Members of the Kyiv Territorial Defense Unit are trained in an industrial area on January 15, 2022 in Kyiv, Ukraine.
Members of the Kyiv Territorial Defense Unit are trained in an industrial area on January 15, 2022 in Kyiv, Ukraine. © Brendan Hoffman/Getty Images

Spotlight on Ukraine

28 January 2022

IWPR's Frontline Updates – unique insights from our network of local reporters and updates from our programmes.

Europe is in turmoil, but the mood is very different depending on your vantage point.

Anthony Borden

By Anthony Borden
IWPR FOUNDER & EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR


Many in Moscow remain convinced war makes no sense and – escalating theatrics aside – a solution will be found. Meanwhile, Washington is in a state of fever, convinced of the real possibility of hot conflict – tanks surrounding Kyiv – and seized by the threat to the entire European post-war order.

In Ukraine, well used to threats from the north even if not of this order, people try to stay calm, preparing for the worst but getting on with life. As the population mobilises, children continue sledding in the capital.

Show More

Throughout, the Russian president retains the upper hand. As Fiona Hill – the Brookings expert, ex-senior director at the National Security Council, and former IWPR trustee – wrote recently in The New York Times, “All signs indicate that Mr Putin will lock the United States into an endless tactical game, take more chunks out of Ukraine and exploit all the frictions and fractures in NATO and the European Union.”

The continuing pressure on a developing democracy is enormous, and IWPR’s spotlight is supporting local reporters to highlight the impact within Ukrainian society. Steely pragmatism clashes with fatalism for a country still hugely impacted by the 2014 conflict. Cyberattacks indicate destablisation efforts are already under way, and that the real target may be Ukrainian democracy. The client state of Belarus could come into play as a key military staging point. Popular mobilisation gathers pace, building a militia force that may cohere society as well as contribute to military defence.

Local journalism has a key role to play in wartime, informing, revealing and ultimately helping to repair societies torn by war. Throughout this crisis, and whatever the result, IWPR will continue helping Ukrainian voices be heard.

Ukraine Rolls Out Mass Recruitment for Volunteer Army

Officials expect a 130,000-strong force to be assembled within weeks.

By Yuri Panchenko
IWPR CONTRIBUTOR

Ukrainian volunteers in a training camp organised by Ukrainian Legion, a body which organises military training for the civilian population.
Ukrainian volunteers in a training camp organised by Ukrainian Legion, a body which organises military training for the civilian population. © Ukrainian Legion

"If necessary these fighters can be sent to the front line, if the commander-in-chief decides that the time has come."

A Ukrainian border guard stands at the post in this undated photo.
A Ukrainian border guard stands at the post in this undated photo. © State Border Guard Service of Ukraine

Will Belarus be Springboard for Russian Incursion into Ukraine?

Troop deployment reinforces tensions ahead of war games planned for next month.

Cyberattacks Undermine Ukraine’s Security

Analysts highlight key weakness in hybrid war, alongside military build-ups and disinformation.

A message appeared on several Ukrainian government websites on January 13 as part of a massive cyber attack. It reads in part: "Ukrainians! All information about you has become public, be afraid and expect the worst. This is for your past, present and future."
A message appeared on several Ukrainian government websites on January 13 as part of a massive cyber attack. It reads in part: "Ukrainians! All information about you has become public, be afraid and expect the worst. This is for your past, present and future."
Ukrainian soldiers walk past destroyed buildings on the front line on December 8, 2021 in Marinka, Ukraine. A build-up of Russian troops along the border with Ukraine has heightened worries that Russia intends to invade the Donbas region.
Ukrainian soldiers walk past destroyed buildings on the front line on December 8, 2021 in Marinka, Ukraine. A build-up of Russian troops along the border with Ukraine has heightened worries that Russia intends to invade the Donbas region. © Brendan Hoffman/Getty Images

Ukrainians Fatalistic Amid Fears of Russian Invasion

“Where could we flee? We have nothing to lose.”

Meskhetian Turks Hope to Leave Ukraine’s Frontline for Turkey

As fears of Russian invasion mount, many see their future in a potential resettlement scheme.

Kamil Bashatov, 51, arrived in eastern Ukraine in 1989 from Uzbekistan. He wishes his children could move to Turkey, but if the security situation allows it, he would rather remain in Ukraine. His house bears the scars of heavy artillery from the 2014 fighting between the Ukrainian army and Russia-backed armed forces for the control of Sloviansk.
Kamil Bashatov, 51, arrived in eastern Ukraine in 1989 from Uzbekistan. He wishes his children could move to Turkey, but if the security situation allows it, he would rather remain in Ukraine. His house bears the scars of heavy artillery from the 2014 fighting between the Ukrainian army and Russia-backed armed forces for the control of Sloviansk. © Ismayil Fataliyev
Support our journalists