If Terms of Peace Are Not Set by Ukraine — They Will Be Set by Russia

Whatever the candidates' last names, one can clearly see the initial idea between the lines of promises of "establishing peace": "let's capitulate on Russia's terms". Yet, IT IS IMPOSSIBLE TO STOP THE WAR AND ESTABLISH PEACE, WHEN RUSSIA DOES NOT WANT THIS. UKRAINE'S WISHES ARE OF NO IMPORTANCE HERE.

This painstaking work will take both Ukraine and its international partners a long time. It is being said that "Kremlin holds the key to Ukraine's peace" — in reality, Kremlin holds the "lock", while the "key" — is a joint effort to open this lock.

Russia has not just occupied Ukraine, it violated international law and positioned itself outside the framework of international justice, and thus, has to suffer the consequences.

What we should be saying is "peace on Ukraine's terms". Otherwise, it will be on Moscow's terms.

The Donbas situation is complex and different from the Crimea situation. Two army corps are deployed on the uncontrolled ORDLO territory. At the same time, there is more room for action in terms of liberating these territories. However, it will take both Ukraine's and its partners' efforts combined, as Ukraine alone does not have enough capacities and means to put everything back in order.

Even to simply restore the region's economy, hundreds of billions of dollars are necessary. And we should be focusing not on restoring, but on restructuring and rebuilding Donbas economy — we need to be thinking about building a new economic system, without the coal industry and metal production, with innovative industries. This requires investment. Alone, Ukraine is not up to the task, even if in an indefinite number of years, following international court rulings, Russia does pay its contributions.

To even enter this territory and reduce the risk of social and political conflicts and clashes, we require the support of an international peacekeeping mission. It should include military, police and civilian components.

By civilian, I mean provisional administration. Because we will need to deal with returning IDPs, restoring their property and other rights, mine clearance, decentralisation, etc.


Mykola Sunhurovskyi

Director, Military Programmes

Born in 1951 in Moscow.


Orenburg Higher Military Air Defence Forces School (1972);

Kyiv Air Defence Forces Academy (1982);

Higher School of Entrepreneurship, Kyiv Institute of National Economy (1991).

Ph. D. in Technical Sciences, Senior Research Fellow, the author of more than 90 publications.

Colonel (Ret.) with 31 years of military service, half of that term — at research institutions. Research profile — systems analysis, strategic planning, analysis methods, national security.


Most recent position in state bodies — Department Chief at the Analytical Service of Ukraine's NSDC Staff;

Since December 1999 — Razumkov Centre Programme Co-ordinator;

Since February 2000 — Freelance Consultant to the National Security and Defence Committee of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine.

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