Haran: Putin has not withdrawn his troops from Ukraine, nor advanced any further

PONARS Eurasia
15 Jul 2017

(The News) Ever er since Russian President Vladimir Putin first sent his troops into Crimea to annex that region for Russia in 2014, the former Soviet republic of Ukraine has been has been on the defensive trying to preserve its national territory. [...]

But Olexiy Haran, professor of comparative politics at Ukraine’s Kyiv-Mohyla University and academic director of the Kiev’s Democratic Initiatives Foundation, sees the no-man’s-land standoff in Donbass as a positive sign that Western sanctions are working.

“Yes, it’s true that Putin has not withdrawn his troops from eastern Ukraine nor pulled out of Crimea, but he has not advanced any further into Donbass either, and I think that is a consequence of the sanctions,” Haran, who came to Mexico recently on a political tour, told The News in a one-on-one interview.

“Putin wanted to grab control of all of Donbass, but, in fact, he only controls a small part of the region, about 2 percent of the territory.”

Haran, who has witnessed Ukraine go through three revolutions (its 1991 succession from the Soviet Union, the 2004 Orange Revolution and the 2014 Euromaidan), said that the Western sanctions and international pressure essentially put a brake on Putin’s ambitions to devour the coal-rich former Ukrainian industrial heartland. [...]

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