The events of the last several months have proven that all existing mechanisms and arrangements to provide for Ukraine’s security have been ineffective. The country has found itself in limbo, desperately trying (and often failing) to provide for its own security while defending against Russian aggression.
There is no doubt that corruption, incompetence, and negligence have prevailed in Ukraine across many domains, including national security and defense. Military reform has been ineffective. Military appropriations have been inadequate, with funds often simply not reaching the intended parties. Public oversight has been non-existent, while the social status of the military and the level of public appreciation for it have been low (if rising in recent months). Such circumstances have not encouraged the best and brightest to join the ranks.
Viktor Yanukovych’s rule, in particular, was damaging for the Ukrainian military as with most sectors in the country. Ukraine was basically a “disarmed” state, whether as a result of a deliberate act of treason and/or the continuation of the corrupt system of Ukrainian governance.
What lessons can we draw from Ukraine’s state of affairs in the current conflict with Russia, not just for the Ukrainian military but also in terms of broader security arrangements for Ukraine? What options exist?