Share twitter instagram facebook LinkedIn youtube

To improve our website we use google Analytics.

Our privacy statement and the privacy statement of google analytics apply.

3rd German-Ukrainian Breakfast Debate x Ukraine Insights

What consequences did the Russian occupation have for the people of Crimea, for Ukraine and for the entire region? These challenges were discussed at the 3rd German-Ukrainian Breakfast Debate in cooperation with the Center for Liberal Modernity and Ukrainian Prism.

A decade of Crimea occupation by Russia: security and human dimension

Following the annexation of Crimea in 2014, Russia has successively turned the peninsula into a military base from which it has been carrying out drone and missile attacks on the Ukrainian mainland since 2022. Crimea is the centre of gravity of the war and its occupation has not only led to a disastrous human rights situation, but has also had a massive impact on security in the entire region. The sea mines laid by Russia pose a threat not only to shipping, but also to people in the coastal regions. The Black Sea is also an important trading hub. By blocking grain exports and attacking Ukrainian port infrastructure and grain storage facilities, Russia is threatening global food security.

According to the experts at the third German-Ukrainian Breakfast Debate, Russia is pursuing two goals with regard to Crimea and the Black Sea: Firstly, to destroy Ukraine as a sovereign state and secondly, to project its power towards NATO. Regaining control over Crimea and the Sea of Azov is not only crucial for Ukraine's freedom and sovereignty, but also for the security of NATO and EU member states. The Sea of Azov is also important for financing the war, as a large part of Russian trade is channelled through it, and it is considered a hub for circumventing sanctions.

Even after ten years of Russian occupation, Crimea has not become Russian and there is active pro-Ukrainian resistance. The best-known movements include "Yellow Ribbon", the "Crimean Seagulls" and "Atesch" (Crimean Tatar word for fire). Due to the lack of legal mechanisms against the human rights violations committed by the Russian occupiers, such as the 1,400 documented cases of political persecution, torture and the militarisation of children, the only mechanism to restore human rights in Crimea is their liberation. In 2023, the Crimean Platform, which was originally launched as a diplomatic initiative to de-occupy the peninsula and has since been joined by 75 countries, recognised that this could only be achieved militarily. The reintegration of Crimea following its liberation would entail legal, cognitive and communicative challenges in particular, which would require expertise and international support.

The third German-Ukrainian Breakfast Debate took place on 21 March 2024 under the title "A decade of Crimea occupation by Russia: security and human dimension" and in cooperation with the Center for Liberal Modernity (LibMod, Berlin), Ukrainian Prism (Kyiv) and the New Europe Center (NEC, Kyiv). The discussion was opened by Maksym Yemelianov, Minister-Counsellor of the Embassy of Ukraine to Germany and Dr Iryna Solonenko, Ukraine Programme Director at LibMod, and moderated by Laura Christoph, research associate at the IEP.
The speakers were Olga Skrypnyk, Chair of the Crimea Human Rights Group & Co-Chair of the Expert Network Crimea Platform, Kyiv, Yulia Kazdobina, Senior Fellow in the Security Studies Program of Ukrainian Prism & Visiting Fellow, Stockholm Centre for Eastern European Studies (SCEEUS) and Wilfried Jilge, Advisor Ukraine and Wider Black Sea Region for the Stabilisation Platform & Associate Fellow, Center for Order and Governance in Eastern Europe, Russia and Central Asia, German Council on Foreign Relations (DGAP), Berlin.

The German-Ukrainian Breakfast Debates are part of the "UA Transformation Lab" project, which is funded by the German Federal Foreign Office.

Team & authors

About the UA Transformation Lab: Think tanks for Ukraine’s reconstruction and EU integration project: The UA Transformation Lab combines research on reconstruction and EU integration of Ukraine with a capacity-building programme on policy analysis and advocacy. It strengthens bilateral dialogue and knowledge transfer between Germany and Ukraine.

Image copyright: