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Disc. of the article: What to do with Eastern Europe’s geopolitical «grey zone»? Instytut Stosunków Międzynarodowych Uniwersytetu Warszawskiego, 23.1.19, 12:00-14:00


Disc. of the article: What to do with Eastern Europe’s geopolitical «grey zone»? #Warsaw Instytut Stosunków Międzynarodowych Uniwersytetu Warszawskiego, 23.1.19, 12:00-14:00

Pałac Tyszkiewiczów-Potockich

Krakowskie Przedmieście 32, Warschau
Facebook event site:

Event site: 

Engl. abridg. text:

Polish full text:

Institute of International Relations WNPiSM UW kindly invites you to the seminar “What to Do with Eastern Europe’s Geopolitical “Grey Zone”?” Which will take place on January 23 from 12:00 to 14:00 in the ballroom of the Tyszkiewicz-Potocki Palace, Krakowskie Przedmieście 32, University of Warsaw.

The seminar is inspired by the report „Co mamy zrobić, by «szara strefa» Europy stała się mniej szara?” (How to make eastern Europe’s grey zone less grey?) published by the Warsaw office of the European Council on Foreign Relations. We will host one author of the report – Andreas Umland from the Institute for Euro-Atlantic Cooperation in Kiev – as well as Polish experts – Łukasz Kulesa, Research Director at the European Leadership Network, and the representative of ISM Prof. Andrzej Szeptycki.

The gathered experts will discuss possible actions aimed at strengthening the security of post-Soviet states struggling with the so-called frozen conflicts – Ukraine, Moldova, Georgia and Azerbaijan.


Instytut Stosunków Międzynarodowych WNPiSM UW serdecznie zaprasza na seminarium naukowe pt. „What to Do with Eastern Europe’s Geopolitical „Grey Zone”?” które odbędzie się 23 stycznia w godzinach 12:00-14:00 w sali balowej Pałacu Tyszkiewiczów-Potockich, ul. Krakowskie Przedmieście 32, Warszawa.

Inspiracją dla seminarium jest raport „Co mamy zrobić, by «szara strefa» Europy stała się mniej szara?” opublikowany przez warszawskie biuro Europejskiej Rady Stosunków Zagranicznych. W seminarium udział wezmą autor raportu – Andreas Umland z kijowskiego Instytutu na rzecz Współpracy Euroatlantyckiej – a także polscy eksperci – Łukasz Kulesa, dyrektor Biura Badań brytyjskiego think-tanku European Leadership Network, oraz przedstawiciel ISM dr hab. Andrzej Szeptycki.

Zgromadzeni eksperci omówią zagadnienia oraz działania mające służyć wzmocnieniu bezpieczeństwa poradzieckich państw borykających się z problematyką tzw. zamrożonych konfliktów – Ukrainy, Mołdawii, Gruzji i Azerbejdżanu.



Call for volume editor/s: Did the #West promise Moscow to not expand @NATO? @ibidem11 @ColumbiaUP @PW_Portal @Je_Sirius @Konflikt_Sicher @GERonOstpolitik

The Book Series “Soviet and Post-Soviet Politics and Society” looks for one or more possible collector/s, editor/s, introduction author/s, organizer/s, formal style editor/s, contract partner/s and corrector/s of an English or English/German volume assembling various published and unpublished contributions to the discussion about the West’s alleged promise to Moscow to not expand NATO beyond East Germany. This volume could include new or reprinted contributions by, among others, such experts as Hannes AdomeitJan Claas BehrendsMark KramerJoachim KrauseJosh ShifrinsonStefan CreuzbergerChristian Nünlist (see below), Mary Sarotte, Svetlana SavranskayaJim Goldgeier and others.
If interested, please, write to with a brief bio and your idea about such a book. See also:


Andreas Umland, Senior Fellow, Institute for Euro-Atlantic Cooperation
Russian-language “Forum:”
“Journal of Soviet and Post-Soviet Politics and Society:”

The #KerchStrait skirmish: a Law of the Sea perspective. By Dmitry Gorenburg @RussMil @CNA_org

via The Kerch Strait skirmish: a Law of the Sea perspective

TOC: Issues in the History and Memory of the #OUN II — JOURNAL OF SOVIET AND POST-SOVIET POLITICS AND SOCIETY 4:2 @ibidem11 @ColumbiaUP @Gazellian

jspps 4 2 cover

Journal of Soviet and Post-Soviet Politics and Society, vol. 4, no. 2 (2018)


Simon Schlegel:

Soviet Bureaucracy as a Category Coining Machine: Ethnicity, Ethnography, and the “Primordial Trap”

Special Section: Issues in the History and Memory of the OUN II

Andreas Umland and Yuliya Yurchuk:
Introduction: Essays in the Historical Interpretation of the Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists
(full text online:

Ivan Gomza:
Catalytic Mobilization of Radical Ukrainian Nationalists in the Second Polish Republic: The Impact of Political Opportunity Structure

Igor Barinov:
Allies or Collaborators? The Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists and Nazi Germany during the Occupation of Ukraine in 1941–43

Myroslav Shkandrij:
Volodymyr Viatrovych’s Second Polish–Ukrainian War

John-Paul Himka


Serhy Yekelchyk on:
Christoph Mick, Lemberg, Lwów, L’viv, 1914–1947: Violence and Ethnicity in a Contested City

Anika Walke on:
Leonid Rein, The Kings and the Pawns: Collaboration in Byelorussia during World War II

Christopher Gilley on:
Victoria Khiterer, Jewish Pogroms in Kiev during the Russian Civil War, 1918–1920

Yulia Oreshina on:
Tarik Cyril Amar, The Paradox of Ukrainian Lviv: A Borderland City between Stalinists, Nazis, and Nationalists

Maryna Rabinovych on:
Mikhail Minakov, Development and Dystopia: Studies in Post-Soviet Ukraine and Eastern Europe

Olga Gontarska on:
Sander Brouwer (ed.), Contested Interpretations of the Past in Polish, Russian, and Ukrainian Film: Screen as Battlefield

Antony Kalashnikov on:
Shaun Walker, The Long Hangover: Putin’s New Russia and the Ghosts of the Past

Karolina Koziura on:
Andrea Graziosi and Frank E. Sysyn (eds.), Communism and Hunger: the Ukrainian, Kazakh and Soviet Famines in Comparative Perspective


Soviet Bureaucracy as a Category Coining Machine: Ethnicity, Ethnography, and the “Primordial Trap”
Simon Schlegel

Soviet use of ethnicity as an administrative category significantly changed the way ethnic groups and the boundaries between them came to be conceived. The ascription of ethnic identities through the Soviet passport system is very well studied. It is less clear, however, how this practice was justified when faced with contradiction and how the theoretical concepts behind it became common and lasting beliefs. In a long-term assessment of the consequences of Soviet administrative practices, this study combines archive research and biographical interviews to uncover the deep imprints Soviet ethnicity policies left on contemporary forms of categorization. Research was conducted in southern Bessarabia, a multi-ethnic and peripheral region of south-western Ukraine. Through this local lens, the study takes a close look at how Soviet social sciences dealt with contradictions that occurred between its clear-cut categories and a fuzzier social reality. The paper shows that the main strategy to overcome such ambiguity has been to coin new social categories whenever the established ones failed to accommodate all observable cases. I argue that this solution leads into a “primordial trap,” the claim that all these newly coined categories had existed long before anyone realized. Soviet institutions combined three practices that led ethnicity to be taken as a natural and decisive part of everyone’s identity: Soviet social sciences declared ethnicity an essential category; the Soviet education apparatus made ethnicity a pervasive reality; and Soviet administration ascribed one ethnic label to each of its citizens. Retracing these three practices, the article examines the underlying scholarly theories and the resulting folk theories which tend to lead into the “primordial trap.” The state that created today’s dominant ethnicity concepts may have long vanished, but the inbuilt evasive maneuver of creating ever new categories on the blurred boundaries of obsolete ones made its ethnicity concepts remarkably resilient.

Catalytic Mobilization of Radical Ukrainian Nationalists in the Second Polish Republic: The Impact of Political Opportunity Structure
Ivan Gomza

This article brings together historical and political science approaches in order to examine the growth of radical nationalist sentiment and the subsequent strengthening of Ukrainian radical nationalist movements in the Second Polish Republic, from 1918 through the 1930s. Offering a sociological explanation for this process, the article applies the concepts of contentious politics and political opportunity structure to the field of study. The author argues that during the inter-war period, contentious politics were used by both the moderate and radical wings of the Ukrainian nationalist movement. However, the moderate nationalists adopted a contained contention strategy, whereas the radical nationalists opted for a transgressive contention strategy. Consequently, their mutual disposition was characterized by an opposite flank effect—a competition for resources between the wings, their common goal notwithstanding. This competition unfolded within a particular political opportunity structure (hereafter: POS) of the Second Polish Republic. Using five indicators of POS, the author suggests that the successful mobilization of the radical Ukrainian nationalists was facilitated by the increasing opening of POS towards the radical strategy. A chronological study of POS fluctuations is used to demonstrate the case. The article also expands the scholarly understanding of mechanisms of contentious politics by introducing the concept of “catalytic mobilization”—an extensive resource mobilization process occurring despite governmental attempts to restrain it. As this study shows, catalytic mobilization was a crucial component in the further strengthening of the position of Ukrainian radical nationalists under the Second Polish Republic.

Allies or Collaborators? The Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists and Nazi Germany during the Occupation of Ukraine in 1941–43
Igor Barinov

The question of how to classify the relationship between the Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists (OUN) and Nazi Germany during World War II is both extremely complex from the scholarly point of view, and heavily politicized and emotionally charged. Was the OUN’s relationship to Nazi Germany a case of a full-fledged alliance, or should we rather view this as an instance of collaboration, in which the OUN was in a subordinate position vis-à-vis the Nazi authorities? This article sets out to classify the relations between the Ukrainian nationalists and various structures of the German Reich during the different periods of their cooperation, with a particular focus on the period of the Nazi occupation of Ukraine. The specificity of the OUN case, especially when it comes to this particular period, means that the OUN’s actions do not fit neatly within a clear-cut ally/collaborator dichotomy. In this article, a case is made for viewing this relationship as neither an alliance nor collaboration, but rather a specific form of situational tactical cooperation arising out of conditions in which the aims and intentions of the two parties were in temporary alignment with one another. In making this argument, the article seeks to contribute to the scholarship on the problem of how to define collaboration in the context of the particular conditions of the Eastern front.

Volodymyr Viatrovych’s Second Polish-Ukrainian War
Myroslav Shkandrij

The article reviews Volodymyr Viatrovych’s book “Druha pols’ko-ukrains’ka viina, 1942-1947” (The Second Polish-Ukrainian War, 1942-1947), which was published in Kyiv in 2012 and immediately sparked an international debate. The focus is on Viatrovych’s view of events in Volhynia in 1943, his representation of the OUN’s role in these events, and the wider issue of cultural memory politics in contemporary Ukraine. It argues that Viatrovych successfully challenges some settled opinions among both Polish and Western scholars but undermines his case by unproblematically treating the OUN as a liberation movement and by avoiding a number of key issues.


Full-text book reviews and correspondence available via the link:

Order via web shops at ibidem and CUP: (with an outdated special issue announcement)

New book by John B. Dunlop @HooverInst: The February 2015 Assassination of #BorisNemtsov @ibidem11 @ColumbiaUP


John B. Dunlop (Hoover Institution, Stanford University):
The February 2015 Assassination of Boris Nemtsov and the Flawed Trial of his Alleged Killers: An Exploration of Russia’s “Crime of the 21st Century”.
Published within the book series “Soviet and Post-Soviet Politics and Society” of ibidem-Verlag.
Distributed by Columbia University Press and Gazelle Book Services.


List of 2018 articles on #Ukraine & #Russia: titles, outlets & links to PDFs on

Krym Rossiia

Чому і як Україна повинна відкрити себе для Європейського Союзу

Дзеркало тижня, 2018

Почему и как Украина должна открыть себя для Европейского Союза

Зеркало недели, 2018

Было ли присоединение Крыма к РФ исторически оправдано? Критика «реалистического» подхода в интерпретациях российской аннексии украинского полуострова

Форум новейшей восточноевропейской истории и культуры, 2018

Co mamy zrobić, by „szara strefa” Europy stała się mniej szara?

European Council on Foreign Relations, 2018

Постсовєтське неоевразійство, Путінова система і сучасні европейські ультраправі

Критика: Міжнародний огляд книжок та ідей, 2018

Why and How a New Democratization of Russia Can Happen and Be Supported: The West Should Get Ready for and Promote a Different Post-Soviet Future

Foreign Policy Association, 2018

The Glazyev Tapes, Origins of the Donbas Conflict, and Minsk Agreements

Foreign Policy Association, 2018

Whom Does Crimea Belong to? Russia’s Annexation of the Ukrainian Peninsula and the Question of Historical Justice

Foreign Policy Association, 2018

Які перспективи врегулювання конфлікту на Донбасі після виборів в Росії та в Україні?

Vox Ukraine, 2018

The prospects of conflict resolution in the Donbass after the Russian and Ukrainian elections

Vox Ukraine, 2018

Каковы перспективы урегулирования конфликта на Донбассе после выборов в России и Украине?

Vox Ukraine, 2018

Revisiting Decentralization After Maidan: Achievements and Challenges of Ukraine’s Local Governance Reform

Kennan Cable, 2018

Inwieweit war Russlands Anschluss der Krim historisch gerechtfertigt? Zur Problematik „realistischer“ Annexionsnarrative

SIRIUS – Zeitschrift für Strategische Analysen, 2018

«Неоевразийство» и идеи российского господства: исследования российского правого экстремизма

Украинско-российское обозрение, 2018

“Чей Крым?” Чи дійсно були історичні підстави для російського аншлюсу півострова?

VoxUkraine, 2018

Был ли российский аншлюс Крыма исторически оправдан? Критика «реалистичного» подхода в западных интерпретациях аннексии РФ украинского полуострова, 2018

Чому фашисти захопили Райхсканцелярію, але не взяли Кремля: зіставлення Ваймарської Німеччини і постсовєтської Росії

Критика: міжнародний огляд книжок та ідей, 2018

Warum die Ukraine zu einem Balkanstaat werden sollte

European Council on Foreign Relations, 2018

Концепт регионального блока в Центрально-Восточной Европе

Асимметрии региональных интеграционных проектов XXI века, 2018

Erfolgsstory oder auf Sand gebaut? Zum Stand der Dezentralisierungsreform in der Posteuromaidan-Ukraine


Як зробити Росію постімперською?

Дзеркало тижня, 2018

Как сделать Россию постимперской?

Зеркало недели, 2018

The Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists (OUN) in Post‐Soviet Ukrainian Memory Politics, Public Debates, and Foreign Affairs

Journal of Soviet and Post-Soviet Politics and Society, 2017

Les dossiers de Glazyev: Ce que l’ingérence de Moscou implique pour les accords de Minsk

European Council on Foreign Relations, 2016

The Radical Right in Post-Soviet Russia

The Oxford Handbook of the Radical Right, 2018

Auf dem Weg zu einer Teillösung des »Ukrainekonflikts«? Das Instrument einer UN-Friedensmission für den Donbas und die westliche Russlandpolitik

Ukraine-Analysen, 2018

Що означало б президентство Тимошенко? [unauthorized translation from English]

UAinfo, 2018

What Would a Tymoshenko Presidency Mean?

Atlantic Council, 2018

Warum die ukrainische Dezentralisierungsreform für den gesamten postsowjetischen Raum wichtig ist

Ukraine-Analysen, 2018

Wie kann Osteuropas Grauzone weniger grau werden?

The European, 2018

Україна може одночасно пом’якшити проблему еміграції й пожвавити економіку [unauthorized translation]

УНІАН, 2018

Парадоксальный способ, который позволит Украине произвести впечатление на ЕС и решить проблему миграции [unauthorized translation]

UAinfo, 2018

A Counterintuitive Way Ukraine Can Impress the EU and Solve Its Own Migration Problem

Atlantic Council, 2018

Osteuropas Grauzone: Wie die USA eine wichtige Region näher an den Westen rücken könnten

Focus Online, 2018

Georgien, die Ukraine, Aserbaidschan und die Moldau – über Osteuropas Grauzone muss ein Licht aufgehen

Neue Zürcher Zeitung, 2018

Как сделать “серую зону” Европы менее серой?

Зеркало недели, 2018

Як зробити “сіру зону” Європи менш сірою?

Дзеркало тижня. Україна, 2018

Децентрализация в Украине: устойчивые успехи или воздушные замки?

Зеркало недели. Украина, 2018

Децентралізація в Україні: стійкі успіхи чи повітряні замки?

Дзеркало тижня. Україна, 2018

Ukraine: Experte schlägt 4-Stufen-Plan vor, um Konflikt in der Ostukraine zu lösen

Focus Online, 2018

Un plan în 4 trepte pentru soluționarea războiului din Ucraina

Historia.RO, 2018

Vier Punkte für einen Fortschritt im Donbass: Den Frieden erpressen

Neue Zürcher Zeitung, 2018

Re-Imagining and Solving the Donbas Conflict: A Four-Stage Plan for Western and Ukrainian Actors

Foreign Policy Association, 2018

How to Solve Ukraine’s, Moldova’s and Georgia’s Security Dilemma? The Idea of a Post-Soviet Intermarium Coalition

Foreign Policy Association, 2018

To Whom Does Crimea Belong? Russia’s Annexation of the Ukrainian Peninsula and the Question of Historical Justice

Eurasia Review, 2018

Киев не может ждать: Четыре этапа возвращения Донбасса

Новое время, 2018

Київ не може чекати: Чотири етапи повернення Донбасу

Новое время, 2018

Wie sieht die Zukunft Russlands aus?

The European, 2018

Почему Украине срочно нужен мир [unauthorized, faulty and selective translation by]

ИноСМИ.ru, 2018

Why Peace in Ukraine Cannot Wait

Ukraine Alert, 2018

Wird Russland nach Putin prowestlich? Der Westen kann bereits heute die Entstehung einer postimperialen Russischen Föderation fördern

Huffington Post Deutschland, 2018

What Is the Real Story Behind the MH17 Disaster?

Foreign Policy Assocation, 2018

Мир на Донбассе: возможен он или нет?

Украинско-Российское обозрение, 2018

La Crimea è russa parola del Grande Fratello

Libertates, 2018

Experte erklärt, warum Putin-System dem Untergang geweiht ist

Focus Online, 2018

The Sad Record of the Netherlands’ Dealing with MH17

The Politicon, 2018

Катастрофа МН-17: что планировал Кремль?

Новое время, 2018

Россия при Путине менее стабильна, чем кажется [unauthorized translation by]

ИноСМИ.ру, 2018

Russland unter Putin ist weniger stabil, als es scheint

Neue Zürcher Zeitung, 2018

Війна, Крим і криза: Як німці сприймають Україну

Новое время, 2018

Война, Крым и кризис: Как немцы воспринимают Украину

Новое время, 2018

From Amalgamation of Local Communities to a New Governance System in Post-Euromaidan Ukraine

New Eastern Europe, 2018

UN Peacekeeping in Donbas? The Stakes of the Russia-Ukraine Conflict

European Council on Foreign Relations Wider Europe Forum, 2018

Krieg, Krise, Krim vs «Динамо-Киев» и Кличко. В Германии провели исследование: какое восприятия Украины довлеет в немецком обществе

Щоденна всеукраїнська газета «День», 2018

Change in Eastern Europe?

Le Monde diplomatique, 2018

Why Aleksandr Dugin’s “Neo-Eurasianism” is not Eurasianist

The Politicon, 2018

Was kommt nach Putin? Wie der Westen sich darauf vorbereiten sollte

Focus Online, 2018

Чем отличается “неоевразийство” Дугина от классического евразийства?

Новое время, 2018

Чим відрізняється “неоєвразійство” Дугіна?

Новое время, 2018

Дні Путіна злічено, але Захід має бути готовий запропонувати Росії альтернативу [unauthorized translation by], 2018

Putin’s days are numbered: Will Russia become pro-Western after Putin? [unauthorized translation by], 2018

Прозападна ли ще е Русия след Путин? Западът не трябва да повтаря грешките от 90-те години и да се готви за интегриране на Москва

Клуб Z, 2018

Станет ли Россия прозападной после Путина? [unauthorized translation by]

ИноСМИ.ru , 2018

Встанет ли Россия после Путина на прозападный курс?

InoPressa, 2018

Wird Russland nach Putin prowestlich?

Die Welt, 2018

Является ли путинский режим фашистским?

Интернет-журнал ГЕФТЕР, 2018

Mehrheit wollte Krim-Annexion? Wer Russlands Handeln so rechtfertigt, liegt falsch

Focus Online, 2018

Большинство крымчан поддержали аннексию Крыма? [Unauthorized translation by]

ИноСМИ.ru, 2018

Russ­lands Anne­xion der Krim – his­to­risch gerecht­fer­tigt? Zur Pro­ble­ma­tik „rea­lis­ti­scher” Anne­xi­ons­nar­ra­tive

Ukraine verstehen, 2018

Ein postimperiales Russland?

The European , 2018

Идея Междуморья после Первой мировой и «холодной» войн: концепт регионального блока в Центрально-Восточной Европе

Форум новейшей восточноевропейской истории и культуры, 2017

La “zona grigia” tra Russia, Nato e Ue che preoccupa l’Europa Orientale

Istituto per gli Studi di Politica Internazionale, 2018

“Балканські двері” в Євросоюз: Як Україна може переконати Європейський Союз надати їй перспективу членства і почати переговори про вступ?

Дзеркало тижня. Україна, 2018

“Балканские двери” в Евросоюз: Чем полезен для Украины опыт стран Юго-Восточной Европы

Зеркало недели, 2018

Успехи и поражения Порошенко

Новое время, 2018

Why Ukraine should become a Balkan country

European Council on Foreign Relations, 2018

Инструмент миротворческой миссии для Донбасса и политика Запада по отношению к России (unauthorized translation by, 2018

Das Instrument einer UN-Friedensmission für den Donbas und die westliche Russlandpolitik

Focus Online, 2018

Ucraina, conciliatorismul occidental şi expansionismul Rusiei

Adevarul, 2018

Pięć scenariuszy dla Ukrainy

Wszystko Co Najważniejsze, 2018

De ce nu are Rusia drepturi asupra Crimeii

Historia.RO, 2018

Why Warsaw is not supporting Kyiv as much as it should

New Eastern Europe, 2018

Getting Russia’s Future Right: Lessons from Recent History

The Russia File, 2018

Putin’s Approval Rating Dramatically Dips — To Inform is to Influence

The Russian Levada Center is showing Putin’s approval rating as dramatically dipping. There is no explanation given for the recent approval dip. The main reason, however, was midnight shocker of the pension age increase announcement during the Russian World Cup in June 2018. Russia’s continuing economic downturn as a result of Western sanctions is also […]

via Putin’s Approval Rating Dramatically Dips — To Inform is to Influence