Russian-backed Donetsk People's Republic tanks in eastern Ukraine 230520 CREDIT PA

UK To Research COVID-19 Impact On Ukraine Conflict

The research is expected to investigate the "secondary implications" of coronavirus on political stability and aggression in Ukraine. 

Russian-backed Donetsk People's Republic tanks in eastern Ukraine 230520 CREDIT PA

Britain is aiming to spend up to £100,000 researching the impact of COVID-19 on “conflict and stability” in Ukraine.

The UK’s embassy in Kiev says it will spend around two weeks accepting proposals from organisations willing to examine the effect on “conflict drivers” in the east of Ukraine.

Ukraine’s military and Russia-backed separatists have been fighting in the region since 2014.

More than 14,000 have been killed in the conflict so far.

The UK and other NATO allies do not recognise the legitimacy of Russia's aggression and have helped train Ukrainian forces in recent years.

The British Embassy research project also seeks to examine the effect of COVID-19 on political stability, the country and regions, as well as “gendered implications”.

The chosen group to carry out the research will be granted “between £50,000 and £100,000”.

Ukraine Trench Warfare 291118 Credit BFBS
The UK has been part of NATO training efforts to help Ukraine forces fight Russian-backed separatists.

The UK Government said it hopes the project will produce a number of results, including a "Peace and Stability Tracker", designed to provide an insight into stability risks across the country. 

A document released on the Government's website said: “Understanding how people and the state could be affected as a result of emerging secondary implications of COVID-19 is crucial in order to mitigate those risks and identify implications on conflict and stability in Ukraine.

“The key audience for this project is the British Embassy Kyiv who will be responding to new evidence and analysis by adapting existing conflict and stability initiatives, as well as developing new ones.

“The embassy will seek to share the analysis with other donors in Ukraine and the Ukrainian government stakeholders.”

Work is set to begin on 1 July and last for 9 months, with the possibility to extend the project.

Cover image: Russian-backed Donetsk People's Republic in eastern Ukraine (Picture: PA).