” party. She is a former CEO of IT company Ring Ukraine. Rudik obtained her Master’s degree in Computer Science at the National University of Kyiv-Mohyla Academy, a top academic university in Ukraine. She also attended the Executive Program for Women Leaders at Stanford Business School in 2018.
Dr Alan Mendoza is a Co-Founder and Executive Director of The Henry Jackson Society, Britain’s leading thinktank fighting for the principles and alliances which keep societies free. He directs strategy for the organisation as well as acting as its main public face in mediums as diverse as the BBC, Sky, CNBC, Al-Jazeera. Bloomberg, LBC and TalkRadio. On the print side, Alan is a columnist for City AM, London’s business newspaper, and has contributed to The Times, The Telegraph, The Daily Mail, The Sun and a host of international newspapers and magazines.
Having obtained a B.A. (Hons.) and M.Phil in history at Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge, Alan completed a Ph.D. at the same institution. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts and was the Parliamentary Candidate for the Conservative Party in the Brent Central Constituency for the 2015 General Election. He is also a Trustee of the President Reagan Memorial Fund Trust.
Russia’s invasion of Ukraine brought war back to Europe for the first time in three decades. While Ukraine’s borders have been brutally breached, Ukrainians’ resolve remains intact. Despite Russian military incompetence, clearly exposed in the first weeks of the war, Putin appears adamant to protract his illegal offensive. The Ukrainians’ resistance, albeit spirited, cannot withstand Russian aggression alone. Three months in, and with no end in sight, Western—indeed global—support is more vital than ever.
Myriad crises loom, due to Putin’s assault on Ukraine. Rising prices at the petrol pump, a spike in energy costs, an imminent food shortage, and global commodity deficiencies, will have a deep and damaging impact on many countries, across all continents. All the while, a humanitarian catastrophe in Eastern Europe rages on. With international institutions such as the United Nations and NATO proving largely ineffective, many pressing questions persist: what more needs to be done to stand up to Russia? Is a peace settlement between Russia and Ukraine on the cards? Is Western European decision-making paralysed by past traumas, such as Nazi appeasement in 1938? What will it take for countries in the African, Asian and Latin American continents to unequivocally condemn Putin’s war? Should Russian assets frozen in the West be utilised to rebuild Ukraine, or should they be spent now to bolster the Ukrainians’ fight to save their country?
An expert panel assembled by the Henry Jackson Society, comprised of Ukrainian MP Kira Rudik, former Defence and Foreign Secretary Sir Malcolm Rifkind, and the Times columnist and former Moscow correspondent for the Economist Edward Lucas join Dr Alan Mendoza to raise and address the most serious issues driving the discussion on the conflict in Ukraine.
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