Rumors that Russia would attack Ukraine during Christmas turned out to be false. That was predictable. If Russia wants to attack Ukraine, they are strong enough to do it whenever they want. They don’t need to check the Western holiday calendar. An escalation in January seems more likely.
Military strategy and politics
It is doubtful that Western sanctions have had any effect on Russia’s behavior but that doesn’t mean that the sanctions don’t work. They will be good bargaining chips some day when things are less emotional.
Before the INF Treaty collapses, it is worth pondering why Russia is building a missile that breaks it. I argue that it is because they want a conventional missile akin to Tomahawk. It is silly if we turn this into a nuclear race.
Traditional theories about International Relations are simply not good enough to explain what is going on between Russia and the West. Andrej Krickovic delivers the argument in this policy memo for PONARS Eurasia.
The notion that Russia is about to collapse is way too common in Western discourse. Mark Galeotti reacts against this trend in an almost entertainingly scathing review of one such apocalyptic article.
Nowhere near 300,000 soldiers took part in the exercise, but it was still interesting. Not least for its focus on a free-play scenario instead of the usual rehearsal of predefined maneuvers.
Interesting and pessimistic take on the future of NATO by Sten Rynning in War on the Rocks: In this short essay, I argue that NATO is actually witnessing a return of European geopolitics that runs in parallel to the questioning of geopolitical priorities occurring in the United States. European allies clearly prefer continuity when it […]
Army major Deniss Metsavas was a role model for successful integration of Russians in Estonia. He appeared on TV several times posing as a patriotic Estonian. But now he has been exposed as a GRU spy, and suspicion against the Russian minority has soared.
Rosgvardiya general Viktor Zolotov challenges Alexei Navalny to a fist fight in a disastrous public video address. It is discomforting that this guy is in charge of the internal security forces in Russia. Zolotov is also Putin’s old-time friend and former bodyguard.
Shaun Walker has written an excellent book about modern Russian history, identity creation after the collapse of the Soviet Union, and the almost fetishized obsession with the World War II victory.