Brief: Russia Sees an Opportunity in Ukraine

Moscow will always try to find ways to bring Kyiv back into its orbit.

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Background: Ukraine is a crucial buffer state for Russia, which lost some influence in the country after the Maidan revolution brought to power an administration more friendly with the West. Moscow countered by annexing Crimea and creating a frozen conflict in the eastern breakaway territory of Donbass. Russia will always try to find ways to bring Ukraine back into its orbit, and the political crisis brewing in Kyiv may create an opportunity to do just that. What Happened: Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy has called for support for a bill that would terminate the power of judges on the Constitutional Court and cancel their decision to block certain anti-corruption legislation. He argued that if public confidence in the court is not restored, the country will lose the opportunity to receive any international financial assistance, a visa-free travel regime with the European Union, and support from the EU and NATO. At least one judge has threatened to retaliate. Meanwhile, leaders of the Donetsk People’s Republic and the Luhansk People’s Republic, the rebel territories in the east, announced joint exercises in regions under their control from Nov. 10 to Nov. 14. Bottom Line: Ukraine is simply more vulnerable to interference during times of […]

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