Russia’s far-reaching demands from NATO and the prospect of a war in Ukraine can seem irrational. But Russia is facing a dilemma that if they do nothing, they are on a trajectory to losing in the long term. So even if Russia isn’t sure what the outcome will be in a war, they may still try it as a tool to stop the process of losing.
Analysis of Russia’s decision to close three zones in the Black Sea for foreign warships including the Kerch Strait.
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.
When a Russian coastguard vessel struck a Ukrainian tug in the Kerch Strait this week, they also hit their own partner. In fact, it looks like he damaged his countryman badly.
Ukraine has adopted the pennant number system from NATO. This means that Ukrainian warships will get a letter that matches their type according to NATO’s system. Incidentally there now is a Ukrainian training vessel with the same pennant number as the Danish royal yacht.
Article recommendation: Liam Collins identifies a good list of lessons to be learned from the war in Ukraine about war with a near-pear adversary. Some of the items are old skills that counter-insurgency focused thinking has caused Western armies to forget. Others are truly new.
Article recommendation: Ukraine renounced its nuclear weapons after the collapse of the Soviet Union. Budjeryn and Sinovets have identified some interesting insights that are relevant for future nonproliferation cases. Deals are still possible, but the price has increased.
Gerard Toal has written an insightful book about the geopolitics of the former Soviet Union. Through case studies of South Ossetia and Ukraine, Toal unfolds the complexities of the geopolitical field and exposes prejudices on all sides.
In Ukraine, the military is suffering under corruption. Andrew Higgins has a good piece in The New York Times about the movement of large-scale corruption from the gas business to military procurement: Nearly four years into a grinding war against rebels armed by Russia, Ukraine’s Defense Ministry proudly announced last month that it had improved […]
Nicu Popescu has written a great article for Carnegie Moscow Center about the future relationship between Russia and Ukraine. “Those in Moscow who believe that all is not lost for Russia in Ukraine, citing the example of Georgia, which is gradually normalizing relations with Russia despite the 2008 war, are being overly optimistic. While the […]