Armed Conflict Foreign Relations & International Law

The Lawfare Podcast: Ukrainians Hit the Kerch Bridge ... Again

Jen Patja, Benjamin Wittes, Dmitri Alperovitch, Mykhailo Soldatenko
Tuesday, July 18, 2023, 8:00 AM
This weekend, the Ukrainians hit—for the second time—the Kerch Bridge and the Russians announced that they are not renewing the Black Sea Grain Initiative.

Published by The Lawfare Institute
in Cooperation With

It was a busy weekend in the waters off of Ukraine and Russia. The Ukrainians hit—for the second time—the Kerch Bridge, which connects the Russian mainland with occupied Crimea. The Russians, meanwhile, announced that they are not renewing the Black Sea Grain Initiative, the complex agreement by which Ukraine has managed to export grain through the port of Odessa.

What do we know about what happened on the Kerch Bridge? How big a deal is it? Is it connected to the Russian withdrawal from the grain initiative? And what does the scotching of the Black Sea Grain Initiative mean for the Ukrainian economy? To chew it all over, Lawfare Editor-in-Chief Benjamin Wittes sat down with Dmitri Alperovitch of Silverado Policy Accelerator and the Geopolitics Decanted podcast, and Mykhailo Soldatenko, a visiting researcher at the Harvard Law School and an international lawyer who has written for Lawfare about the Black Sea Grain Initiative. 

Jen Patja is the editor and producer of the Lawfare Podcast and Rational Security. She currently serves as the Co-Executive Director of Virginia Civics, a nonprofit organization that empowers the next generation of leaders in Virginia by promoting constitutional literacy, critical thinking, and civic engagement. She is the former Deputy Director of the Robert H. Smith Center for the Constitution at James Madison's Montpelier and has been a freelance editor for over 20 years.
Benjamin Wittes is editor in chief of Lawfare and a Senior Fellow in Governance Studies at the Brookings Institution. He is the author of several books.
Dmitri Alperovitch is the Co-Founder and Chairman of Silverado Policy Accelerator, a non-profit focused on advancing American prosperity and global leadership in the 21st century and beyond. He is a Co-Founder and former CTO of CrowdStrike Inc., a leading cybersecurity company, and has served as a special advisor on cybersecurity strategy to the Department of Defense.
Mykhailo Soldatenko is a visiting researcher on international agreements at Harvard Law School and a transitional justice researcher at Harvard Kennedy School’s Carr Center for Human Rights Policy. Mykhailo is also an attorney at law in Ukraine and New York and a Ph.D. candidate in public international law at Kyiv-Mohyla Academy. He was previously a senior associate at the Asters law firm in Kyiv, where he practiced international dispute resolution.

Subscribe to Lawfare