Could the war in Ukraine spread to other countries? So-called frozen conflicts are particularly prevalent in parts of the former Soviet Union where modern-day Russia still has (or wishes to have) significant influence. As well as Transnistria and Nagorno-Karabakh, many experts considered Crimea, as well as Donetsk and Luhansk in South-Eastern Ukraine, to be such frozen conflicts. Is there a risk they could unthaw as the war in Ukraine destabilises the regional geopolitical order?

Want to learn more about Eastern Europe’s frozen conflicts? Check out our infographic below (click for a bigger version):

We recently organised a Citizens’ Panel bringing together citizens and civil society members to discuss Eastern Europe’s frozen conflicts. Below are some of the questions that come out of that panel.

Jules asked:

I’m thinking of the EU monitoring mission in Georgia. To what extent will it remain in duty if Russian troops go beyond Abkhazia and South Ossetia? What is the ability of this entity to operate if the conflict escalates further?

Mariami asked:

I wanted to know to what extent do we consider Abkhazia and South Ossetia a ‘frozen conflict’ when we witness creeping borders, abductions, disappearances, and so on? How is this still considered a frozen conflict when there are violations of fundamental human rights taking place every day?

To get a response, we put these questions to two participants during a Friends of Europe online event on frozen conflicts:

💬 Hamida Giyasbayli, Conflict specialist and journalist

💬 Esmira Jafarova, Board Member of the AIR Center

You can watch their responses in the video above.

Could ‘frozen conflicts’ in Eastern Europe start unthawing? Could the war in Ukraine spread to other countries? Let us know your thoughts and comments in the form below and we’ll take them to policymakers and experts for their reactions!

IMAGE CREDITS: (CC BY-SA 2.0) International Crisis Group
Funded by the European Union. Views and opinions expressed are however those of the author(s) only and do not necessarily reflect those of the European Union or the European Commission. Neither the European Union nor the granting authority can be held responsible for them.

24 comments Post a commentcomment

What do YOU think?

  1. avatar
    EU-Reform Proactive

    With a politician named Putin in charge of Russia at present, anything and more is possible!

    After he and “Putism” (or ‘Mutism’?) have finally revealed their true and weird face to the whole world- this man must be seen as a serious danger to all humanity- not only Ukraine!

    It shouldn’t be (‘tolerated’) that Europe and the whole world will be burdened with a Russian political figure like Putin- self-anointed until 2036!

    Business as usual has ended! Is the UN Security Council or UN bold enough to stand up and chastise Putin personally and Russia- for going rogue?

    The Veto privilege in the UNSC should automatically be forfeited once UN founding members were found guilty by the ICC & UN to have recklessly endangered the global peace and threatened an all-out war, even nuclear!

    What known crime against humanity could be worse than the intention to unleash a nuclear war, with the consequential extinction of all humans, together with every living creature on earth- to resurrect an outdated & forever gone……. ‘what’s it called?

    By witnessing and judging his recent brutal & cynical actions, there should be no doubt, that he & his clique have merged into one of Europe’s greatest & most dangerous dictators. It appeared that the cold war ended around 1992. But since 2000 Mr Putin was already contemplating- no way- only Putin’s way!

    Quote: “Authoritarian regimes are corrupt in a more fundamental way than liberal democracies because the access to power on every level of state bureaucracy in the former effectively signifies access to wealth accumulation as well.”

    Calling others Nazis & fascists?!

  2. avatar

    The question is, what did EU do since 2014 to avoid the war in Ukraine?

    • avatar

      oh yes indeed…

  3. avatar

    The idea that war should be a solution to anything is just so far out.

  4. avatar

    It is missing Kazakh an Belarus uprisings, and a special status of Belarus as a quasi independent state, in fact extension of the Russian Federation, and a special (abnormal) geopolitical position of Kaliningrad. Ukraine was a frozen conflict and now it is not frozen any more.

  5. avatar

    Warmongerism tales .Disgusting bloody business instead of human permanent PEACE

  6. avatar

    EU missed to give hand to russia after perestroika. It was a major mistake

  7. avatar

    I’m getting clearer and clearer that this war against Ucraina will end just when a regime change will happen in Kremlin…
    – Let’s hope as soon as possible!!
    Freedom to Russia, Ukraine and Belarus!! 👍👍✌️✌️
    Viva liberty!!

    • avatar
      JT HK

      A democracy is a government of people, when Putin has a popular support above 80%, there will not be a regime change. As we can see Chinese government has over 90% of popular trust. What are the popular support of EU political leaders when they are pressurizing the people to cooperate in sanctioning Russia? If Europe is upholding democracy, many leaders ought to step down right now!

    • avatar

      We can’t talk about democracies in Russia and China! Those are cruel, despotic dictatures!
      And the so called “support for the governments” is a fake one or out of fear!
      If those populations can have the possibilities to change their governments, they will do it right away!
      Those are not poleticians, those are criminals who took over the power and hold on it forever, creating so much hate in population against them!
      Regarding EU member states, they have to follow the rules of embargo imposed against Russia! This apply for every state in the world, not just those in EU!
      But the situations are more controversial in EU, because some states depends on gas and oil from Russia and they cannot follow the rules of embargo right away!
      The rules of embargo are very strict and those countries which do not apply the international law, they will be sunctioned as well.
      So EU is very tolerant with its members states and it should not be like that! The law is law and it should apply to every country!
      Luckily Russia cut the supply of gas and oil to Poland and Bulgaria, so these 2 countries will overcome this problem soon by buying oil and gas from other sources in the world! Good for them!
      The other European countries should follow this problem solving or otherwise they should be sunctioned!
      I just don’t know why the world is trading with undemocratic countries? 🤔 They should have a plan to not do it any longer!

    • avatar
      JT HK

      Have you see those issues you are speaking in real or just hearsay? Below is the link of the institution which has been delivering government trust report each year: Besides, China has the outbound tourism of 145.31 in 2019: Besides the total spending of Chinese tourists reached US$127.5 in 158 countries all over the world. If the Chinese can travel free all over the world and return to their homeland happily with all their purchases, do you think they still want to overthrow their government? The internet is for us to look for fact not just to hearsay what you are told.

    • avatar
      JT HK

      When politicians had not consulted the people and start robbing robing Russia and sanction the gas and oil causing high inflation and food crisis, I do not call this democracy.

    • avatar
      JT HK

      Be careful not to justify evils and crime with democracy, freedom and liberty! Remember always that the freedom fighters of Ronald Reagan become terrorists of George W. Bush. Now EU is support this:

  8. avatar

    Encourage negotiations instead of sending more and more weapons if you want the war to stop and not to escalate to the point of mutual annihilation.

  9. avatar
    JT HK

    What EU EU and US doing are just unthawing frozen conflicts in Eastern Europe. The Third World War appears to be approaching. Before that, we can see chaos when citizens have no job, no fuel, no food and the death of the poor people…Look at your own people and solve their problem. Do not divert attention!

  10. avatar
    JT HK

    South Korea’s bitter experience of trapping in such triangular relationship with Japan and US. What is the experience of Europe?…/1480fc96-9bab-11e9-9c06-a4640c9feebb

  11. avatar
    JT HK

    While EU is wasting post-COVID economic recovery and committing suicide in the Russia-Ukraine Conflict , India opted out from the US-led Indo-Pacific Group trade talk:…/india-avoids-trade…

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