Inside the “Bear Hug”: Fostering Resilience in the Belarusian and Ukrainian Security Sectors
- Pavel Hanchuk, Rethink.CEE Fellow, German Marshall Fund of the United States, Belarus
- Serhiy Gerasymchuk, Deputy Executive Director, Foreign Policy Council “Ukrainian Prism”, Ukraine
- Joerg Forbrig, Director for Central and Eastern Europe, German Marshall Fund of the United States
Over the last decade, security in Eastern Europe has steadily deteriorated. Besides longstanding frozen conflicts, the region has seen a return of open warfare, the annexation of territory, and the re-emergence of hybrid measures aimed at weakening and subduing neighboring countries. In all these respects, Russia has become the key malign actor. Its neighbors, in turn, have become the frontline of resistance to the aggressive and revisionist geopolitics of the Kremlin.
Belarus and Ukraine are, albeit in very different ways, particularly challenged by Russia and hard-pressed to bolster their resilience to Russian interference. Their security sectors, along with their politics and societies, urgently need to learn to shield the two countries from the new combination of threats emanating from their large eastern neighbor. How have the security sectors in Belarus and Ukraine fared in building much-needed resilience? How do both countries fare in generating national cohesion to counterattacks on their sovereignty and integrity? What are the political, social, military, informational and technological resources that both countries can mobilize? And how does autocratic Belarus differ in all these respects from the fledgling Ukrainian democracy?
The German Marshall Fund of the United States is pleased to invite you to the presentation and discussion of a new policy paper that examines the above key questions. The paper presents a comparative overview of transformations in the security sectors in Belarus and Ukraine in response to Russia’s hybrid activities since 2014. It places particular emphasis on possible ways for the two very close and yet considerably different countries to improve the awareness, coordination, and resource capacity to better counter challenges coming from Russia.
This event is part of the Rethink.CEE Fellowship, which was established by the German Marshall Fund of the United States in 2018. As Central and Eastern Europe faces mounting challenges to its democracy, security, and prosperity, the Rethink.CEE Fellowship supports next-generation thinkers and activists to conduct original policy research, to offer fresh thinking and perspectives, and to shape effective responses by the transatlantic community.