Security Sector Governance and Reform in Ukraine

By Polina Beliakova and Sarah Detzner (Beliakova is a Fletcher alumna and Postdoctoral Fellow at Dartmouth College)

This report delves into Ukraine’s security sector governance (SSG) and security sector reform (SSR), particularly during and post the conflict with Russia. It examines three key periods, analysing the country’s security system, successes, and challenges faced. From 1991 to 2014, inadequate reform led to vulnerabilities exploited by Russia, while 2014-2022 showed significant progress in response to a clear threat, though focused on immediate combat needs. Remarkably, Russia’s full-scale invasion in 2022 didn’t derail progress completely; instead, further advancements were made, addressing immediate combat needs. The report notes how Ukraine’s SSR successes contrast with Russia’s governance weaknesses and offers recommendations to leverage Ukraine’s advantages during the conflict, prepare for post-war challenges, and guide other threatened states in strengthening their defenses preemptively.

PeaceRep’s Ukraine programme is a multi-partner initiative that provides evidence, insight, academic research and policy analysis from Ukraine and the wider region to support Ukrainian sovereignty, territorial integrity and democracy in the face of the Russian invasion. PeaceRep’s Ukraine programme is led by the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) partnering with the Kyiv School of Economics (KSE) in Ukraine, the Leibniz Institute for East and Southeast European Studies (IOS) in Germany, the Institute of Human Sciences (IWM) in Austria and Jagiellonian University in Poland. Through our collaboration with KSE we work closely with researchers, educationalists and civic activists in Ukraine to ensure that policy solutions are grounded in robust evidence and are calibrated to support democratic outcomes.

Read the full report here.

(This post is republished from Peace and Conflict Resolution Evidence Platform.)

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