Foreign media digest 7-9 November 2014

The main topics where Ukraine is mentioned:

– Turning the war in the eastern Ukraine into a frozen conflict.

– Finding common ground between US and Russia over division of Ukraine. The perspectives of creating “antiObama” coalition over Ukrainian question.

– Putin’s plan is the criminalization of Ukraine

Everywhere Ukraine is like an object. Even in the text about “Ukraine’s criminalization” references to Ukraine’s experts and politicians are absent.


NSDC says about moving a huge amount of military equipment into Ukraine from Russia – tanks, howitzers, truckloads. Nato said it was looking into the reports. Earlier Poroshenko said Ukraine is preparing for the “pessimistic scenario” in the eastern Ukraine.

Reuters, Telegraph, ABCNews, The Guardian, BBC, Sky News:

The edition writes about “the frozen conflict” dilemma in Eastern Ukraine and in Crimea, which, despite some differences, are close to “the frozen conflicts” between Russian and Georgia over South Ossetia and Abkhazia. Moreover, Ukraine could learn from Georgia’s experience.

The National Interest:

First, reforms should remain Ukraine’s priority. To entice people in the occupied areas, Ukraine must become more prosperous. Without progress, support for Ukraine will decline.

Second, Ukraine should avoid hyping the nationalist and revanchist card. After the 2003 Rose Revolution when Mikheil Saakashvili became president, he played to excess the nationalist card, alienating many of Georgia’s supporters in the West.

Third, the government should avoid tough measures against separatists or Russia – hard policy could put in questions a reform course. Moreover, Kiev should not expect much military help from the West. Western leaders seem to believe that arming Georgia and Ukraine would provoke, rather than help deter, Russian aggression. And even more important is to remember that frozen conflicts can melt, The National Interest writes.

An expert on transnational crime and security issues Mark Galeotti explains how the invasion of Ukraine will shake up the global crime scene. After Crimea’s annexation both cops and gangsters in Moscow saw this as a great business opportunity. However, as one Interpol analyst told me, “What’s happening in Ukraine now matters to criminals from Bogotá to Beijing.


“Forget tit-for-tat embargoes,” Galeotti writes. According to him, one of the most effective responses to Western sanctions at the Kremlin’s disposal may be to encourage the criminalization of Ukraine, and do nothing to help Europe and North America cope with the fallout.

Collecting taxes is arguably the most important step towards creating a functional government, since Kiev has stopped paying social benefits. Most local businesses are registered in both the Ukrainian and DPR tax systems, which “doesn’t allow enterprises to work effectively.



At one of the main Ukraine’s film festivals homophobic activists have prevented a film performance. What does that say about the legacy of protests on Maidan? This shows a growth of the far right and homophobic interests in Ukraine.

Die Zeit:


The President of Estonia against weakening anti-Russian sanctions. According to him, Poroshenko has “a right to protect his own country”. “I do not think we are in the position to condemn the country which was the victim of the invasion,” he underlined.


According to him, Poroshenko has “a right to protect his own country”. “I do not think we are in the position to condemn the country which was the victim of invasion,” he underlined.

Lithuanian foreign minister: the big mistake would be to soften sanctions on Russia.

Softening sanctions against Russia after “elections” in eastern Ukraine, which are not considered by the West, would be a big mistake, Lithuanian Minister of Foreign Affairs Linas Linkevičius said.

As a whole, EU is afraid of sanctions. It is tuned to a close partnership with Russia.

Die Zeit:

What is the goal of the sanctions? They are tools of political communication with consequences far beyond the symbolic once. First, they are functioning as a rating. They signalize investors and creditors that the country is ruled by untrusted people. Second, they mean the West is condemning Russia for its attempt to change the borders using their army and separatists.

Sanctions leave open the possibility of negotiations and even facilitate them, if they are used in a correct dosage. And if their initiators show they take them seriously. As a whole, EU is afraid of sanctions. It is tuned to a close partnership with Russia. It is not a disadvantage. On the contrary, it makes it more attractive and will increase its impact if the breach of relations happens. But as long as EU experiences problems with self-determination, there should be no hope others will do it better.

New turmoil is waiting for Ukraine – Czech analyst.

Ukraine is moving toward social Maidan. Political analyst and professor Oscar Krejci wrote about the threat of conflict escalation in all spheres for portal. No one can predict how winter will look like in Ukraine. Political analyst prognoses a significant escalation of social problems. “Ukraine is moving toward the third Maidan, which won’t become Euromaidan. It would be a social Maidan. Nobody knows how Kyiv and insurgents will agree on special rules for the eastern region and how local government will look like,” he said.


Former member of US Senate Gordon Humphrey: “Since the White House has shown that it won’t take the lead in thwarting Russian President Vladimir Putin’s plan to permanently divide Ukraine , Congress should assert its role as a co-equal branch of government. The change in the Senate leadership in the next Congress will make that easier. But senators, even the most powerful, cannot prevail on an issue like this one when acting independently. Only a large, well-staffed, bipartisan team can get the job done. What’s needed is a bipartisan Senate task force on Ukraine.

The Washington Post:

Gordon Humphrey, a Republican from New Hampshire, was a member of the U.S. Senate from 1979 to 1990 and co-chaired the Congressional Task Force on Afghanistan.

US and Russia find common ground on Ukraine. Sergei Lavrov and John Kerry agree at talks in Beijing to exchange information about situation on Russia-Ukraine border. “The choices Russia makes will decide what happens with respect to sanctions in the long run here,” Kerry said, adding he hoped a ceasefire agreement in Ukraine would remain viable.

Al Jazeera:

As pro-Russian rebels hold elections, the conflict in Ukraine looks increasingly like a frozen one.

The Economist:

NATO claims some 300 Russian troops remain inside eastern Ukraine training soldiers and co-ordinating supplies. Rebel leaders promise to recapture territory lost this summer. Several of the contested areas are crucial for the republics’ long-term survival, including the port city of Mariupol and a power station north of Luhansk. The question is not whether they will make a move, but when.

Gorbachev refuted the myth about Nato’s promise did not expand on the East. Meanwhile, many experts while debating over motives of aggressive Russian expand towards Ukraine use this argument that NATO promised not to expand eastward in exchange for receiving assistance from the Soviet Union for allowing a reunited Germany to be part of Nato.

Deutsche Welle, ZDF:

It was not the subject of negotiations in 1990, the former president told German TV ZDF on Saturday, November 8. “The Warsaw pact worked and there was no question about it,” he explained. In “Two Plus Four” treaty of 1990 the problem was about the territory of the former GDR, Gorbachev underlined. According to the pact, no atomic weapon and Nato forces could be located there.” Also in the course of the next few years Bundeswehr forces would get smaller in number. “It all had been done,” the former President of the Soviet Union underlined.

Former German Foreign Minister Hans-Dietrich Genscher does not believe “the opportunities offered by the year 1989 were realized as they could have been.” He calls for reviving The NATO-Russia Council.

Deutsche Welle:

Genscher says that in light of the new tensions in Eastern and Western Europe, Europe needs a “fresh start.” The NATO-Russia Council should be revived. “This great achievement” was created specifically for times of crisis. “Now we have the crisis, and the Council is not convening. I think that this gives both sides cause to reflect.” Compared to other major problems such as refugee flows or global public health, “the problems that Europe is squabbling over today seem pretty small,” says Genscher.