The armed conflict in Donbas has now entered its seventh year. President Zelenskyy, who came to power in May 2019, promised to end the war with Russia and bring peace to Ukraine.
Since assuming office, Zelenskyy has managed to revive the Normandy Format talks, complete military disengagement at three points along the line of contact and negotiate the release of over a hundred Ukrainians held as prisoners of war in Russia. However, ceasefire violations continue to occur frequently.
Looking at the origins of the armed conflict in Donbas and the region’s economic role in Ukraine’s economy, this event discusses the prospects for conflict resolution. Do the recent events signify an opportunity for peace? Does Zelenskyy have a viable plan for re-integrating Donbas or will the region be cut off from mainland Ukraine for the foreseeable future?
The speakers assess the strategy and track record of the Ukrainian government and its Western allies in bringing parts of the occupied Donbas under Kyiv’s control. They also review possible policy implications of the COVID-19 pandemic for the conflict.
Paul D’anieri, Professor of Public Policy and Political Science, University of California, Riverside
Vlad Mykhnenko, Associate Professor of Sustainable Urban Development, St Peter’s College, University of Oxford
Chair: Orysia Lutsevych, Research Fellow and Manager, Ukraine Forum, Chatham House