Bugajski in The Wall Street Journal on Russia’s Elections

Fight Putin With Fire

Moscow reportedly plans to interfere with another U.S. election. Russia has an election coming up too.

Russian President Vladimir Putin in Moscow on Feb. 9.
Russian President Vladimir Putin in Moscow on Feb. 9. PHOTO: KREMLIN POOL/ZUMA PRESS

The Central Intelligence Agency has reported that Moscow is preparing to interfere in November’s midterm elections. On the theory that the best defense is a good offense, why shouldn’t Washington consider launching a cyberoffensive against the Kremlin? A targeted onslaught could disrupt the stability of Vladimir Putin’s regime.

Russia faces a presidential election March 18. The result is already decided— Mr. Putin will win—but the country is vulnerable to cyberpenetration. A key component of a covert assault would be to hack and disseminate official Russian communications, with a focus on the Kremlin, government ministries, Parliament, key businesses and subservient political parties, as well as private correspondence between officials.

Although the regime controls the major media outlets, potentially incendiary leaks can be circulated through social media, a favorite instrument of Kremlin disinformation in the West. The objective would be to disclose publicly the most provocative scandals of Russia’s top officials and the extent of their corrupt governance, opulent lifestyles, public lies, and contempt for ordinary citizens.

Especially valuable would be messages that reveal the willingness of officials, oligarchs and bureaucrats to betray the country for personal gain. Western intelligence services certainly possess more comprehensive information about the theft of the Russian budget than does even Alexei Navalny, the anticorruption campaigner barred from standing in the election.

A U.S. offensive could be extended beyond the election as part of a broader psychological influence operation. Such a strategy would have two core objectives: alienating the public from the regime and provoking power struggles inside the ruling stratum. Detailed revelations about official treason and financial abuse can fuel social, ethnic, regional and religious unrest—especially as living standards for the masses continue to plunge. Regime change would then become the responsibility of the exploited and manipulated Russian citizens.

Simultaneously, disclosures about conflicts within the ruling elite would generate uncertainty and anxiety in government circles and expose the regime’s political vulnerabilities. Even if that doesn’t immediately precipitate Mr. Putin’s downfall, it could help divert the Kremlin from its unchallenged cyberwar against Western democracies.

Some will caution that such an offensive against Moscow would be provocative and would escalate disputes between the U.S. and Russia. The Kremlin, however, perceives the lack of an effective U.S. response to its election meddling as weakness and vulnerability. The assault on American democracy continues to this day primarily because of an inadequate counterattack and the limited impact of financial sanctions against Russian officials.

Besides, Moscow will accuse America of interfering in its elections anyway. Washington might as well accomplish something.

Mr. Bugajski is a senior fellow at the Center for European Policy Analysis in Washington and co-author, with Margarita Assenova, of “Eurasian Disunion: Russia’s Vulnerable Flanks” (Jamestown Foundation, 2016).

Bugajski Article on the Visegrad States



Bugajski/Assenova book quoted in US Senate Report on Russia,



15TH CONGRESS ” COMMITTEE PRINT ! S. PRT. 2d Session 115–21








JANUARY 10, 2018

Printed for the use of the Committee on Foreign Relations

Available via World Wide Web: http://www.gpoaccess.gov/congress/index.html



Bugajski Moderated Panel at Atlantic Council Conference on Balkans in Washington DC


Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Atlantic Council Headquarters

1030 15th St NW, Washington, DC 20005

 A Coming Storm? Shaping a Balkan

Future in an Era of Uncertainty


8:30 a.m.                    Registration Opens

Light breakfast will be provided


9:00 – 9:40 a.m.          Welcoming Remarks and Scene Setter


Welcome: Frederick Kempe, President and CEO, Atlantic Council (confirmed)


Scene Setter:

Damir Marusic, Executive Editor, The American Interest (confirmed)

Damon Wilson, Executive Vice President, Programs and Strategy, Atlantic Council (confirmed)


9:40 – 10:00 a.m.        Keynote Remarks – US Policy in the Balkans: Progress and Challenges   


10:00 – 11:15 a.m.      Panel 1 – Shifting Alliances and the Return of Great Power Politics: Managing the New Geostrategic Landscape in Southeast Europe

In recent years, Russia, Turkey, and the Middle East have been perceived to expand their influence in the Balkans. What impact will this have on the region’s Euro-Atlantic aspirations in NATO and the EU? What should the United States and European Union do, if anything, to shape this new strategic landscape?


Dimitar Bechev, Research Fellow, Center for Slavic, Eurasian, and East European Studies, University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill (confirmed)

Molly McKew, President, Fianna Strategies (confirmed)

Molly Montgomery, Special Advisor for Europe and Russia, Office of the Vice President (invited)


Moderator: Barbara Surk, Contributing Writer, New York Times (confirmed)


11:15 – 11:30 a.m.      Coffee Break


11:30 – 12:45 p.m.      Panel 2 – Investing in the Future: Can Entrepreneurs “Fix” the Balkans?

The Western Balkan region has some of the highest unemployment rates and lowest wages in Europe, a situation with well-documented economic and political ramifications. What are the greatest barriers to investment and economic growth, and what can countries do to overcome them? How can the region effectively foster the next generation of entrepreneurs to drive positive economic change moving forward? What role does US and European investment play in the region?             

Mark Boris Andrijanic, Public Policy, Central and Eastern Europe, Uber (confirmed)

H.E. Ivica Dačić, First Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs of Serbia (confirmed)

Cyril Muller, Vice President, Europe and Central Asia, The World Bank (confirmed)

H.E. Behgjet Pacolli, First Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs of Kosovo (confirmed)

Marija Zivanovic-Smith, Corporate VP, Marketing, Communications, and Government Relations, NCR Corporation (invited)


Moderator: Amb. Robert S. Gelbard, Chairman, Gelbard International Consulting (confirmed)


Closing remarks:

The Hon. Ron Johnson, US Senator (invited)


12:45 – 2:00 p.m.        Lunch Break

Lunch will be available to all participants


2:00 – 3:15 p.m.          Panel 3 – Great Risk, Great Reward: Tackling the Balkans’ Enduring Political Challenges

Despite significant regional progress, a series of political disputes continue to overshadow positive developments. The ongoing dialogue between Belgrade and Pristina over their bilateral relations, the name dispute between Greece and Macedonia, and the internal political turmoil in Bosnia and Herzegovina are all major impediments to the region’s stability. What kind of effort is needed to break through these barriers? How much should the international community be involved?


H.E. Nikola Dimitrov, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Macedonia (confirmed)

H.E. Enver Hoxhaj, Deputy Prime Minister of Kosovo (confirmed)

Astrit Istrefi, Executive Director, The Balkan Forum (confirmed)

The Hon. Hoyt Yee, Deputy Assistant Secretary for European and Eurasian Affairs, US Department of State (confirmed)


Moderator: Janusz Bugajski, Senior Fellow, Center for European Policy Analysis (confirmed)


3:15 – 3:30 p.m.          Coffee Break


3:30 – 4:45 p.m.          Panel 4 – Going the Distance: The US-EU Partnership in the Balkans and Prospects for Euro-Atlantic Integration

                                    The United States and the European Union have long worked hand-in-hand to drive political and economic reform and encourage stability in the Balkans. As the United States reassesses its foreign policy priorities, and the European Union is forced to address its own internal dynamic, to what extent can/should the US and EU be involved in the region to avoid backsliding and re-incentivize forward progress? What specific steps do EU aspirant countries from the Balkans need to take in the next five years in order to maintain momentum in the accession process?


                                    Opening remarks:

The Hon. Jeanne Shaheen, US Senator (confirmed)



                                    H.E. Ditmir Bushati, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Albania (confirmed)

Rosemary di Carlo, President, National Committee on American Foreign Policy (confirmed)

H.E. Srdjan Darmanović, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Montenegro (confirmed)

Hedvig Morvai, Executive Director, European Fund for the Balkans (confirmed)


4:45 – 6:00 p.m.          Panel 5 – NATO in the Balkans: Securing the Frontiers of Europe in Turbulent Times

Over the past decade, NATO’s engagement with the Western Balkan region has increasingly moved from peacekeeping to support for reforms associated with the region’s Euro-Atlantic integration. What is next for NATO in the Balkans? How should NATO’s regional policy evolve over the next 5-10 years, and what specific strategies should the Alliance prioritize to ensure a stable and prosperous region over the long term? How can NATO best play a constructive role in developing Balkan countries’ own capabilities to effectively address the security challenges they face?


The Hon. Thomas Goffus, Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Europe and NATO, US Department of Defense (invited)

Jasmin Mujanović, Fellow, EastWest Institute (confirmed)

Milica Pejanović-Djurišić, former Minister of Defense; Member of the Governance Board, Atlantic Council of Montenegro (confirmed)

Rear Admiral Murray Joe Tynch, III, Assistant Chief of Staff for Operations, Headquarters, Joint Force Command Naples (invited)

Alexander Vershbow, Distinguished Fellow, Brent Scowcroft Center on International Security, Atlantic Council (confirmed)


6:00 – 6:15 p.m.          Closing Remarks


Bugajski Chairs Panel at Ukrainian Conference

Ukraine’s Quest for Mature Nation Statehood Roundtable XVIII:
Ukraine and the Issue of Social Cohesion, 1777 F Street NW/Washington DC, 1st Floor Conference Hall

October 12, 2017 1:30 PM – 3:15  PM    Second Panel Discussion — Can a Value-Based National Agenda Help Heal Ukraine’s Social Fissures?

1:30 PM – 3:15 PM                      Second Panel Discussion


Theme: Can a Value-Based National Agenda Help Heal Ukraine’s Social Fissures?


Moderator:     Janusz Bugajski [Senior Research Fellow/Center for European Policy Analysis]

Panelists:        Luke Coffey [Director/Allison Center on Foreign Policy/Heritage Foundation]
Anders Aslund [Senior Fellow/Atlantic Council of the United States]
Phillip Karber [President/Potomac Foundation]

Orest Deychakiwsky [Senior Policy Advisor [ret.]/US Helsinki Commission]

William Taylor [Executive Vice President/United States Institute of Peace]


Bugajski Moderastes Panel on US-Russia Relations at CEPA Annual Forum


The 9th annual CEPA Forum will take place in Washington D.C., on Thursday and Friday, September 21-22, 2017. The CEPA Forum is the leading annual transatlantic conference in Washington D.C., representing the largest gathering of Central European officials, experts and leaders in the United States. This year’s Forum will focus on Preserving Atlanticism in a Time of Change.

Panels will cover a range of pressing policy issues from “Reforming NATO for the 21st Century” to “Strengthening U.S.-Central European Relations.”


Preserving Atlanticism in a Time of Change
Day 1
Willard InterContinental
1401 Pennsylvania Ave, NW
Washington, D.C. 20004
8:00 a.m.
Arrival and Breakfast
Atlanticism is under strain as priorities shift, old ties fray, and memories fade. Yet a strong security relationship between Europe and the United States remains vital—for both sides. This year’s CEPA Forum looks at the looming threats to the Atlantic Alliance, and at the efforts all parties must make to adapt and renew it.
8:30 a.m. – 9:30 a.m.
Welcome & Introduction 
Peter B. Doran, Executive Vice President, CEPA
Opening Keynotes
Péter Szijjártó, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Hungary 
Special Guest: Raimonds Vējonis, President, Latvia 
9:30 a.m. – 10:45 a.m.
Strengthening the Visegrád Four
American priorities in Central Europe remain focused on security. Yet the cohesion of the Visegrád group has come under increasing scrutiny, with different emphases and approaches in Bratislava, Budapest, Prague, and Warsaw. Expertise within the region remains formidable and the geostrategic location is crucial. But for what? How far do the strains within Visegrád, and its rumbling disagreements with the European Commission over migration policy and other issues, affect relations with Brussels and Washington? What can the V4 countries do to restore their role in the transatlantic security architecture? How does the V4 relate to more pressing security worries in the Baltic Sea region, the Black Sea, and Ukraine? How should the V4 approach American priorities within NATO?
MODERATOR: Sławomir Dębski, Director, Polish Institute of International Affairs 
Petr Gajdušek, State Secretary, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Czech Republic
Ivan Korčok, State Secretary, Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs, Slovakia 
Péter Szijjártó, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Hungary
Witold Waszczykowski, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Poland
10:45 a.m. – 11:15 a.m.
11:15 a.m. – 12:45 p.m.
Reforming NATO for the 21st Century
Even though NATO is the most successful military alliance in human history, it cannot afford to rest on its laurels. From “out of area or out of business” to the restoration of contingency planning and territorial defense, NATO now faces new challenges as it responds to the Trump administration’s focus on countering terrorism, and develops new capabilities in cyber and information warfare. The administration’s insistent demand for higher defense spending requires most NATO members to rebuild the political consensus which sustained alliance efforts during the Cold War. How should NATO decision-makers react?
MODERATOR: Peter B. Doran, Executive Vice President, CEPA
Jānis Garisons, State Secretary, Ministry of Defense, Latvia
Lt. Gen. Ben Hodges, Commander, U.S. Army Europe
Daniel Kostoval, Deputy Minister of Defense, Czech Republic
Jüri Luik, Minister of Defense, Estonia
Antoni Macierewicz, Minister of Defense, Poland
12:45 p.m. – 1:30 p.m.
1:30 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.
The Future of Transatlantic Relations: The Impact of U.S.-Russia Relations on Euro-Atlantic Security
America has a superpower’s priorities; the frontline states have theirs. The task for Atlanticists is to minimize and manage the tension between these two sets of goals. Worries about a sudden grand bargain between the United States and Russia have abated in 2017, but what might the next phase in this relationship bring? Washington has urged Moscow to cease its destabilizing activities in Ukraine, to join a common effort against terrorism, and to stand in the defense of Western civilization. How should transatlantic leaders interpret the administration’s opening moves; and where do the biggest risks and opportunities exist for synchronizing interests with allies on core issues like energy and security?
MODERATOR: Janusz Bugajski, Senior Fellow, CEPA
Károly Grúber, Head of Department of Common Foreign and Security Policy, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Hungary
Linas Linkevičius, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Lithuania 
Tomáš Valášek, Director, Carnegie Europe
Kurt Volker, Special Representative for Ukraine Negotiations, United States
3:00 p.m. – 3:15 p.m.
3:15 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.
The War of Narratives in the Information Age
Doom-mongers proclaim a “post-truth” era. But the battle with disinformation is long-running, and is far from lost. Western countries are belatedly waking up to the threat from Russia and other adversaries, though granular information about the reach and impact of hostile, trust-corroding narratives is still scant. How do information attacks fit into the broader picture of hybrid warfare? What emphasis should we place on countering specific disinformation, and how much on improving our overall resilience? What are the roles of the private and public actors in the information space? And how, if at all, should we counter-attack?
MODERATOR: Edward Lucas, Senior Vice President, CEPA
Urve Eslas, StratCom Program Contributor, CEPA
Daniel Kimmage, Acting Coordinator, Global Engagement Center, Department of State, United States 
Jukka Savolainen, Director, Community of Interest “Vulnerabilities and resilience,” European Center of Excellence for Countering Hybrid Threats 
Jānis Sārts, Director, NATO Strategic Communications Center of Excellence
Brian Whitmore, Senior Russia Analyst, Radio Free Europe/ Radio Liberty 
3:15 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.
Migration and Security: U.S. and European Perspectives
Controlling borders is a central element of sovereignty, and sharing public goods is a fairly crucial legitimizing factor for democratic decision-making. Yet the flow of people across national frontiers results from complex economic, historic, humanitarian, and legal factors too. How can the United States—a country built by immigrants, but simultaneously wanting to prioritize security—best discuss migration with Central European allies?
MODERATOR: Donald N. Jensen, Senior Adjunct Fellow, CEPA
Michael Doran, Senior Fellow, Hudson Institute
Dušan Fischer, Researcher, SFPA
Martin Michelot, Deputy Director, EUROPEUM
Márton Ugrósdy, Deputy Director of Strategy, Institute for Foreign Affairs and Trade

Bugajski Testifies at the US Senate Armed Services Committee, 13 July

Watch the full hearing here.
Read Bugajski’s written testimony here.


Bugajski Moderates at US-Ukraine Conference, Washington DC

US-UA Working Group Yearly Summit V:
Providing Ukraine with an Annual Report Card

June 15, 2017                                           

Washington DC
Venue: 1777 F St NW/Rockefeller-Peterson Room

8:15 AM – 9:00 AM       Registration


9:00 AM – 9:30 AM        Highlight Focus Session I

Theme: Why a Free, Stable and Prosperous Ukraine Still Matters—UA Gov’t Perspective

Host & Chair:

  • HE Valeriy Chaly [Ambassador of Ukraine to the United States]

Featured Speaker:

  • Andrij Parubiy [Speaker of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine]


9:30 AM – 10:35 AM     Plenary Session I

Theme: Robust Democratic Politics – Assessing Ukraine’s Progress/Regress


  • Bohdan Futey [US Court of Federal Claims]


  • Steven Nix [International [International Republican Institute]
  • Katie Fox [National Democratic Institute]
  • Nile Gardiner [Heritage Foundation]

Issues to Consider:

  • Fair Elections/Programmatic Parties
  • Free Media/Strong Civil Society
  • Respect for Human Rights
  • Impartial Judiciary


10:35 AM – 11:40 AM     Plenary Session II

Theme: Developed Market Economics – Assessing Ukraine’s Progress/Regress


  • William Miller [Woodrow Wilson International Center]


  • Adrian Karatnycky [Myrmydon]
  • Aleks Mehrle [Ukrainian Global Trade & Investor Inc.]
  • Brian Mefford [Atlantic Council]

Issues to Consider:

  • Sound Fiscal & Monetary Policy
  • Appropriate Deregulation/Privatization
  • Proper Investment Climate
  • General Business Transparency/Serious Anti Corruption Efforts


11:40 AM – 11:45 AM      Coffee Break


11:45 AM – 12:50 PM      Roundtable Plenary Session III

Theme: Ever Greater General Security – Assessing Ukraine’s Progress/Regress


  • William Courtney [RAND Corp.]


  • Phillip Karber [Potomac Foundation]
  • Glen Howard [Jamestown Foundation]
  • Nolan Peterson [Daily Signal]

Issues to Consider:

  • Secure Borders
  • Modernized Military Industrial Complex
  • Professionalized Armed Forces
  • Reliable Allies


12:50 PM – 1:30 PM   Working Lunch/Highlight Focus Session II

[Press Interviews During Break]

Theme: Accelerating the Reform Process in Ukraine – What Needs to Be Done?


  • Andrew Futey [Ukrainian Congress Committee of America]

Featured Speaker:

  • Ulana Suprun [Acting Minister of Health of Ukraine]


1:30 PM – 2:35 PM       Roundtable Plenary Session IV

Theme: Ever Greater Energy Security – Assessing Ukraine’s Progress/Regress


  • Keith Smith [Center for European Policy Analysis]


  • Myron Rabij [Dentons LLP]
  • Roman Popadiuk [Morgan Lewis]
  • Taras Berezovets [UA Institute of Analysis of Management and Policy]

Issues to Consider:

  • Expanding Existing Production
  • Improving Transport & Storage Capacity
  • Tapping New Sources of Energy
  • Increasing Conservation 


2:35 PM – 2:40 PM      Coffee Break


2:40 PM – 3:45 PM    Roundtable Plenary Session V

Theme: Viable Social Cohesion – Assessing Ukraine’s Progress/Regress


  • Orest Deychakiwsky [US Helsinki Commission (ret.)]


  • Lubomyr Hajda/Viktoriya Sereda [Harvard University]
  • Vlad Socor [Jamestown Foundation
  • Yuri Sergeyev [Yale University]

Issues to Consider:

  • Stable Class Relations
  • Manageable Differences Between State & Civil Society
  • Stable Inter-Ethnic & Interfaith Relations
  • Manageable Regional Differences


3:45 PM – 4:50 PM    Roundtable Plenary Session VI

Theme: Established National Identity – Assessing Ukraine’s Progress/Regress


  • Janusz Bugajski [Center for European Policy Analysis]


  • Herman Pirchner [American Foreign Policy Council]
  • Luke Coffey [Heritage Foundation]
  • Stefan Romaniw [Ukrainian World Congress]

Issues to Consider:

  • A Sense of a Common Past
  • A Sense of a Common Present
  • A Sense of a Common Future
  • Ability to Assimilate the ‘Other’


4:50 PM – 5:20 PM    Highlight Focus Session III

Theme: Why a Free, Stable and Prosperous Ukraine Still Matters—US Gov’t Perspective

Chair:     Adrian Karmazyn [US-Ukraine Foundation]

Featured Speaker: Senator Roger Wicker R-MS [Head of US Helsinki Commission]


5:20 PM – 5:50 PM    The Final Word


  • William Schneider [Head of the US Science-Defense Board 2001-2008]
  • Antin Herashchenko [Member of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine]


5:50 PM – 6:00 PM   The Final Tally

Tally-master Remarks:  Tamara Olexy [Ukrainian Congress Committee of America]

 Summit Host Moderator: Volodymyr Zaryckyj [Center for US-Ukrainian Relations]


6:30 PM – 8:15 PM     Patron’s Reception 



Bugajski Talk at Jamestown Conference on Russia Policy, Washington DC



The US, Russia, and the Security of Europe’s Flanks
Thursday, March 23, 2017
9:00 A.M.–4:00 P.M.

Root Conference Room
Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
1779 Massachusetts Avenue, NW
Washington, D.C. 20036-2109
Register Now
About the Event:
Over the past decade, a resurgent Russia has increasingly drawn the focus of Western governments. With Russia dominating debate in the recent US presidential election, discussion of the security risks presented by Russia appears to be reaching a crescendo. As the new US Administration works to craft an effective response to the Russian threat, this conference seeks to shed light on the strategic intersection of US-Russia relations and the security of NATO’s flanks. Building from the understanding that an effective response requires more than a reset in US-Russia relations, “The US, Russia, and the Security of Europe’s Flanks” will examine Russian defense modernization and the implications it has for NATO deterrence and regional security from the Baltic States to the Black Sea.

For more information about the conference and full author bios visit our event webpage here.


8:45 A.M.–9:00 A.M.

* * *

9:00 A.M.
Glen E. Howard
President, The Jamestown Foundation

* * *

Panel One: Russia’s Predicament
9:00 A.M.–10:30 A.M.

“Putin, Russia and the West”
Pavel Baev
Senior Researcher, International Peace Research Institute, Oslo (PRIO)

“Russian Military Modernization”
Aleksandr Golts
Global Fellow, Kennan Institute, Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars

“The Impact of Western Sanctions on the Russian Economy”
Vladislav Inozemtsev
Austrian Marshall Plan Foundation Fellow, Johns Hopkins, SAIS

Commentator: Stephen Blank
Senior Fellow, American Foreign Policy Council

* * *

Coffee Break
10:30 A.M.–11:00 A.M.

* * *

Panel Two: US-Russia Relations
11:00 A.M.—12:30 P.M.

Alexander Vershbow
Distinguished Senior Fellow, Atlantic Council

Michael Carpenter
Former Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense
with responsibility for Russia, Ukraine, and Eurasia

* * *

12:30 P.M.–1:10 P.M.

* * *

Panel Three: Russia, the US and Black Sea Security
1:10 P.M.–2:30 P.M.

“Romania: Euro-Atlantic Pillar on the Black Sea”
Vladimir Socor
Senior Fellow, The Jamestown Foundation

“Russian Influence in the Balkans”
Margarita Assenova
Director of Programs for the Balkans, Caucasus & Central Asia,
The Jamestown Foundation

“The US, Russia and the South Caucasus”
Brenda Shaffer
Senior Fellow, Atlantic Council Global Energy Center and
Visiting Professor, Georgetown University

* * *

Coffee Break
2:30 P.M.–2:45 P.M.

* * *

Panel Four: Russia, the US and Baltic Security
2:45 P.M.–4:00 P.M.

“Poland, the EU, Brexit and Russia”
Janusz Bugajski
Senior Fellow, Center for European Policy Analysis

“Russian Challenges to the Baltic”
Sergey Sukhankin
Associate Expert, International Centre for Policy Studies (Kyiv)

“Baltic Responses to Russian Challenges”
Olevs Nikers
Chief Expert, Ministry of Defense of Latvia

“Sweden’s Response to Russian Challenges”
Jörgen Elfving
Lieutenant Colonel (ret.), Swedish Army

Moderator: Matthew Czekaj
Program Associate for Europe and Eurasia, The Jamestown Foundation

* * *

Concluding Remarks
4:00 P.M.

Bugajski Talk at Ukrainian Conference, Capitol Hill, DC,

US-Ukraine Security Dialogue VIII

Securing Ukraine’s Sovereignty: The Road Ahead

February 14-15, 2017

DAY ONE [Feb 14] Venue: Embassy of Ukraine to the United States|3350 M Street

6:30 pm – 9:00 pm – Evening Dialogue Reception

Host: Ambassador of Ukraine to the United States Valeriy Chaly
Guest of Honor: Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine Pavlo Klimkin

Featured Speaker: General Wesley Clark

DAY TWO [Feb 15] Venue: Room LJ-119|Thomas Jefferson Building|US Library of Congress

8:30 am – 9:00 am – Registration

9:00 am – 9:25 am – Words of Welcome

Brian Fitzpatrick [US Representative R-PA]

Sander Levin [US Representative D-MI]

9:25 pm – 9:55 pm – Dialogue Opening Remarks Session

Why Ukrainian Security Matters

Chair: Valeriy Chaly [Ambassador of Ukraine to the United States]
Speaker: Pavlo Klimkin [Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine]

9:55 am – 11:10 am – Dialogue Panel Discussion I

Divining Ways to Strengthen Ukraine Militarily
Moderator: John Herbst [EAC Director/Atlantic Council of the United States]
Panelists: Ihor Smeshko [Col. General/Advisor to the President of Ukraine]

Phillip Karber [President/Potomac Foundation]

James Sherr [Senior Fellow/Royal Institute of International Affairs]

11:10 am – 11:15 am – Coffee Break

11:15 am – 12:30 pm – Dialogue Panel Discussion II

Assessing Ways to Secure Ukraine on the Diplomatic/Political Front
Moderator: William Taylor [Executive Vice President/US Institute of Peace]
Panelists: Andrii Levus [Chair/Sub Committee on State Security/Rada NS&D Comm.]

Vlad Socor [Senior Fellow/Jamestown Foundation]

Luke Coffey [Director/Allison Center for Foreign Policy/Heritage Foundation]

12:30 pm – 12:50 pm – Lunch Break [Press Interviews]

12:50 pm – 1:35 pm – Working Lunch Featured Presesentation

UA Security & the Incoming Administration

Chair: Glen Howard [President/Jamestown Foundation]
Speakers: John Falk [Principal/Vigilent Inc.]

Herman Pirchner [President/American Foreign Policy Council]

1:35 pm – 2:50 pm – Dialogue Panel Discussion III

Examining Ways to Bolster Ukraine in Economic/Energy Matters
Moderator: Roman Popadiuk [Chair/World Affairs Councils of America]
Panelists: Anatolii Matios [Chief Military Prosecutor & Deputy Prosecutor General of Ukraine]

Anders Aslund [Senior Fellow/Atlantic Council of the United States]

Ariel Cohen [Senior Fellow/Institute for the Analysis of Global Security]

2:50 pm – 2:55 pm – Coffee Break

2:55 pm – 4:20 pm – Dialogue Panel Discussion IV

Contemplating the Means by Which Ukraine Can Withstand

‘Info War/History War’ Assaults

Moderator: William Courtney [BLF Executive Director/RAND Corporation]
Panelists: Oleksiy Skrypnyk [Dep. Chair/Rada Committee on Science & Education]

Stephen Blank [Senior Fellow/American Foreign Policy Council]

Janusz Bugajski [Senior Fellow/Center for European Policy Analysis]

Special Appearance: Brendon Boyle [US Representative D-PA]

4:20 pm – 5:10 pm – Dialogue Closing Remarks Session

UA Security & the Next Congress

Chair: William Miller [Senior Scholar/Woodrow Wilson International Center]
Speakers: Senator Robert Portman [R-OH] [Invited]

Senator Robert Menendez [D-NJ] [Invited]

Lead Discussant: Darrell Owens [National Security Adviser/Sen. Patrick Toomey R-PA]

6:00 pm – 7:00 (8:30) pm – Post Dialogue Patrons Reception [Venue: American Foreign Policy Council]

Word of Thanks: Andrew Futey [President/Ukrainian Congress Committee of America]

Parting Thoughts: TBD

Bugajski Chapter on Ethnic Politics in new book from Cambridge University Press

“Ethnic Politics in Post-Socialist Southeastern Europe,” in Marko Valenta and Sabrina P. Ramet (Eds) Ethnic Minorities and Politics in Post-socialist Southeastern Europe, Cambridge University Press, 2016

Bugajski Moderates Panel on Russian Threat at CEPA Forum, Washington


Bugajski Talk at Ukrainian Symposium, New York

Commemorating the 25th Anniversary of the Modern Ukrainian State

September 17, 2016

Princeton Club , New York

8:30 am – 9:00 am — Registration

9:00 am – 9:40 am — Focus Session I: A First Word About Modern Ukraine’s 25th Birthday


Roma Lisovych [Ukrainian National Association]

 Featured Remarks: 

Volodymyr Yelchenko [UA Permanent Representative to the UN]

Eliot Engel [US Representative (D-NY)

9:40 am – 11:05 am — Panel Discussion I:  Taking Measure of Ukraine’s Distant Past


               Lubomyr Hajda [Harvard University]                      

Three Speakers:

Frank Sysyn [University of Alberta/CIUS]

Mark Von Hagen [Arizona State University]

Yuri Shapoval [National Academy of Sciences Of Ukraine]

Suggested Topics:

Kyivan State & Hetmanate Ukraine

Ukrainian National Republic 1917-1921

               National Liberation Struggles 1921-1991

11:05 am – 11:10 am — Coffee Break

11:10 am – 12:35 pm — Panel Discussion II:  Assessing Ukraine’s Recent Past 


               Adrian Karmazyn [VOA UA Desk Director Emeritus]

Three Speakers:

Alexander Motyl [Rutgers University]

James Sherr [Royal Institute of International Affairs]

               Oleksandr Sushko [Institute for Euro-Atlantic Cooperation]

Suggested Topics:

               The Granite Rebellion

               The Orange Revolution


12:35 pm – 12:55 pm — Lunch  

[Served as a buffet in the Alexander Hamilton Room]

12:55 pm – 1:25 pm — Focus Session II: Reflecting on Ukraine’s Current ‘War in the East’


            Anders Corr [Journal of Political Risk]

Featured Speaker: 

Phillip Karber [Potomac Foundation]


1:25 pm – 2:50 pm — Panel Discussion III:  Divining Ukraine’s Near Future


               William Courtney [RAND Corporation]

Three Speakers:

               David Kramer [McCain Institute]

               Ariel Cohen [Atlantic Council]

               Volodymyr Vyatrovych [Institute of National Memory of Ukraine]

Suggested Topics:

Chances for Building a Developed Democratic Polity

Chances for Erecting a Mature Market Economy

               Chances for Achieving an Established National Identity

2:50 pm – 2:55 pm — Coffee Break

2:55 pm – 4:20 pm — Panel Discussion IV:  Contemplating Ukraine’s Further Future


               Paul Goble [WOE/Jamestown Foundation]            

Three Speakers:

               Janusz Bugajski [Center for European Policy Analysis]  

               Herman Pirchner [American Foreign Policy Council]

                Yuri Sergeyev [Yale University/Macmillan Center]

Suggested Topics:

               Chances of Playing on the European Stage

               Chances of Performing on the Euro-Atlantic Stage

               Chances of Becoming a ‘Player of Global Note’ 

4:20 pm – 5:00 pm — A Final Word About Modern Ukraine’s 25th Birthday


               Marianna Zajac [Ukrainian National Women’s League of America]

Featured Remarks:

               Mustafa Dzhemiliev [Member of the Ukrainian Verkhovna Rada]

                Paul Roderick Gregory [Stanford University/Hoover Institute]



5:00 pm – 7:00 pm — Intercession

In the Alexander Hamilton Room: 

[5:40] A Talk by (Three Time Oscar Winning) Director Mark Harris & Producer Peter Borisow About Their Documentary: “Breaking Point: The War for Democracy in Ukraine”

[6:30] The Ukrainian Choir ‘Dymka ‘ Performs a Medley of Ukraine’s Folkloric Classics

In the John Dickinson Room:

VIP Reception


7:00 pm – 9:00 pm — Speakers and Patrons Banquet  



Tamara Gallo-Olexy [Ukrainian Congress Committee of America]


               Featured Speakers:                  

            US Secretary of Homeland Security (2003-2005) Tom Ridge

               US Secretary of State (1997-2001) Madeline Albright

               UA Rada Foreign Affairs Committee Deputy Chair Borys Tarasyuk 

               [Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine (1998-2000; 2005-2007]


Bugajski Talk

Three initial points. First, the “further future” is not that far away. Second, we must try to be creative and imaginative in our predictions. And third, my assumption is that Ukraine in one form or another will continue to exist in 25 years.

Since the collapse of communism and the disintegration of the Soviet Union and the Soviet bloc over a quarter century ago, political developments have been on very fast forward and speeding up each year. Moreover, many things have already happened that we probably would not have imagined 26 years ago, such as the entry of the three Baltic states into NATO or the exit of the UK from the EU.

We have been given three long-term questions, presumably for the next quarter century and beyond. They concern Ukraine’s place in Europe, in the trans-Atlantic sphere, and on the world stage. I will briefly raise the prospects and possibilities for each in turn.

First question, what are the Chances for Ukraine of Playing on the European Stage? In other words, does Ukraine becomes a member of the EU or the major post-EU institutions, if any are actually formed. Much of course depends on what form if any the EU actually exists in 25 years time. And if it does not enter the EU where will Ukraine belong, institutionally and geo-politically?

Following the UK’s departure, and maybe several other states in the years ahead, the EU may develop over the coming two decades either into a multi-tier union or a tighter but smaller federation. In the first variant, an inner core will be more effectively integrated politically, economically, and fiscally than several outer layers of membership. In such a scenario, if Ukraine pursues effective reforms it will qualify for membership in the outer layer. This could involve such benefits as free trade, full harmonization of laws and standards, and EU subsidies to various regions and industries. On the other hand, Kyiv would probably have to contribute to the EU budget and fully open its economy to European investment. But Ukraine is unlikely to have a common monetary policy or currency with the EU or be part of the free travel Schengen zone.

In the second variant, a smaller but well integrated EU would not receive new members and indeed several south and east European countries may have already evacuated the Union or have been pushed out by Germany and its nearby satellites. The Union itself would be more nationalistic and protectionist and not immigrant or enlargement friendly. Ukraine would have trading and other economic ties with this mini-EU but without the prospect of gaining other benefits that currently come along with membership.

So what kind of a player would Ukraine be on the Europeans stage? It will be seen as the eastern border of Europe, given the likely catastrophe facing Russia (more on that in a minute) and other instabilities. It may even be give special treatment and significant funds to assist in border protection, stemming refugee flows, cooperating closely in monitoring illegal armed groups and terrorist cells, and in protecting Europe from persistent insecurities to the East. But Ukraine will be viewed from Brussels as an outpost and a border rather than an equal political entity, more of a “kraina” than a Ukraina.

There is also a third variant that cannot be excluded — of an even more fractured Europe, in which the EU has been disbanded and all states, major and minor, have turned to nationalism and protectionism. Alliances become self-serving and often temporary and the struggle for regional predominance results in periodic border clashes and the expulsion of ethnic groups perceived as betraying the nation state. No great power dominates the old continent, as the US has largely withdrawn and Russia is in the process of disintegrating. The continent is unstable and Ukraine will have to fend for itself to ensure its sovereignty and integrity.

Second question, what are the Chances for Ukraine of Performing on the Euro-Atlantic Stage? In other words, will Ukraine become a member of NATO and under what geopolitical conditions will it enter the Alliance? This of course begs the question of what NATO will actually consist of in twenty-five years, and how US-Europe relations will develop during this time.

Much may depend on our next US President who will face one of two history shaping choices: first, to develop and adapt NATO to confront the challenges of the modern era and to project US national interests and military strength in defense of our allies; or second, to sacrifice the Alliance and other international military and political entanglements to make way for a more isolated “America first” or more accurately an “America only.” The next US President will set the tone and the substance for the next two decades of trans-Atlanticism.

In the first variant, Ukraine will be a NATO member within twenty five years, as the Euro-Atlantic powers will see a net benefit to Ukraine’s integration as a concrete defense contributor and as protection against the various security threats facing the West. Of course, all entry criteria would need to be met including defense spending requirements, completion of civil-military reform, majority public support, and most important an effective military. Indeed, as the next Russian smuta unfolds Ukraine will be seen as an essential buffer along NATO’s eastern flank against post-Russian instabilities.

In the second variant, as America becomes more isolationist and protectionist, Ukraine will be viewed from Washington as a European periphery at best and an appendage of Russia at worst. In such a climate, Kyiv will need to depend on its own diplomatic skills in navigating between increasingly volatile European politics and a dangerously belligerent Moscow that will always seek opportunities to regain its western borderlands even as the Russian Federation is undergoing internal turmoil.

We can then expect expanding military clashes in various parts of Ukraine while Kyiv will seek security assistance from neighbors that see the danger of Russian expansion and destabilization – especially from Poland, the three Baltic states, and Romania. We could even witness a regional war in which NATO’s former eastern members confront Russia while the US and the West Europeans are busy trying to arrange peace talks and compromises. This is a familiar picture to what we are witnessing now in Ukraine but on a much larger and bloodier regional scale.

Third question, what are the Chances of Ukraine Becoming a Player of Global Note? In other words, can Ukraine have a more important global role whether because of its resources, diplomacy, or alliances? And if so what would that role be? The answer to this question depends on the results of the first two questions. A Ukraine that is firmly anchored within the two most important Western institutions (EU and NATO), which have adapted more effectively to the modern era, will be in a better position to exert some degree of global influence, including in international institutions. Ukraine’s statehood and national identity will be secure, its fear of foreign invasion and partition will be minimized, its reforms would have succeeded in developing a more transparent and productive economy, and its institutions would be strong enough to withstand domestic populist and nationalist challenges that all states face at some period in their modern history.

I would also add a fourth question to our list: What are the Chances of Ukraine benefiting from or being damaged by the impending disintegration of the Russian Federation? Putin wants to make Russia Great Again, but given the state of the economy he is unlikely to succeed but may actually hasten Russia’s fracture.

On the positive side, Ukraine would be free of its traditional imperial overlords in Moscow while domestic separatist groupings would have little foreign support and therefore minimal impact. Ukraine would be seen as a secure state that has the freedom to choose its international alliances and institutional membership. Conversely, a smaller and internally focused Russia may have more chances of becoming a standard European state and even developing democratic content in its institutional forms. And this would be directly beneficial in ensuring Ukraine’s security and integrity, as well as for the independence of other neighbors of Russia.

However, on the potentially negative side, the process of Russia’s fracture may prove chaotic and conflictive. If the actual collapse is violent with bloody struggles for power at the center and in the regions, this could have damaging spillover effects on Ukraine through military incursions, refugee outflows, and the curtailment of trade and other cross-border economic activities.

In addition, Kyiv would need to skillfully develop new relations and policies toward various states and quasi-states that emerge from a collapsing Russia. But even here it could play a positive international role as the bridge with new entities, as the protector of the West’s eastern flank against instability and insecurity, and as a valuable guarantor against the emergence of grey and black zones in Eurasia that could become new breeding grounds for anti-Western assaults.

In sum, the future holds both promise and peril. We should not be surprised by any eventuality but try to plan for and to influence the most favorable outcome. The decisions that are made today will have long-term repercussions, so they must be made with maximum awareness of possible consequences.

Bugajski and Assenova Book Launch, Washington DC

Tuesday, September 6
12:30 P.M.–2:00 P.M.

The Jamestown Foundation
First Floor Conference Room

1310 L St, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20005 (map)
The Jamestown Foundation is proud to present the authors of Eurasian Disunion: Russia’s Vulnerable Flanks, Janusz Bugajski and Margarita Assenova. Their latest book, published by Jamestown, is intended to generate a more informed policy debate on the dangers stemming from the restoration of a Russian-centered “pole of power” or “sphere of influence” in Eurasia. It focuses on five vulnerable flanks bordering the Russian Federation – the Baltic and Nordic zones, East Central Europe, South East Europe, South Caucasus, and Central Asia. It examines several pivotal questions including: the strategic objectives of Moscow’s expansionist ambitions; Kremlin tactics and capabilities; the impact of Russia’s assertiveness on the national security of neighbors; the responses of vulnerable states to Russia’s geopolitical ambitions; the impact of prolonged regional turmoil on the stability of the Russian Federation and the survival of the Putinist regime; and the repercussions of heightened regional tensions for US, NATO, and EU policy toward Russia and toward unstable regions bordering the Russian Federation.

Please join us for a lively discussion regarding the acceleration of President Vladimir Putin’s neo-imperial project, the security of several regions that border Russia, the geopolitical aspects of Kremlin ambitions, as well as the future role of NATO, the EU, and the US in the Wider Europe.


Janusz Bugajski
Senior Fellow
Center for European Policy Analysis

Margarita Assenova
Director of Programs for the Balkans, Caucasus & Central Asia
The Jamestown Foundation

With additional remarks by:

S. Enders Wimbush
Distinguished Senior Fellow
The Jamestown Foundation

*    *    *

**Please RSVP for this free event.


Speaker Biographies

Margarita Assenova is Director of Programs for the Balkans, the Caucasus and Central Asia at the Jamestown Foundation. She is a regular contributor to the Jamestown publication Eurasia Daily Monitoron political developments and energy security in the Balkans and Central Asia. Assenova is a recipient of the John Knight Professional Journalism Fellowship at Stanford University for her reporting on nationalism in the Balkans. Her articles have appeared in US and European newspapers, magazines, and online publications, including RFE/RL Newsline and Balkan Report, The Washington Times, The World and I,Transitions Online, Balkan Times, Capital Weekly and Reason Magazine (Bulgaria), Internationale Polititik(Germany), World Finance Review Magazine (UK), and Future Prospects (UAE). She authored book chapters and journal articles on security, energy, and democracy published by CSIS Press, Brassey’s, Freedom House, Bertelsmann Foundation Publishers, the University of New Haven and the Jamestown Foundation. She is the co-editor of Azerbaijan and the New Energy Geopolitics of Southeastern Europe, published by the Jamestown Foundation in June 2015.

Janusz Bugajski is a Senior Fellow at the Center for European Policy Analysis (CEPA) in Washington, DC, and host of television shows broadcast in the Balkans. Bugajski has authored 20 books on Europe, Russia, and trans-Atlantic relations and is a columnist for several media outlets. His recent books includeConflict Zones: North Caucasus and Western Balkans Compared (2014), Return of the Balkans: Challenges to European Integration and U.S. Disengagement (2013), Georgian Lessons: Conflicting Russian and Western Interests in the Wider Europe (2010), Dismantling the West: Russia’s Atlantic Agenda (2009),America’s New European Allies (2009); and Expanding Eurasia: Russia’s European Ambitions (2008). Please visit his website at www.jbugajski.com.

S. Enders Wimbush is a Distinguished Senior Fellow at The Jamestown Foundation, where he is one of the project leaders for Russia in Decline. He is also Partner at StrateVarious LLC. From 2011 to 2012, he served as Senior Director, Foreign Policy and Civil Society, at the German Marshall Fund of the United States. Before joining the German Marshall Fund, Mr. Wimbush served as Senior Vice President of the Hudson Institute, Washington, D.C. He spent many years in the private sector with Booz Allen Hamilton and Science Applications International, directing analyses of future security environments for both government and corporate clients. Mr. Wimbush served as a member of the United States Broadcasting Board of Governors during 2010–2012, and during 1987–1993 as Director of Radio Liberty in Munich, Germany. Mr. Wimbush founded and directed the Society for Central Asian Studies in Oxford, England from 1980 to 1987. Before this, from 1976 until 1980, he served as analyst of Soviet affairs at the Rand Corporation in Santa Monica, California. Mr. Wimbush completed graduate work at the University of Chicago and, as a Fulbright Fellow, at Moscow State University. He is the author, co-author or editor of seven books and numerous articles in professional and popular media, as well as dozens of policy studies. His ideas have appeared frequently in professional, policy and popular media, including The Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, Washington Times, Christian Science Monitor,Journal of Commerce, National Interest, Survival, Global Affairs, and The Weekly Standard.