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Russian Invasion – 24th Ukraine Breakfast Debate


Russia has invaded Ukraine. Experts from Ukraine report on the current situation in different parts of the country. They make demands on the West's reactions, ranging from economic sanctions to military support.

Statement Prof. Olexiy Haran

The security policy debate in Germany does not correspond to the realities of the threat posed by Russia to Ukraine. Nevertheless, he recognises the West's diplomatic efforts, says Olexiy Haran, professor at the Kyiv-Mohyla Academy and head of research at the Ilko Kucheriv Democratic Initiatives Foundation (DIF).

Statement Maria Zolkina

Since 2014, there has been a growing discrepancy between the perception of the security situation by observers in the West and in Ukraine. A no-fly zone should be established over Ukraine. Such a shield could prevent not only further civilian casualties but also a nuclear catastrophe. Fighting has already been registered near Europe's largest nuclear power plant, Zaporizhzhia, said DIF analyst Maria Zolkina.

Statement Nataliia Shapoval

Economic assistance from Western partners is now very important. However, due to blocked seaports and transport routes, it is not clear how the funds can be spent on urgently needed goods, such as fuel for the Ukrainian army. Russia's exclusion from SWIFT is not only significant in terms of economic policy, but also because of the clear signal of Russia's far-reaching isolation, explains economist Nataliia Shapoval of the Kyiv School of Economics (KSE).

The sanctions imposed so far have not had a sufficient deterrent effect. Putin is acting irrationally in view of the economic crisis in Russia and it is not certain how effective further sanctions packages will be, admits Dr Janis Kluge of the Eastern Europe and Eurasia Research Group of the German Institute for International and Security Affairs (SWP). But he also says: "Even if there is just the slightest chance that something might work, we have to try!"

One day after the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the 24th Ukraine Breakfast Debate took place under the title "Russian invasion of Ukraine: What is the current situation and what can the West do?” Three Ukrainian experts and a senior associate from the German Institute for International and Security Affairs (SWP) shared their assessment of the current situation with the German audience.

The Ukraine Breakfast Debates are part of the project "German-Ukrainian Researchers Network" (GURN 2) and are kindly supported by the Federal Foreign Office.

Team & authors

About the GURN – German Ukrainian Researchers Network project: The cooperation between think tanks and politics are strengthened. GURN focuses on knowledge transfer, capacity building and bilateral dialogue. Current developments and German-Ukrainian relations are discussed in a variety of formats.

Image copyright: GURN