Russia's War in Ukraine: Insights from RAND

Residents flee from the town of Irpin, Ukraine, after heavy shelling by Russia destroyed the only escape route used by locals, March 6, 2022, photo by Carlos Barria/Reuters

Residents flee from the town of Irpin, Ukraine, after heavy shelling by Russia destroyed the only escape route used by locals, March 6, 2022

Photo by Carlos Barria/Reuters

When Russian President Vladimir Putin launched an unprovoked invasion of Ukraine in February 2022, it set off the largest armed conflict in Europe since World War II.

Today, as the fighting continues, casualties mount, and the humanitarian crisis worsens, it's unclear what will happen next. How might the conflict evolve? Is a negotiated settlement possible? And if so, then what are the potential implications of such an agreement? And how can the West continue to hold Putin accountable while mitigating the risks of a wider war between Russia and NATO?

A vast body of previously published RAND research and analysis can shed light on these questions and more. Plus, dozens of RAND experts are providing timely insights that may help inform policy responses to Russia's war.

Russian Strategy and Capabilities

  • Report

    What Is the Invasion of Ukraine Costing Russia?

    As of September 2022, Russia's military costs of its invasion of Ukraine reached $40 billion. GDP losses in 2022 were between $81 billion and $104 billion. Russia can sustain these costs for at least several years but over the long term its economy and standard of living are likely to decline.

    Dec 18, 2023

Ukrainian Capabilities, Civilian Resistance, and the Will to Fight

  • Commentary

    Upping the Ante on Western Weapons Could End the Stalemate in Ukraine

    The Russo-Ukrainian war might be at a strategic tipping point. The ground fight in Ukraine's east is stalemated, but Russian sea and air power in Crimea is diminished. The future flow of Western aid may be less certain. To address these challenges, the West might escalate support for Ukraine's military and signal firmness to Moscow.

    Jan 30, 2024

Refugees and the Humanitarian Crisis

  • Commentary

    The EU Can't Treat Ukrainian Refugees Like Short-Term Visitors

    Although EU countries, communities, and citizens have been very welcoming to Ukrainian refugees, it is not enough to treat them as short-term visitors, meet their immediate humanitarian needs, and let them wait out the war. By educating and employing them instead, EU countries can enrich their own communities and support Ukraine.

    Jul 24, 2023

Diplomatic and Political Dimensions

U.S. Strategic Competition with Russia

  • Commentary

    U.S. Strategic Competition with Russia Is Here to Stay

    Competition between the United States and Russia occurs at many levels, from the military arena to the economic, political, and social realms. A review of 58 RAND reports on this topic highlights major findings and explores key aspects of the deteriorating U.S.-Russia relationship.

    Jan 31, 2022