New Developments in Ukraine


On Thursday, June 27, the Center for the National Interest hosted a panel of preeminent experts to discuss the developments in Ukraine under its new president, Volodymyr Zelensky.

The future of Ukraine and its relationships to its neighbors have become increasingly important in recent days. The Council of Europe’s parliamentary assembly recently voted to fully restore Russia’s participatory rights in the body. Almost immediately afterwards, the Russian delegation participated in the election of the Council’s Secretary-General and announced that it was prepared to make its full financial contribution owed to the body. The Ukrainian delegation, meanwhile, walked out of the assembly over the Council’s decision and threatened to withdraw from the body altogether.

The Center had three experts on hand to discuss these important developments:

First to speak was Dr. Samuel Charap, a senior political scientist at RAND and co-author of the recent book Everyone Loses: The Ukraine Crisis and the Ruinous Contest for Post-Soviet Eurasia. Charap was previously senior fellow for Russia and Eurasia at the International Institute for Strategic Studies and, before that, a senior advisor to the Under Secretary of State for Arms Control and International Security and a member of the State Department’s Policy Planning staff during the Obama administration.

Joining Dr. Charap was Dr. Keith Darden, an associate professor at American University’s School of International Service and author of the forthcoming book Resisting Occupation in Eurasia, which assesses the development of durable national loyalties in Ukraine and elsewhere in Eurasia. His previous work has examined economic reform, corruption and political economy in the former Soviet Union.

The final participant on the panel was Jacob Heilbrunn, editor of The National Interest. Jacob is a prominent expert on Europe who has strong connections with many European officials and politicians, particularly in Germany. His remarks focused primarily on the new challenges President Zelensky faces regarding his country’s relationship with Europe.

The event was moderated by Center Vice President and Director of Studies George Beebe, who previously served as director of CIA’s Russia analysis and as Special Advisor to Vice President Cheney for Russia/Eurasia and Intelligence Programs.

The National Interest’s analysis of the discussion can be found here.

For a full video of the event, check out the Center’s YouTube page here.