20 years under Putin: a timeline

On September 17, the Institute of Modern Russia and the Atlantic Council will co-host the presentation of a new report titled “An Invasion by Any Other Name: Russia’s Dirty War in Ukraine,” prepared by the editorial team of The Interpreter, an IMR special project. The report offers evidence proving that Russia is behind the unrest in the Donbass region in Ukraine’s east.


A convoy from Russia’s Emergency Situations Ministry carrying “humanitarian aid” for eastern Ukraine residents. The shipments are largely viewed as part of a covert operation to invade Ukrainian territory. Photo: Zurab Dzhavakhadze / ITAR-TASS



The Interpreter’s “An Invasion by Any Other Name: Russia’s Dirty War in Ukraine”


A conversation with:

Michael Weiss
Editor-in-Chief, The Interpreter
Senior Editor, The Daily Beast

James Miller
Managing Editor, The Interpreter


Joining the panel discussion:

The Hon. Steven Pifer
Senior Fellow, Brookings Institution

Myroslava Gongadze
Reporter, Voice of America


Welcome remarks and panel moderated by:

The Hon. John Herbst
Director, Dinu Patriciu Eurasia Center (Atlantic Council)


Thursday, September 17, 2015
4:00pm — 5:30pm

Atlantic Council headquarters
1030 15th St NW, 12th floor, West Tower Elevators


Attendance is by RSVP only.
To register your interest in attending this event, please click here.


With renewed fighting in Ukraine’s east, few deny that Moscow is financially and militarily backing the separatist war in eastern Ukraine and has invaded its neighbor on several occasions over the past year. The new report by The Interpreter, “An Invasion by Any Other Name: Russia’s Dirty War in Ukraine,” aims to offer a complete account of Russia’s role in the unrest in the Donbass region of eastern Ukraine. The report relies on open-source evidence and ultimately argues that without Russian weapons and soldiers, the Donbass separatists would have been defeated by the end of summer 2014.

The Interpreter, a special project of the Institute of Modern Russia, has covered developments in Ukraine for more than 550 straight days, starting from right before the height of the Euromaidan Revolution. The Interpreter’s team has documented nearly every significant battle and persuasive piece of information pointing to Russian interference in the Donbass region. By combining an examination of all available evidence with analysis of the context within which the Russian military has been operating, this report aims to assess the nature, scope, and ultimate goals of the Russian government’s intervention in eastern Ukraine.



Michael Weiss is editor-in-chief of The Interpreter, founded in May 2013 as a news and translation service focusing on Russia and Ukraine. The website has become a high-traffic resource for journalists, diplomats, and policymakers from around the world, with its articles cited by presidents, parliamentarians, ambassadors, and supranational governing bodies. He is also a senior editor at The Daily Beast and co-author of the New York Times bestseller ISIS: Inside the Army of Terror.

James Miller is managing editor of The Interpreter and has reported for the website on Russia and Ukraine since 2013. He is a contributor at Reuters, The Daily Beast, Foreign Policy, Vice News, The Moscow Times, and other publications. He is an expert on verifying citizen journalism and has also covered events in Syria and Iran since 2009.

Steven Pifer is a Senior Fellow at the Brookings Institution. A retired Foreign Service officer, his more than 25 years with the State Department included assignments as Deputy Assistant Secretary of State in the Bureau of European and Eurasian Affairs (2001-2004), US Ambassador to Ukraine (1998-2000), and Special Assistant to the President and Senior Director for Russia, Ukraine and Eurasia on the National Security Council (1996-1997).

Myroslava Gongadze, TV anchor and reporter for Voice of America’s Ukrainian Service, has won numerous awards for her accomplishments as a journalist, including her reporting on the eve of the 2004 Orange Revolution. Gongadze came to the United States as a political refugee in 2001, and she is the widow of Georgy Gongadze, an investigative reporter who was allegedly murdered by government police in Ukraine in 2000. She won a landmark negligence ruling against the Ukrainian government from the European Court of Human Rights in November 2005, and she was awarded a Reagan-Fascell Democracy Fellowship to study the role of the media in Ukraine’s transition to democracy in 2001.

John E. Herbst is director of the Atlantic Council’s Dinu Patriciu Eurasia Center. He served for 31 years as a Foreign Service officer in the U.S. Department of State, retiring at the rank of career-minister. He served as U.S. ambassador to Ukraine (2003-2006), during which time he worked to enhance U.S.-Ukrainian relations, help ensure the conduct of a fair Ukrainian presidential election, and prevent violence during the Orange Revolution. Prior to that, he was U.S. ambassador to Uzbekistan (2000-03). Most recently, he served as director of the Center for Complex Operations at National Defense University. He has received two Presidential Distinguished Service Awards, the Secretary of State’s Career Achievement Award, the State Department’s Distinguished Honor Award, and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Distinguished Civilian Service Award.