Revolutionary protests in Ukraine in winter 2014 resulted in the annexation of Crimea by Russia and an anti-terrorist operation launched by Kyiv in Eastern Ukraine.
What began as a totally internal manifestation of displeasure with governmental policy was transformed into an international security crisis. While Kyiv considers it a Russian-Ukrainian conflict, Moscow perceives it as a confrontation between Russia and the West, claiming that the crisis was provoked by NATO’s desire to expand into the region where Russia’s vital interests lie.
After two years, the situation has become more complex, undermining the role of international organizations such as the UN and the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) in security and conflict resolution, challenging the norms of classical warfare and the traditional definition of aggression, and engendering threats leading to militarization but also provoking intervention in another crisis (in Syria) in order to distract attention and to return to diplomacy and international negotiation.
Hanna Shelest is editor-in-chief of Ukraine Analytica and Curator of the Ukrainian Peacebuilding School. For more than 10 years she was a senior researcher at the Odessa branch of the National Institute for Strategic Studies. An expert on Ukrainian foreign policy, she is a frequent media commentator and presenter at international conferences. Her research interests focus on conflict resolution, security, and cooperation, especially in the wider Black Sea region and the Middle East.
Dr. Shelest was a Rotary Peace Fellow in 2010, a Black Sea Young Reformer in 2011, a John Smith Fellow in 2012, and a visiting research fellow at the NATO Defense College in Rome in 2014.
She is currently serving as a Marshall Fund Memorial Fellow, and the Department of Political Science is grateful to the generosity of the German Marshall Fund, which has made it possible for her to deliver this Chartwell Lecture on her first visit to Alaska.