Russia & Eastern Europe

War in Europe: The impact of Russian aggression in Ukraine 2 years on
23 Feb 2024 09:00 - 16:00
Bron: Shutterstock


Two years after Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine, the war continues to cause extreme civilian harm and military casualties and has changed Ukrainian society to the core. Two years of war in Europe also changed perceptions of NATO and the defence policies of European countries, whilst the EU decided to open accession negotiations with Ukraine. Yet, war in the Middle East and rising tensions in Asia have also directed international attention away from Ukraine. Promised weapon deliveries materialise slower than foreseen, and public support for Ukraine is not as self-evident as it was just after the invasion.

On 23 February 2024, two years after Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine, the Netherlands Defence Academy (NLDA), the Royal Netherlands Association for War Studies (KVBK), the Netherlands Atlantic Association, the Clingendael Institute, the Hague Centre for Strategic Studies (HCSS), and ISGA Leiden University take stock of these developments and ask the question: what does the war mean for Ukraine, for Europe and the world at large?

During a one-day symposium Dutch, Ukrainian and international experts will discuss the impact of the war on geopolitics, the consequences of the war on the EU and NATO and what it means for coercion. We will discuss the impact on Ukrainian people and politics and the societal developments in Ukraine since the start of the war. Finally, we will analyse the military lessons learned from a return to interstate conflict and consider the effects on innovation and the defence industry.



08:30 – 09:00 Coffee & Welcome

09:00 – 09:20 Introduction

  • ACdre. (ret.) Prof. dr. Frans Osinga (Leiden University)

09:20 – 09:50 Keynote Speech

  • General Onno Eichelsheim, Chief of Defence

09:50 – 11:05 Panel 1: The impact of the War in Ukraine on Geopolitics

  • Anna van Zoest MPhil (The Netherlands Atlantic Association, moderator)
  • Prof. Jaap de Hoop Scheffer (former NATO Secretary General, former Minister of Foreign Affairs)
  • Prof. dr. Antoaneta Dimitrova (Leiden University)
  • Drs. Hubert Smeets (NRC Handelsblad)

11:05 – 11:30 Coffee Break

11:30 – 11:45 Interview

  • Dr. Tim Sweijs (The Hague Centre for Strategic Studies) with Dr. Ernst Dijxhoorn (Leiden University) on coercion

11:45 – 12:00 Interview

  • OSINT student initiative with Dr. Ernst Dijxhoorn (Leiden University)

12:00 – 12:15 Interview

  • Ambassador Oleksandr Karasevych with Bob Deen (The Clingendael Institute)

12:15 – 13:00 Lunch

13:00 – 14:10 Panel 2: The Impact of War on Ukrainian Society

  • Bob Deen MA Msc (The Clingendael Institute, moderator)
  • Dr. Olena Halushka (International Centre for Ukrainian Victory)
  • Julia Soldatiuk MA Msc (The Clingendael Institute)
  • Yana Rudenko Msc (Leiden University)

14:10 – 15:25 Panel 3: Fighting the War

  • BGen Prof. dr. Paul Ducheine (Universiteit van Amsterdam, moderator)
  • Dr. Maarten Rothman (Netherlands Defence Academy)
  • BGen Prof. dr. Han Bouwmeester (Netherlands Defence Academy)
  • Dr. Tine Molendijk (Netherlands Defence Academy)
  • Col. dr. Peter Pijpers (Universiteit van Amsterdam)

15:25 – 15:30 Closing words

  • Maj. Gen. Robert Adang (The Royal Netherlands Association for War Studies)

15:30 – 16:00 Reception