Ukraine, Protracted Conflicts and the OSCE

13 January 2016 - Philip Remler

Aspects of the Ukraine crisis present enormous problems for the future of osce and other international conflict mediation. Annexation, "hybrid" warfare, the proliferation of non-recognized separatist polities, the absence of a shared baseline of facts and, therefore, the sharp divergence of narratives, and perhaps most of all, the development of fortress mentalities – all of these have challenged the "Helsinki acquis" on which the osce is based. Developments in the protracted conflicts – greater Russian control over three of the separatist polities to the point of crypto-annexation and the spread of the idea that democracy and human rights are no more than tools of Western imperialist domination – affect the way in which the OSCE and its mediators are perceived.


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