Hromadske spoke to Timothy Garton Ash, a renowned British historian, author, and professor of European Studies at Oxford University, while he was briefly visiting Ukraine. He talked about the conflict in the East, ways to make sure Europe understands the importance of the situation, Putin’s plans on Ukraine, and how to counter Russian narrative about Ukraine.
“What Putin wants is not a frozen conflict”, said Ash, “but a simmering conflict, a conflict that is still on the boil”. Ukraine needs to ensure Kremlin recognises what’s going to happen in case they escalate even more.
Garton Ash also commented on the talks about the unobvious results of reforming, the year after Maidan, naming Russia the biggest obstacle on the way of changes, “If the obstacles were only internal to Ukraine, if it were only corruption, oligarchs, inefficiency, and all the problems we know, I absolutely convinced that Ukraine would win, and you would have a better Ukraine in 5 to 10 year time. So the crucial question is this external factor.”
Though Russian influence in Europe isn’t as strong as it seems, “Dictatorships usually win in a short term, democracies win in a long term. Communities of democracies, which is the European Union, are even slower, because you need to get 28 democracies on the same page. Despite the party of Russia, there has been a remarkable degree of EU unity”.
“I would argue, that Ukraine has to make its case more strongly, more persuasively in terms of ‘It really matters to Europeans what happens here”, concluded Ash.
// Video by Nataliya Gumenyuk and Bohdan Kinashchuk. Filmed 04.02.2015