Ukraine: 5 Years on from Maidan
- This event has passed.
Ukraine: 5 Years on from Maidan
24 January @ 1:00 pm - 2:00 pm
In January 2014, Ukraine’s then-President Victor Yanukovych passed a series of ‘anti-protest’ laws to quash growing unrest in the country. Within weeks, he would flee for Russia. This was the culmination of three months of protests, which had begun when Yanukovych refused to sign an Association Agreement with the European Union. Following Yanukovych’s toppling, Ukraine announced its intention to integrate closer to Europe.
Five years on, Russia’s war in eastern Ukraine, which followed its annexation of Crimea, continues – it is now one of the longest-running conflicts in Europe in almost a century. President Petro Poroshenko has implemented serious reforms but the pace has slowed markedly over recent years, particularly on anti-corruption measures. Much has changed in Ukraine since 2014, but much has remained the same.
By kind invitation of Lord Richard Risby, the Henry Jackson Society is pleased to invite you to discuss the twin challenges facing Ukraine five years from Maidan: dealing with Russia’s war and undertaking domestic reforms.
Ambassador Natalia Galibarenko has been appointed as Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Ukraine to the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland by the President of Ukraine and she is also a Permanent Representative to the IMO. Natalia Galibarenko participated in numerous bilateral and multilateral negotiations of Ukraine, including in the framework of the EU, OSCE and other international organizations. Her diplomatic rank is Envoy Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary 1st class. She holds a diploma from the Institute of International Relations, Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv.
Robert Brinkley CMG – chairs the steering committee of the Chatham House Ukraine Forum. He is a senator (member of the governing body) of the Ukrainian Catholic University (UCU) and chairman of the Ukrainian Institute London, which is affiliated to UCU. He is chairman of the Advisory Board of the University College London School of Slavonic and East European Studies (UCL SSEES). He is a trustee of the Keston Institute, which studies religion in Communist and former Communist countries. Until 2011 Robert Brinkley was a British diplomat for 34 years. He served as High Commissioner to Pakistan (2006 – 2009), Ambassador to Ukraine (2002 – 2006) and as head of the UK’s worldwide visa operation (2000 – 2002). He had previously had two postings in Moscow (both in Russia and in the Soviet Union), as well as positions in Bonn, Geneva and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in London.
Lord Richard Risby – is a Conservative Party politician in the United Kingdom. He served as Member of Parliament for Bury St Edmunds from 1992 to 1997, and for West Suffolk from 1997 to 2010. He joined the House of Lords in 2010 and is currently the British Trade Envoy to Algeria.
On the 24th January the Henry Jackson Society was delighted to host our latest event, “Ukraine: 5 Years on From Maidan”. Our guest speakers included the Ukrainian Ambassador to the United Kingdom, Ambassador Natalia Galibarenko and Robert Brinkley CMG who chairs the steering committee of the Chatham House Ukraine Forum. The event was chaired by Lord Richard Risby, a former Conservative Party Member of Parliament and the current British Trade Envoy to Algeria. The event centered on the attempts by the Russian state to coerce Ukraine into its sphere of influence as well as the ongoing war in Eastern Ukraine.
Ambassador Natalia Galibarenko begun the event by describing the factors which led to the Maidan revolution. She outlined the anger and frustration amongst ordinary people who felt that they had been betrayed by their political leaders and who were attempting to draw Ukraine away from the European Union and an associated free trade agreement, towards Russia and its sphere of influence. The Ambassador then descried how Maidan had been used as a pretext for Russia achieving its historical as well as imperialistic ambition to seize Crimea. Russia’s invasion occurred against a background of complete state breakdown as the then Ukrainian President, Viktor Yanukovich fled the capitol leaving the state apparatus, including the military, without a central leadership.
The ambassador went on to describe the significant undertakings and achievements of the current Ukrainian administration under Petro Poroshenko. This includes a significant effort to combat the rampant corruption found at many governmental levels through the creation of anti-corruption bodies. Moreover, the current administration had sought to reform medical treatment and pension provision alongside judicial reforms to improve the overall quality of life in Ukraine. The ambassador admitted that significant challenges still remained.
With the close of the Ambassador’s remarks, Lord Richard Risby, spoke at length about his shock that such a situation could exist in Europe at present. Lord Risby stated that it was unthinkable that during the Maidan Revolution, Ukraine’s population could be subjected to such anti-democratic measures usually found in totalitarian countries. Not only that but being targeted for electoral interference, having parts of their state being annexed and the Eastern part of their country facing a well organised and pre-planned attempt to destabilize the country using special forces and proxy armies.
Robert Brinkley CMG commenced his remarks around current EU-Russia-Ukrainian relations. He stated that Russia’s tactic had spectacularly backfired. Russia may have acquired Crimea, but it had lost Ukraine. Since the Maidan revolution, Ukraine has moved significantly towards the West, both in terms of trade and in term of public opinion. This was underscored both by the signing of the Ukraine-EU Free Trade Deal as well as the rupture of the Orthodox Church between Ukraine and Russia.
Robert Brinkley went on to outline Ukraine’s strategic importance for Russia, both at a geo-political and economic level. Ukraine possess large quantities of fertile agricultural land which makes it ideal for food production. Similarly, it has an extremely large and expanding tech sector with expertise in areas such as cyber security and defense. The Ukrainian population is also well educated and highly productive. These factors underline the motivation for Russia to draw Ukraine into its orbit.
Both speakers went on to discuss their alarm and apprehension with regard to the Nord Stream 2 pipeline between Russia and Germany. The pipeline which is ostensibly built to improve Russo-Germanic relations has drawn significant criticism from Ukraine and other Eastern European Countries. The overwhelming amount of Russian Gas exported to Europe transits through Ukraine. This means that if Russia employs gas as an economic weapon, such as, halting gas exports to Ukraine during the winter, then by extension gas supplies to the West cease. Yet, by building a pipeline around Ukraine, Russia can isolate the country while maintaining a steady supply of gas to the West. Moreover, Ukraine would also lose significant transit fees which contribute to its annual budget.
Eighteen months after he led his own audacious insurgency against France’s established parties Macron would face another popular insurrection. This … Continued
Vibrant international engagement has often been suggested to have gone out of the proverbial window in modern nation-state geopolitics. Indeed, … Continued
The Henry Jackson Society is delighted to invite you to this invitation-only workshop on Vietnam, the Indo-Pacific and Global Britain. … Continued
With yet another closely contested Israeli election having just concluded, and coalition-forming prospects looking confused, it is an appropriate time … Continued
As the 21st century continues, it has become increasingly apparent that humanity is operating within a constantly shifting and multi-polar … Continued
The Henry Jackson Society is delighted to invite you to the invitation-only roundtable discussion with Admiral (Ret’d) Chen Yeong-Kang ‘Taiwan’s … Continued
These days the world is facing an unprecedented wave of violent extremism by non-state actors of various stripes. The causes … Continued
2019 marks the ten years of the launch of the Eastern Partnership initiative. Although the initiative has provided the necessary … Continued
The UK’s decision to leave the European Union in the June 2016 referendum on EU membership has generated fierce debate … Continued
It is important to discuss what drives social and economic exclusion among British Muslim women. Levels of female unemployment continue … Continued
How is the US Government tackling anti-Semitism? With growing concern over Islamist extremism, Far-Left anti-Zionism and the rise of Neo-Nazi … Continued
The UK has suffered at the hands of far-right terrorism in recent times. This includes the killing of Labour MP … Continued
Everyone knows that populism in the US and UK today is rooted not only in resentment toward elites but also … Continued
According to Elif Shafak, culture and literature matters. It becomes especially relevant in the age of populism, pessimism and political … Continued
The unfolding crisis in Venezuela represents a major challenge not only for the country’s citizens, but also for the international community. … Continued
As we commemorate the 30th anniversary of the events culminating in the Tiananmen Square Massacre of June 4th 1989, it is important to note … Continued
As the strategic environment changes, planning for state-on-state military confrontation has re-emerged. Non-state actors – perhaps assisted by revisionist powers … Continued
The BJP had an impressive victory in the 2019 General Election, emerging as the single largest party garnering more vote … Continued
In the twenty-five years after 1989, the world enjoyed the deepest peace in history. In The Rise and Fall of … Continued
In recent times, national populism has been on the march in much of the Western world. 2016 was a year … Continued
Twenty years after NATO’s bombing of Yugoslavia, the Western Balkans countries are beset by economic, political, and social uncertainty. The … Continued
In light of the publication of the Modernising Defence Programme in December 2018, which recognised the emergence of a more … Continued
The relationship between Russia and the West is once again deep in crisis. A major reason for this is that … Continued
The special relationship is under strain. President Donald Trump’s unorthodox approach to foreign policy together and the uncertainty caused by … Continued
On March 29, the United Nations adopted Security Council Resolution 2367 on sexual violence in conflict. Questions have been raised, … Continued
In late 2013, the People’s Republic of China began building and fortifying islands across a number of reefs in the … Continued
The Wealth Effect: How the Great Expectations of the Middle Class Have Changed the Politics of Banking Crises
The rising wealth of middle class households and voters has transformed the politics of banking crises. At this event, Jeffrey … Continued
In the state elections in December 2018, the big loser was the BJP, which had won 62 of 65 Lok … Continued
Belarus has received increased international attention over recent years, much of which has focused on Russia’s ambitions towards the country. … Continued
With returning IS fighters and uncertainty over Brexit, concerns surrounding human rights, civil liberties and national security have never been … Continued
Putin’s Hostages: Ukrainian Political Prisoners of the Kremlin is a documentary about the roughly 70 Ukrainians political prisoners incarcerated … Continued
In the eyes of many, the prospect of a two-state solution to the Israel-Palestine conflict is diminishing. With peace talks … Continued
Hon. Malcolm Turnbull, Australia’s 29th Prime Minister, on ‘Preserving the Freedom of the Asia Pacific’
The Henry Jackson Society is delighted to host Hon. Malcolm Turnbull, Former Australian Prime Minister, for a special event chaired … Continued
Five years ago next month, Russia annexed Crimea in the first forcible annexation of the territory of a European country … Continued
Western liberalism is under attack, not only at home also but from newly-emboldened authoritarian states abroad. Across the West, states … Continued
Deep new rifts are tearing apart the fabric of Britain and other Western societies: thriving cities versus the provinces, the … Continued
Though mankind has traded tangible goods for millennia, recent technology has changed the fundamentals of trade, in both legitimate and … Continued
China’s Belt and Road strategy is acknowledged to be the most ambitious geopolitical initiative of the age. Covering almost seventy countries by land … Continued
Why Middle Eastern Jewish Refugees Are Key to Understanding and Resolving the Israel-Palestine Conflict
Jews lived continuously in the Middle East and North Africa for almost 3,000 years. But in just 50 years, indigenous communities … Continued
India and Turkey were the two exemplars of twentieth-century ‘secular states’ outside of the West. Professor Sumantra Bose believes that … Continued
The political events of recent years have sent shockwaves throughout the established order of Western liberal democracies. Election after election … Continued
Prof. Andrew Lambert’s new book, Seapower States examines how Britain and four other seapowers used their special identities to inform … Continued
Dave Rich’s updated edition of The Left’s Jewish Problem: Jeremy Corbyn, Israel and Antisemitism (2018) contends that antisemitism is a … Continued
Moneyland is the secret country of the wealthy and unscrupulous, the place where they put their assets, their children and … Continued
The Afghanistan War has now lasted for 17 years, and estimates suggest has cost the US government upwards of $750 … Continued
The Middle East remains one of the most tumultuous regions in the world today, with its many ethnic and religious … Continued
The past 18 months have seen an immense amount of economic, diplomatic, and even military activity relating to the Korean … Continued
As one of al-Qaeda's most respected bomb-makers, Aimen Dean rubbed shoulders with the mastermind of the 9/11 attacks and swore … Continued
The most dangerous threat we face today is no longer military, but rather the increasingly pervasive exposure of our personal … Continued
SPEAKER: Professor Carl Minzner, author, End of an Era China’s reform era is ending. Core factors that characterised its political stability, … Continued
SPEAKERS: His Excellency Renato Carlos Sersale di Cerisano - The Argentine Ambassador to the United Kingdom; Dr. Shimon Samuels - … Continued
SPEAKERS: Dr Michael Green - Author of By More Than Providence and Senior Vice President for Asia and Japan Chair … Continued
In the midst of some great changes in the international system, countries have been left with the qaundry of how … Continued
SPEAKER: Eliot Higgins, Founder of Bellingcat The destruction of Malaysian Airlines Flight MH17 over eastern Ukraine in July 2014 shocked the … Continued
SPEAKERS: Humphrey Hawksley, author of Asian Waters: The Struggle Over the Asia-Pacific and the Strategy of Chinese Expansion ; Bill Hayton, Associate Fellow … Continued
PROFESSOR NIGEL BIGGAR, Regius Professor of Moral and Pastoral Theology, Oxford University, in conversation with Douglas Murray The nation-state is … Continued
SPEAKER: EHUD OLMERT, former Prime Minister of Israel It’s been 10 years since the last meaningful peace deal was put … Continued
Whatever one’s feelings toward the outcome of the 2016 US elections, there can be no doubting the historic impact and … Continued
As Britain considers its relationship with Europe, European security has never been more precarious, with Russian revanchism on the rise … Continued
As the United Kingdom leaves the European Union, geopolitics is returning to the European continent. Germany and France are squabbling … Continued