Crisis in Ukraine - March 11, 2014
EWI offers a daily situation report on Ukraine's unfolding crisis, featuring key developments and links to number of analytical pieces from foregin policy experts around the world.
- The Crimean regional assembly has been threatened with dissolution by the Ukrainian parliament upon a failure to cancel the planned March 16 referendum. Crimean lawmakers, in the meantime, have adopted a resolution that will have Crimea ask to join Russia if that measure is approved by the referendum. Russian lawmakers have announced that they will discuss legislation on March 21 to admit Crimea into Russia.
- Released details of the referendum offer two options to Crimean voters: to join the Russian Federation or to remain as a part of Ukraine under an abolished 1992 Crimean constitution that gave Crimea the status of an autonomous republic within Ukraine.
- Ukraine’s acting Defense Minister Ihor Teniukh has revealed that only 6,000 troops were ready for combat due to years of neglect by previous Ukrainian governments. Oleksandr Turchynov, the acting president, has established a new National Guard by mobilizing internal police troops to augment existing military forces.
- In a speech from Rostov-on-Don, Russia, ousted Ukrainian President Yanukovych asserted his claim to be the rightful president and denounced the May 25 Ukrainian presidential elections as unlawful. He accused the U.S. and the West of backing an ultranationalist and fascist government in Ukraine, warned that the Ukrainian government would spark a civil war, and urged the Ukrainian military to resist the government.
- Conflicting stories have been released on the failure to arrange a meeting between Secretary of State John Kerry and Russian President Putin.
- A brief televised exchange between Putin and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov claimed that Kerry had rejected an invitation to travel to Russia for consultations.
- The State Department claimed that Russia was not prepared to engage with the U.S. and were unwilling to meet with officials from the new Ukrainian government.
- John Kerry is in Ukraine with an offer of American aid and technical assistance. Touring the streets of Kiev, Kerry lit a candle at one of the makeshift shrines dedicated to some of victims killed in February’s protests.
- Western leaders have met in London to discuss the implementation of sanctions (including asset freezes and travel bans). Sanctions could come into effect as early as this week if Russia fails to respond to Western mediation efforts.
- Pro-Russian forces have closed Crimean airspace to all commercial flights.
- In what is seen as an American gesture of support for its eastern NATO allies, the U.S. has begun a series of military exercises with Poland. Meanwhile, naval exercises in the Black Sea between the U.S., Bulgaria and Romania have been delayed by weather. While the U.S. has claimed that both military exercises were planned before the onset of the Crimean crisis, Polish President Bronislav Komorowski expressed oblique concern for the Crimean situation.
- NATO will deploy early warning aircraft to Romania and Poland to monitor the Ukraine crisis.
Jen Psaki, “Daily Press Briefing – March 10, 2014 – Ukraine,” U.S. Department of State, March 10, 2014
“U.S. Will Beef Up Air Operations in Poland,” U.S. Department of Defense, March 10, 2014
Eugene Chausovsky, “Ukraine’s Increasing Polarization and the Western Challenge,” Stratfor, March 11, 2014
Chausovsky is an Eurasia Analyst and Director of Europe and Former Soviet Union Analysis for Stratfor.
Bruce P. Jackson, “How to Overcome the Ukraine Stalemate,” The National Interest, March 11, 2014
Jackson is the president of the Project on Transitional Democracies.
William Partlett, “Yes, Crimeans Do Have a Choice – And a Good One,” The National Interest, March 11, 2014
Partlett is a postdoctoral fellow at Columbia Law School.
Jamie Metzl, “Back to the Future in Ukraine and Asia,” Project Syndicate, March 10, 2014
Metzl is a partner in a New York-based global investment firm and a senior fellow at the Asia Society. He formerly served on the National Security Council and the State Department during the Clinton administration.
Alexander J. Motyl, “Is Losing Crimea a Loss?: What Russia Can Expect in Ukraine’s Rust Belt,” Foreign Affairs, March 10, 2014
Motyl, an Ukrainian-Amerian, is a professor of political science at Rutgers University-Newark.
Kori Schake, “The White House Needs to Shut Up: Every time the administration opens its mouth, it’s only making things worse in Ukraine,” Foreign Policy, March 10, 2014
Schake is a fellow at the Hoover Institution.
Marina Lewycka, “Ukraine and the west: hot air and hypocrisy,” The Guardian, March 10, 2014
Leonid Bershidsky, “Anti-War Russians, an Endangered Minority,” Bloomberg, March 10, 2014
National Interest Interview of Alexey Pushkov – March 10, 2014
Pushkov is the head of the foreign affairs committee within the Russian legislature.