It’s not just the war: Ukraine’s fight behind the headlines

Ukraine has many problems. But the war is just one. In our latest piece, we hope to show the ones that you may not have heard of.

Full video transcript

It’s not just the war:

Ukraine beyond the headlines

Fighting in the east

has come to characterize Ukraine,

but only 7% of its territory is occupied

by Russian backed separatists.

Its struggle

for survival and self-determination,

free of corruption and Russian

influence is fought on many fronts.

From stabilizing its economy

to fighting cyber attacks,

Ukraine faces five key challenges

that may determine its very survival.

#1 INTERNAL DEFENCE

February 2015,

a bomb explodes in Kharkiv,

Ukraine’s second largest city.

It kills three and injures at least ten.

It wasn’t the first such attack,

but it was the deadliest.

Major seaport Odessa has dealt with

at least seven blasts in the past year.

Kiev’s stations have been threatened

leading to evacuations

and Ukraine's railways

have been blown up.

Under the previous regime, police and

secret service were highly centralized

and often used as personal militias.

Some even served

as Russian proxy agents.

Away from the limelight, a unified

internal security played a key role

in defending Ukraine,

as much as regular armed forces.

#2. CYBER DEFENCE

Nuclear power stations,

gas supplies, chemical factories...

Critical infrastructure is

under threat from cyber attack.

Hackers had success breaking

into the country’s computer systems.

In 2014, hackers changed

the results to indicate

that ultra-nationalist party

Right Sector

had won by 39% of the vote.

The origin of these attacks?

Difficult to know,

as hackers using IP cloakers

can disguise their whereabouts.

What we do know is

that Russian TV Channel One

aired a bulletin the night of the attack

declaring Right Sector the winner.

#3 CORRUPTION

One of Euromaidan’s top demands

was fair and independent institutions.

But with the economy tanking,

rooting out corruption becomes hard,

as a culture of bribery

persists in Ukraine’s institutions.

That doesn’t mean

the government hasn’t been trying.

In March 2015,

Ukrainian police entered

a televised government meeting

and arrested two senior officials

on charges of corruption.

Prime Minister Yatsenyuk

tweeted photos,

writing: This will happen

to everyone who breaks the law

and sneers at the Ukrainian state.

Such showy tactics

will need to be followed up

by massive reform of a system that

ranks 142nd out of a 175 countries

in Transparency International’s

Corruption Perceptions Index.

#4 THE ECONOMY

In 2014 one US dollar

would buy 8 Ukrainian Hryvnia.

Today, the same dollar

rakes in up to 21.

On top of their currency

devaluing by 70%,

Ukraine has lost

around 20% of its economy to war

and loss of infrastructure.

And its foreign reserves hit new lows,

plunging 12.4%

to around 5 billion dollars.

It’s a dire situation,

made worse by the 75 billion dollars

worth of debts

that the country inherited.

Ukraine is without funds

to support security services

or pay for implementing

badly needed reforms

and any aid or loans are

often tied to big budget cuts

and a 40% increase

in natural gas bills.

In a glimmer of hope,

a free trade deal with the EU

starting in 2016, may bring

some longer-term economic growth.

#5 INFORMATION WAR

Russia’s information campaign

against Ukraine has stepped up.

From bad Photoshop jobs

to professional actors

attesting to invented atrocities

the attacks

on its credibility are endless

and put Ukraine in an impossible

situation to try and counter.

Facing a well-funded

and monolithic propaganda machine,

Ukraine just doesn’t have

the resources to debunk every story.

But to do nothing leaves it

vulnerable to the lies gaining traction.

Ukraine’s future depends

not just on how strongly

the government stands by its plans

but how much its friends

want to support it

through what may be a defining

moment in its modern history.

xvc

It’s not just the war:

Ukraine beyond the headlines

Fighting in the east

has come to characterize Ukraine,

but only 7% of its territory is occupied

by Russian backed separatists.

Its struggle

for survival and self-determination,

free of corruption and Russian

influence is fought on many fronts.

From stabilizing its economy

to fighting cyber attacks,

Ukraine faces five key challenges

that may determine its very survival.

#1 INTERNAL DEFENCE

February 2015,

a bomb explodes in Kharkiv,

Ukraine’s second largest city.

It kills three and injures at least ten.

It wasn’t the first such attack,

but it was the deadliest.

Major seaport Odessa has dealt with

at least seven blasts in the past year.

Kiev’s stations have been threatened

leading to evacuations

and Ukraine's railways

have been blown up.

Under the previous regime, police and

secret service were highly centralized

and often used as personal militias.

Some even served

as Russian proxy agents.

Away from the limelight, a unified

internal security played a key role

in defending Ukraine,

as much as regular armed forces.

#2. CYBER DEFENCE

Nuclear power stations,

gas supplies, chemical factories...

Critical infrastructure is

under threat from cyber attack.

Hackers had success breaking

into the country’s computer systems.

In 2014, hackers changed

the results to indicate

that ultra-nationalist party

Right Sector

had won by 39% of the vote.

The origin of these attacks?

Difficult to know,

as hackers using IP cloakers

can disguise their whereabouts.

What we do know is

that Russian TV Channel One

aired a bulletin the night of the attack

declaring Right Sector the winner.

#3 CORRUPTION

One of Euromaidan’s top demands

was fair and independent institutions.

But with the economy tanking,

rooting out corruption becomes hard,

as a culture of bribery

persists in Ukraine’s institutions.

That doesn’t mean

the government hasn’t been trying.

In March 2015,

Ukrainian police entered

a televised government meeting

and arrested two senior officials

on charges of corruption.

Prime Minister Yatsenyuk

tweeted photos,

writing: This will happen

to everyone who breaks the law

and sneers at the Ukrainian state.

Such showy tactics

will need to be followed up

by massive reform of a system that

ranks 142nd out of a 175 countries

in Transparency International’s

Corruption Perceptions Index.

#4 THE ECONOMY

In 2014 one US dollar

would buy 8 Ukrainian Hryvnia.

Today, the same dollar

rakes in up to 21.

On top of their currency

devaluing by 70%,

Ukraine has lost

around 20% of its economy to war

and loss of infrastructure.

And its foreign reserves hit new lows,

plunging 12.4%

to around 5 billion dollars.

It’s a dire situation,

made worse by the 75 billion dollars

worth of debts

that the country inherited.

Ukraine is without funds

to support security services

or pay for implementing

badly needed reforms

and any aid or loans are

often tied to big budget cuts

and a 40% increase

in natural gas bills.

In a glimmer of hope,

a free trade deal with the EU

starting in 2016, may bring

some longer-term economic growth.

#5 INFORMATION WAR

Russia’s information campaign

against Ukraine has stepped up.

From bad Photoshop jobs

to professional actors

attesting to invented atrocities

the attacks

on its credibility are endless

and put Ukraine in an impossible

situation to try and counter.

Facing a well-funded

and monolithic propaganda machine,

Ukraine just doesn’t have

the resources to debunk every story.

But to do nothing leaves it

vulnerable to the lies gaining traction.

Ukraine’s future depends

not just on how strongly

the government stands by its plans

but how much its friends

want to support it

through what may be a defining

moment in its modern history.

xvc

Related videos
|
  • Mladic, Srebrenica and justice
  • Ukraine: where are all the fascists?
  • NATO - EU : Getting closer ?
  • Football and changing defences
  • Franco Frattini: It's the economy, stupid
  • Helicopters - and why they’re important
  • Smart Defence Ministers?
  • Cyber attacks: how can they hurt us?
  • Cyberwar - does it exist?
  • Cyber attacks, NATO - and angry birds
  • The changing Arctic: how involved should NATO be?
  • Women in security: a work in progress?
  • Libya's 2011 revolution ... in 2 minutes
  • Fuel for thought
  • Energy and the environment: the good, the bad and the worrying
  • Nature's forces and the armed forces
  • Water or WARter?
  • Homegrown terrorism: how the EU sees it
  • Smart Defence for Greece and Turkey?
  • Smart Defence: the analyst's view
  • Smart Defence: the parliamentary angle
  • Smart Defence: what does it mean?
  • Smart Defence: the political angle
  • Interview: Paddy Ashdown
  • Jamie Shea interview: Kosovo - then and now
  • Bosnia police reform: mission incomplete or mission impossible?
  • Bosnia: a new model army?
  • Karadzic: from Sarajevo to the Hague
  • Bosnia: a new model army? (Aug 2008)
  • Karadzic: from Sarajevo to the Hague (Aug 2008)
  • Double vision - an Afghan-American view
  • 2014: New Afghanistan's year zero?
  • NATO and Russia today: interview with Dmitri Trenin
  • UNSCR 1325: a happy 10th birthday?
  • Green issues – red alert?
  • The Changing face of Maritime Security
  • Safety in numbers? NATO and its partners
  • Enduring Partnerships: is corruption now Afghanistan's main battlefield?
  • Partnership or membership for Finland?
  • Come together: Why getting comprehensive matters
  • NATO's New Strategic Concept: a successful balancing act?
  • Social media: can it hurt democracy too?
  • Arab spring = Facebook revolution #1?
  • Political change: what social media can- and can't do
  • Public understanding - simplicity is genius (part 2) - dec 2009
  • Optimism - or realism?
  • Dying to eat
  • Rare earths: the new oil?
  • Lisbon: the perfect birthplace for NATO's new Strategic Concept?
  • The Tea Party: Home, alone?
  • Obama, elections and foreign policy: the bucks stop here?
  • Why should we be concerned about Yemen?
  • Yemen: 10 reasons to worry
  • Football: divider or uniter?
  • The God's eye view: Operation Active Endeavour
  • Defence and attack - how the forces see football
  • How do nuclear changes look to NATO?
  • The IAEA: the world's most important agency?
  • The Non-Proliferation Treaty: the world's most important treaty?
  • Nuclear chess: what's Iran's next move?
  • 2010: year zero for nuclear zero?
  • 20 days at sea
  • Shipping and piracy: A view from the top
  • China and the West: keyboard conflicts?
  • General Klaus Naumann, Former Chair, NATO Military Committee
  • Madeleine K. Albright, Chair, NATO Strategic Concept Expert Group
  • Admiral James G. Stavridis, Supreme Allied Commander, Europe
  • New age, new threats, new responses
  • NATO HQ - time for a makeover?
  • Under the ice of the world...
  • History: what shaped the strategic concept?
  • Piracy, ports and failed states, crime's frontlines ?
  • Organised crime and terrorist groups: comrades or chameleons?
  • Why the financial crisis matters for security
  • The financial crisis: ask the experts
  • From finance to defence
  • Interview of the Afghan Governor Amin
  • Interview of the Afghan Governor Sarabi
  • Two questions, three locations
  • A first video update on the Summit
  • Third video update: Obama Meeting
  • Interview Jonas Gahr Store
  • Interview Soren Gade
  • Taliban, television, telephones - and terror
  • Video interview with Ahmed Rashid
  • Video interview
  • Video debate: the new media - a help or hindrance in conflict situations?