Many prominent Western news outlets and policymakers have concluded that Ukraine is winning the information war. Are Ukraine's information campaigns, in fact, more persuasive than Russia's? If so, why?
From the 1990s to the 2022 invasion, Russia's manipulation of Ukraine was based on a post-Soviet Russian identity that was hostile to the European project. Meanwhile, Ukraine formed a national identity that was at odds with Russia's, and it grew stronger and more resistant to Russian influence.
Ukraine's reconstruction may be the largest rebuilding effort in modern history, and it's not too early to start planning. Recovery will require an end to the fighting, but ultimate success hinges on a U.S.-European partnership and the establishment of durable post-war security arrangements.
Ukraine may soon launch a counteroffensive against Russian forces entrenched in eastern and southern Ukraine. We consider three ways this counteroffensive might end and their implications for the future.
Moscow's desire for additional fighters in Ukraine has created a breeding ground for Russian private military company (PMC) development. This explosion of what are essentially private armies is not only shaping the battlefield in Ukraine; it could have devastating impacts long after this conflict ends.
While the Western response to Russia's invasion of Ukraine was clear from the start, the objective has been nebulous. After over a year of fighting, the likely direction of this war is coming into focus.
It is encouraging that Ukraine might receive F-16s to improve its combat capabilities. Western policymakers might begin thinking now about what the Ukrainian Air Force may require in the future, especially if the Russian threat remains acute.
Russia's looming troop-retention and veteran-treatment problems are already visible on the horizon, even though they have been delayed by policy. By invading Ukraine, Russia has created a wave of severe trauma that will soon crash over its own country.
After months of publicly lobbying to acquire U.S.-made F-16 fighter jets, it appears that Ukraine may receive them later this year. However, there remains a long road ahead before the F-16s would see service in Ukraine—and it is an open question how much they would affect the outcome of the war.
Recently, the United States reversed its long-standing opposition to sending Ukraine F-16 advanced aircraft to aid its fight against Russia. The policy reversal is a smart call. Once the aircraft are delivered and training is complete the jets will help Ukraine defend its territory more efficiently, and might even help end the war.
F-16s going to Ukraine could help it defend against Russian aerial assaults. But their greatest value may be to augment future Ukrainian counteroffensives aimed at retaking occupied land. This will require training and exercising, but Ukrainian forces are fully capable of mastering it.
Though not a great power war, Russia's invasion of Ukraine has caused many to wonder what a true great power war in Europe or the Indo-Pacific would look like, and especially what kind of world would emerge afterwards. Two RAND researchers discuss how their recent report sheds light on this issue.
False flag, special op, or fizzled attack—it may not be possible to get to the bottom of who launched drones at the Kremlin and why any time soon. But the incident and reactions it has elicited from the war's major players reveal just how important weaponized, long-range drones have become in this conflict.
In making decisions about reconstruction, the Ukrainian people and their government will face trade-offs regarding timelines, prioritization of efforts, leadership, and funding. Understanding these trade-offs can improve their decisions and contribute to the transparency and integrity of the process.
President Vladimir Putin's announced plan to put nuclear arms in Belarus may pose risks to NATO's nuclear posture. Three decades after the Soviet collapse, some allies might be uneasy about reenergizing NATO's nuclear mission. But others might argue that not responding to Russia's plans could cause the Kremlin to doubt NATO's nuclear credibility.
Stymied in Ukraine, Russian President Vladimir Putin has amped up the political theater to achieve his objectives. How do we interpret Putin's statements? While no nuclear threat should be ignored, Putin's pronouncements remain in the realm of propaganda.