Looking Ahead in Ukraine: What Could Increase the Risk of Escalation?

A woman reacts as she visits at a makeshift memorial place with Ukrainian flags with the names of fallen service members at the Independence Square, amid Russia's attack on Ukraine, in Kyiv, Ukraine September 26, 2023. Photo by Gleb Garanich/Reuters.

Photo by Gleb Garanich/Reuters

Event Details


Tuesday, December 5, 2023


9:30 a.m. - 11:00 a.m. Eastern


DACOR Bacon House, 1801 F St. NW, Washington, D.C., and Online

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As U.S. lawmakers debate the question of continued defense and humanitarian aid to Ukraine, the Ukrainian fight to expel Russian invaders continues with no end in sight. The stalemate on the front lines in Ukraine masks continued intense fighting and demands for resources on both sides that may drive longer-term changes—on the battlefield, inside Russia, and beyond. This could lead to further escalation, including the potential to turn the conflict into a wider war. Understanding which circumstances and policies may risk escalation in Ukraine is paramount: not only are decisions about supporting Ukraine critical to the long-term trajectory of the conflict but also the United States confronts a broad set of challenges across the globe.

Please join RAND’s National Security Research Division on Tuesday, December 5, 2023, 9:30 – 11:00 am ET, for a moderated panel discussion about which circumstances or policies may risk escalation in Ukraine—either deliberate or inadvertent—and the potential triggers and restraining factors likely to shape Russian escalation decisions in particular.

Missy Ryan, a national security reporter at the Washington Post, will moderate the discussion.

About the Panelists

Emma Ashford

Emma Ashford

Senior Fellow with the Reimagining US Grand Strategy program at the Stimson Center

Mark Cozad

Mark Cozad

Senior International Defense Researcher at RAND and Professor at the Pardee RAND Graduate School

Bryan Frederick

Bryan Frederick

Associate Director of the Strategy and Doctrine Program within RAND Project AIR FORCE and a Senior Political Scientist at the RAND Corporation

Matt Kroenig

Matt Kroenig

Vice President and Senior Director of the Atlantic Council’s Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security and the Council’s Director of Studies

About the Moderator

Missy Ryan

Missy Ryan

Reporter, Washington Post

Missy Ryan is a reporter covering diplomacy and national security at the Washington Post. She joined the Post in 2014 to write about the Pentagon and military issues. She has reported from Iraq, Egypt, Lebanon, Yemen, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Mexico, Peru, Argentina, and Chile.

About NSRD

The mission of RAND’s National Security Research Division (NSRD) is to strengthen understanding of the world’s most pressing security challenges and propose ways to manage, mitigate, and avert them. NSRD’s rigorous research and analysis informs top U.S. and allied government policymakers, helping them navigate an increasingly dangerous and complex international security environment. NSRD operates the National Defense Research Institute (NDRI), a federally funded research and development center (FFRDC). NDRI provides studies and analyses to policymakers in the Office of the Secretary of Defense (OSD), the Joint Staff, the Unified Combatant Commands, the Navy, the Marine Corps, the defense agencies, and the defense intelligence enterprise.


Contact Amanda Hamer-Moreno with questions about the event.