Has the Kremlin Taken Too Much Risk?


William Courtney, Adjunct Senior Fellow

The Kremlin may have taken excessive risk in threatening an invasion of Ukraine. An invasion would not be popular in Russia. There could be high casualties from the battlefield and Russia would become a pariah state. It would face severe economic sanctions from the West, which would further lower living standards for ordinary Russians.

But if Russia pulls away, if the Kremlin withdraws, as Nikita Khrushchev did in the Cuban Missile Crisis in 1962, conservatives in Russia, the Russian military, could find that to be humiliating. Either way, the Kremlin may face some downsides for its action. The Kremlin has probably taken too much risk.

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