The Current Situation in Ukraine: Ukrainian Armed Forces as a Key Element for Deterrence

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During the 21st Century, misunderstood assumptions of Russian geopolitical intentions led to the degradation of defence capabilities in the West, fuelling military aggression and interference by the Russian Federation in its 'near abroad'. As a Russian proverb states, 'What is mine, stays mine. What is yours is negotiable.'

These actions have prompted re-evaluation of effective approaches, to include the strategy of deterrence. Colonel Hennadiy Kovalenko will provide an update on the situation in eastern Ukraine, the progress of Ukrainian military reform, and where the Ukrainian Armed Forces continue to seek improvement. Furthermore, he will present an outline of what a deterrence strategy to counter Russia looks like, for both Ukraine and Western nations.

Colonel Hennadiy Kovalenko is the Deputy Head of Military Cooperation and PKO Department of the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, where he is responsible for the coordination of international aid and support for Ukraine, including the Multinational Joint Commission on Defence Reform and International Cooperation. Prior to this position, he has served in numerous assignments including an operational deployment in Eastern Ukraine as part of the Antiterrorist Operation in 2015, and in the Plans and Policy Department of the Ministry of Defence. Colonel Kovalenko is an alumnus of the Marshall Centre Scholar Programme and current Ukrainian Alumni Chairman of the Royal College of Defence Studies.

Phil Jones served as the UK's Special Defence Advisor to the Ukrainian Ministry of Defence, from August 2013 until August 2018. 

Phil has served widely in the Ministry of Defence, both at home and overseas, in a number of policy and management appointments. His recent career has primarily been in the international security policy area. His last appointment was as Deputy Head of Secretariat at Navy Command where he was responsible for policy and parliamentary matters and the provision of advice to Ministers on issues in the maritime domain. This followed an appointment on loan to the Ministry of Justice as Head of International Justice Assistance. Other appointments include attendance at the Royal College of Defence Studies, Deputy Head of International Policy and Planning, Policy Adviser to the Commander European Union Force in Bosnia, Business Manager for the British Defence Staff in Washington DC, and tours in the strategic policy planning and nuclear policy areas; private office, Defence Intelligence Staffs and Defence Export Sales Organisation.

General (Retd) Sir Nicholas Parker served in the UK Army for over 40 years, holding the position of Commander Land Forces before retirement in 2013. He has reviewed the senior structure of the UK Police, mentored senior business executives and now advises the Ukraine Minister of Defence on reform. His senior operational military experience includes Northern Ireland, the Balkans, Sierra Leone, Iraq and Afghanistan. As the Standing Joint Commander (UK), General Parker led the military reaction to the venue security crisis at the London 2012 Olympics.

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