Policy Memos

Russian Expansion: A Challenge and Opportunity for the Emerging Authoritarian Regime in Ukraine

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The year 2010 marked a swift rapprochement between new Ukrainian authorities, headed by President Viktor Yanukovych, and the Russian tandem of Prime Minister Vladimir Putin and President Dmitry Medvedev. The Kremlin and its loyal conglomerates managed to convert their growing political influence into a number of strategic agreements in Ukrainian energy, industrial, and financial sectors. However, these achievements did not meet early Russian expectations regarding possible Ukrainian concessions, while Ukraine’s new ruling elites were surprised and disappointed with the Russian government’s neglect of reciprocity and parity in economic and international affairs. As a result, both countries took a tactical timeout to reconsider their relationship. Although it is premature to say that a new crisis is evolving between Ukraine and Russia, there is clear evidence of a crisis in trust between the Ukrainian and Russian leadership. [...]

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About the author

Professor, Founding Director of the Kyiv Mohyla University School of Policy Analysis
National University of Kyiv-Mohyla Academy