The Conflict in Eastern Ukraine

A negotiation exercise in which students focus on solving a multidimensional conflict based on real-world circumstances, parties, and interests. 


This scenario takes place in the aftermath of the February 2014 “Euromaidan” uprising, in which thousands of pro-EU protestors forced pro-Russian President Viktor Yanukovych from power, marking the beginning of a new political era in Ukraine. Russia claimed legal power over Crimea and armed forces in Eastern Ukraine proclaimed the republics of Luhansk and Donetsk to be independent from Kiev. Unrest in Eastern Ukraine continues despite two internationally-brokered ceasefires in Minsk in September 2014 and February 2015. Seven parties are gathering in a secret meeting near Lake Geneva, Switzerland to find a solution to urgent short-term issues, such as the signing of a ceasefire, and long-term issues, such as reaching a decision as to the final administrative status of the self-proclaimed republics. 

Teaching Points

  • Focus on solving a multidimensional conflict based on real-world circumstances, parties, and interests. 
  • Better understand team and coalition building-dynamics during multi-issue
  • Manage internal and external dynamics with delegations and between parties
  • Opportunities to promote cooperation in difficult circumstances.
  • Practice sequencing and optimizing informal discussions with formal negotiations

Teaching Materials

Participant Packet 

  • Role Matrix: Overview of all participants and role assignments 
  • Meeting Schedule: Details the locations and meetings within the scenario
  • General Information: Scenario Background
  • Character Sheets: Confidential background information for each role

Instructor Packet 

  • Teaching Guide: Provides the instructor with an overview of the scenario, exercise logistics, teaching points, and debriefing notes
  • Soft copy of suggested introductory and debrief PowerPoint slides
  • All Participant documents except the Character Sheets

Master Packet (add on)

  • One spare copy of all Participant and Instructor documents (not including soft copy of Powerpoint slides)

Exercise Specifications

Format: In person or Online
Time Required for Exercise: 3 hours
Number of participants: 7-12
Negotiating parties (teams): Dependent on number of participants
Scorable: No
Prior Knowledge of Topic: Recommended
Language: English