Ukraine, Russia and Recent Fighting
What flare-ups in eastern Ukraine tell us about the conflict.
By Antonia Colibasanu
Geopolitical Futures’ forecast for 2017 is that the frozen conflict in Ukraine will be formalized in some way. Increased fighting in Ukraine since Jan. 29 poses a potential challenge to this forecast and therefore warrants a close look. Last week, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko cut short his visit to Germany amid news of heavy fighting in eastern Ukraine, near the town of Avdiivka. Both sides – the Ukrainian army and Russian-backed separatists – accuse each other of starting the most recent fighting. To understand why this is happening now, it is necessary first to understand what is happening and then to take a step back and understand the strategic position of each of the major players. This line of analysis leads to the conclusion that at present, the forecast remains on track.
A woman carries a care package as residents queue for hot food distributed by Ukrainian rescue services in the flashpoint eastern town of Avdiivka, north of the pro-Russian rebels' de facto capital of Donetsk, on Feb. 3, 2017. ALEKSEY FILIPPOV/AFP/Getty Images