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Warsaw Security Forum

A flagship event of the Casimir Pulaski Foundation, the Warsaw Security Forum is one of the leading European security conferences devoted to transatlantic cooperation and focused on elaborating shared responses to common challenges, with an emphasis on the security of Central and Eastern Europe.


EXPERT’S COMMENTARY: New political initiatives advertised in Bratislava and Chisinau have grabbed headlines in Europe – good reasons to cheer? Yes, but… (Robert Pszczel)

The capital of Slovakia, even less so that of Moldova, is not used to the role of a location that produces big headlines on strategic issues of European politics. But this is exactly what happened in the last few days. President Macron chose the GLOBSEC conference in Bratislava to deliver a timely and important vision of political changes that he believes need to be applied in Europe. Then, almost fifty leaders met in Chisinau for the summit of the recently inaugurated European Political Community initiative. In Europe at least, both events overshadowed the NATO Foreign Ministers meeting in Oslo, EU-US trade consultations and decisive debates in Washington on breaking a political deadlock, which could have brought the US government business to a standstill. Let us try and unpack the two […]

War in Ukraine – weekly update (27.05-02.06.2023)

Bakhmut – Khromove Despite the supposed withdrawal of Wagner Group troops from the frontlines, Russian forces in the area of Bakhmut continue to launch offensive operations. The Russians are sallying out of Bakhmut into the settlement of Khromove, directly west of the city. The settlement had been previously assaulted from the north, during the siege of Bakhmut, in an effort to cut off Ukrainian supply lines. However, several weeks ago Ukrainian counter attack forced the Russians back and reestablished complete control over Khromove. Now, Russians are attempting to seize the town by a direct attack from Bakhmut itself. It is most probable that the Russian forces seek to capture the town in order to use it as a staging ground for further […]

PULASKI COMMENTARY: The Role of Central Europe in Supporting the Euro-Atlantic Endeavors in Ukraine – Challenges and Opportunities (Andras Braun)

The challenges: Resilience and competitiveness In the 1990s, Central and Eastern European countries learned quickly that by combining their forces, they can be more successful in the Euro-Atlantic integration process. Perhaps, one of the most successful forms of informal regional cooperation was the Visegrad format. Regional cooperation remained an important practice in the post-accession period as well. But besides political representation, other aspects also became important. Projects, such as the Three Seas Initiative (3SI), have the potential to link all EU Member States in the Central and Eastern European region and focus on establishing common priorities in various fields. The most recent period clearly evidenced that having common regional objectives are not only important from business investment, or purely economic point of view. […]

PULASKI COMMENTARY: Czech Republic’s Strategic Partnership with Ukraine: Lessons Learned and the Path Forward (Tomáš Dvořák and Pavel Havlíček)

Enhancing Defence Cooperation The recent announcement of the Czech Republic’s ongoing military assistance to Ukraine highlights the growing importance of defence cooperation between the two countries. With a new commitment of up to 700 million CZK (around 30 million EUR), the aid package will support Ukraine primarily with the infantry fighting vehicles BMP-2, modernised T-72 tanks1, large-calibre ammunition, electronic warfare and ISR (Intelligence Surveillance Reconnaissance) and mobile anti-drone air defence2. Another form of assistance focuses, among other things, on the training of specialized military personnel3. This support is discussed and coordinated with the Ukrainian side on a weekly basis and is implemented by combining military donations, government funds, crowdfunding, and commercial supplies to maximize its impact. All of […]

PULASKI COMMENTARY: CEE and Democracy in Ukraine (Ihor Havrylyuk)

The path of the modern Ukrainian state towards democracy has been relatively short, but simultaneously full of struggle. The people of Ukraine had to take to the streets at least three times over the last 30 years to preserve democracy in the country: in 1990, 2004, and 2014. The last time when Ukrainian society stood up to the rise of authoritarian rule, Russia started its aggression against Ukraine by occupying the Crimean Peninsula and deploying its mercenaries in the Donetsk and Luhansk regions. The large-scale political and social protests of 2004, also known as the Orange Revolution, proved that Ukrainians would not accept electoral fraud and restriction of freedom of speech. Victory of the pro-Western candidate Viktor Yushchenko was a clear […]

PULASKI COMMENTARY: War in Ukraine and new geopolitical reality: View from Tbilisi (Nikoloz Khatiashvili)

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has turned the global security environment upside down and made all countries think about the effectiveness of the existing security architecture. It is clear, that the process of revising the international order has already begun, and it is not excluded, that in the near future, we will witness the formation of new scientific, theoretical, or practical approaches to international relations and global politics. Russia, with its invasion of Ukraine, once again confirmed its imperialistic aspirations, which implies the restoration of the Soviet Union in new forms. One of Putin’s nightmares is to see a democratic and liberal Russia, along with the increased influence of the EU and the US across its borders, which means the end […]

War in Ukraine – weekly update (20.05-26.05.2023)

Bakhmut After 10 months of fighting the Russians, spearheaded by Wagner Group’s forces have at last captured the defiant city of Bakhmut. On May 20th 2023, Wagner Group leader Yevgeny Prigozhin declared the capture of the city via a video published on the Wagner affiliated press service Concord’s Telegram channel.i President Vladimir Putin additionally congratulated Russian armed forces and acknowledged that Wagner played a leading role in taking the city. Ukrainian sources, including President Zelensky’s denied the capture of Bakhmut in the response to Russian declarations. However, according to the latest news, including a report by the Kyiv Independent it seems that Ukrainian forces have been pushed out the settlement entirely. Currently fighting is continuing on the city’s outskirts. More importantly however, Ukrainian […]

The Fall of Bakhmut (Sebastian Czub)

Bakhmut has fallen. On May 20, 2023, on the one year anniversary of the fall of Mariupol, Wagner Group leader Yevgeny Prigozhin declared that Bakhmut had officially been captured in its entirety, which plays very neatly into Russian obsession with symbolism, which is used for propaganda purposes – two “mighty” Ukrainian cities taken on the same date.i Prigozhin’s words were reverberated by President Vladimir Putin, who acknowledged that it was Wagner that had taken Bakhmut, with support from federal forces, and praised them for their efforts. However, now as the siege has ended it is crucial to examine what has happened, what it might mean for the future of the war, and whether this apocalyptic battle was […]

PULASKI POLICY PAPER: South Korea remains unwilling to provide military aid to Ukraine (Robert Czulda)

Pulaski Policy Paper no 25, May 23, 2023 Despite mounting pressure, South Korea remains unwilling to provide military assistance to Ukraine. This stance is rooted not only in Seoul’s longstanding policy of refraining from supplying arms to nations engaged in active conflict, but also in the highly sensitive security situation in the region. Position of the Republic of Korea on the conflict in Ukraine is clear-cut. Seoul has been actively supporting measures to impose sanctions on Russia and has joined efforts to limit export of strategic goods not only to Russia, but also to Belarus. South Korea has also curtailed its imports of fossil fuels from Russia, as well as its exports of critical products such as semiconductors and machinery.i Additionally, South Korea has provided humanitarian aid to Ukraine, […]

PULASKI POLICY PAPER: War in Ukraine: Lessons for Taiwan and the PRC (Robert Czulda)

Pulaski Policy Paper no 24, May 22, 2023 Introduction During the early stages of the war, some were worried that Russia’s aggression against Ukraine could lead to a similar attack on Taiwan by China. This argument was not unfounded, as a quick Russian victory could embolden China to launch an attack on Taiwan, while a prolonged conflict in Europe could prevent the United States from deploying more forces to the Indo-Pacific. Although the situation ultimately played out differently, with Russian forces being pushed back and no significant threat to NATO’s territory, most likely decision-makers in both the PRC and Taiwan closely monitored the conflict in Ukraine, including its political and military developments. As Colin Kahl, the US Undersecretary for Defense for Policy, stated last year, the conflict […]

War in Ukraine – weekly update (13.05-19.05.2023)

Bakhmut The battle for Bakhmut continues. Ukrainian forces have launched a series of counter offensives in the Bakhmut area. The operations focused on the city’s flanks to the northwest around Khromove and Bohdanivka, and to the southwest around Ivanivske and the T0504 road.iAccording to Colonel-General Oleksandr Syrsky, the commander of Ukraine’s ground forces, Russian forces have been pushed back up to 2 kilometres back.iiThese gains allowed Ukrainians to re-establish control over the key supply and evacuation routes to Bakhmut. These successes showcase the offensive capabilities of the Ukrainian Armed Forces, being able to effectively fight against a theoretically superior enemy in their prioritised area of operations. However, Ukrainian successes might be insignificant when considering the fate of Bakhmut. According to the latest information, Russian […]

PULASKI COMMENTARY: Czechia and Poland should do more together, it is in their mutual interest (Pavel Havlicek)

The recent visit of the new Czech President Petr Pavel to Poland in the middle of March has clearly shown that there is a new common understanding and possibly also future appetite to do more together in relations between Czechia and Poland. After years of Miloš Zeman ambivalent position on Russia and China, the new Czech head of state brings new Euro-Atlantic confidence and fresh wind in perceiving challenges coming from both authoritarian powers and looking for new solutions to shared problems, which might be very much to Poland’s liking. As general and former head of the Military Committee within NATO, Petr Pavel logically put the emphasis on security and defence policy and response to the Russian aggression against Ukraine and the West, which […]