2018 was a year of big changes inside the “people’s republics” of eastern Ukraine. However, their main result is stronger Russian control in internal affairs, leaving little hope for an end to the conflict. Change of leadership took place in Donetsk “republic” after it’s leader Alexander Zakharchenko was killed by a bomb on August 31. Turmoil was notably absent from the smaller Luhansk “people’s republic”. In November 2018, both “Republics“ held controversial elections, ostensibly to give much-needed legitimacy to both Pasechnik and Pushilin, who both won, having stood as candidates without a single credible opponent. Little changed in the military situation, where the stalemate continues, even though government troops continued to set up new positions in the previously demilitarized “grey zone.

In the recently published report Nikolaus von Twickel summarises the trends and events, which happened in the “people’s republics” in eastern Ukraine in 2018.

The report in English

The report in Russian