Peacekeepers in Donbas: Window of Opportunity and Limits of Compromise

March 05, 2018

In the analysis of possibilities for implementing different ambitious ideas – at the planning stage or on a post facto basis – "the window of opportunity" is mentioned quite often. This is a figure of speech that describes the situation, when external circumstances are most favourable for implementing the plan. In my opinion, now is the window of opportunity for implementing the idea of a peacekeeping mission in Donbas.

Russia and Putin personally are having serious problems. "Black swans" for Russia are appearing more and more often: the Syrian gamble (something went wrong), the cocaine scandal in Argentina (the main person connected with the scandal was arrested in Germany, and he will most likely want to share information in exchange for judicial favours), the investigation into Russia's interference with American elections (new facts with specific names).

The West is starting to see the reality of the current Kremlin regime. The share of those who would like to see Russia as a partner is growing smaller compared to those who consider Russia a dangerous opponent and a global bully that cannot be trusted.

The issue of peacekeepers is in constant dynamics. In any case, if the political decision on the peacekeeping mission is made any time in the future, it will not be a 100% Russian or American (Ukrainian) proposal. Clearly, this decision will be a compromise and currently, the conditions of such compromise are not very beneficial for Kremlin.


Oleksiy Melnyk

Co-Director, Foreign Relations and International Security Programmes, Coordinator of International Projects

Born in 1962 in Khmelnytsty Rgn


Royal College of Defence Studies, London, UK (2007)

Air Field Operations Officer School, Biloxy, MS, US (2001)

Squadron Officer School, Montgomery, AL, US (1994)

Defence Language Institute, San Antonio, TX, US (1994)

Chernihiv Higher Military Air Force Academy, Ukraine (1984)


1980 – 2001 — Air Force Active Service (Cadet, Instructor Pilot, Flight Commander, Squadron Commander, Deputy Air Force Base Commander, Participant of two UN peacekeeping operations, Lt.Colonel (Ret)

2001 – 2004 — Razumkov Centre

2004 – 2005 — State Company Ukroboronservice

2005 – 2008 — Ministry of Defence of Ukraine, Head Organisational and Analytical Division — First Assistant to Minister of Defence

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