Ukraine

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  • Essay

    Postwar Ukraine: Planning for a Successful and Secure Recovery

    To rebuild successfully, Ukraine will need to come out of the war on a new trajectory. It already has an outline of what recovery will look like. The plan looks beyond the immediate damages and envisions more than $750 billion in economic support and projects that would raise a new Ukraine from the destruction.

    Jan 5, 2024

  • Q&A

    Two Years After Russia Invaded Ukraine: Q&A with RAND Experts

    RAND experts discuss the state of the conflict in Ukraine and its prospects, the war's global implications, possible outcomes and solutions, and what the West and the rest of the world might be doing now and once hostilities end.

    Feb 19, 2024

Explore Ukraine

  • Russian President Vladimir Putin attends a meeting of the Russian interior ministry board in Moscow, Russia, March 20, 2023, photo by Sputnik/Alexei Nikolskyi/Kremlin via Reuters

    Commentary

    Stalled in Ukraine, Kremlin Increasingly Turns to Political Theater

    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.

    Apr 17, 2023

  • Service members of pro-Russian troops ride an armoured vehicle in the town of Popasna in the Luhansk Region, Ukraine, June 2, 2022, photo by Alexander Ermochenko/Reuters

    Journal Article

    How the Ukraine War Accelerates the Defense Strategy

    This piece explores the implications of the Defense Department's support for Ukraine on the National Defense Strategy, and support for Taiwan in particular.

    Apr 11, 2023

  • A vessel of the Russian Navy is seen through a flock of birds in the Black Sea port of Sevastopol, Crimea, February 16, 2022, photo by Alexey Pavlishak/Reuters

    Commentary

    Why Blockading Rather Than Retaking Crimea Might Be Kyiv's Best Option

    Ukraine may lack the military capability to retake Crimea from Russia. But Kyiv might still achieve some of its key objectives by blockading the peninsula. New technology may ease this task.

    Apr 10, 2023

  • Volodymyr Zelenskyy, Emmanuel Macron, and Olaf Scholz meet at Elysee Palace in Parisé, photo by Ukrainian Presidency via ABACAPRESS.COM/Reuters

    Commentary

    Europe: Ukraine's Essential Ally

    While the United States is Ukraine's primary military backer, Europe is sharing the war's overall burden, sanctioning Russia, arming Ukraine, and helping prepare it to join the European Union, as well as absorbing huge economic costs. Europe's partnership with the United States on Ukraine may be Western diplomacy's finest hour since the Berlin Wall fell.

    Apr 10, 2023

  • Journal Article

    Journal Article

    Reflecting on One Year of War: The Role of Non-Military Levers

    One year after Russia's illegal full-scale invasion of Ukraine, this article examines the role of non-military levers (e.g., diplomatic, information, economic) in the conflict so far.

    Mar 28, 2023

  • A Polish Air Force MiG 29 Fulcrum fighter aircraft takes off from Malbork military airfield in Malbork, Poland, March 20, 2023, photo by IMAGO/BjÃ⁋rn Trotzki via Reuters Connect

    Commentary

    What Difference Will Polish and Slovakian Fighter Jets Make to Ukraine?

    The news that Poland and Slovakia are to deliver MiG-29 fighter jets to Ukraine signals a departure from the longstanding stance of the international community, which had hitherto resisted Kyiv's calls for more combat aircraft. While this donation will be welcomed in Ukraine, it could raise political and practical issues the West must address to maximize the benefits and mitigate the risks.

    Mar 23, 2023

  • Russian President Vladimir Putin (2nd L), Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu (L), and Chief of the General Staff of Russian Armed Forces Valery Gerasimov (2nd R) watch the Zapad-2017 war games held by Russian and Belarussian servicemen, in the Leningrad region, Russia, September 18, 2017, photo by Mikhail Klimentyev/Sputnik/Kremlin via Reuters

    Report

    Understanding the Russian General Staff

    The Russian General Staff is unlike any single organization in the U.S. military or government. Understanding its role and capacity to influence national security decisionmaking is important. Two case studies—Russia's 2014 war in Ukraine and 2015 intervention in Syria—observe the responsibilities and authorities of the General Staff in practice.

    Mar 22, 2023

  • Russia's Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and India's Foreign Minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar shake hands before the start of G20 foreign ministers' meeting in New Delhi, India, March 2, 2023, photo by Russian Foreign Ministry/Handout via Reuters

    Commentary

    India Can Bridge the U.S.-Russia Divide over Ukraine

    No country is as well positioned as India to mediate between Russia and the United States, and bring the Ukraine conflict to an end. Even limited success in ending the war will bolster India's credentials as an emerging great power, capable of accomplishing remarkable things that others cannot.

    Mar 20, 2023

  • Report

    Report

    Proxy Warfare in Strategic Competition: Military Implications

    The authors examine the military implications of intrastate proxy wars (civil wars in which at least one local warring party receives material support from an external state) via a literature review and four case studies.

    Mar 9, 2023

  • Russian President Vladimir Putin at the Kremlin in Moscow, Russia, March 8, 2023, photo by Ilya Pitalyov/Sputnik via Reuters

    Commentary

    What Will Putin Do Next?

    Vladimir Putin faces no elections, no party or state institutions that threaten his rule, no domestic political opposition. He is not moved by humanitarian crises or overly concerned about international condemnation. The longer the war drags on, the more risks Putin might be willing to take to meet his objectives. What might he do next?

    Mar 9, 2023

  • A Ukrainian flag flutters in the wind affixed to a tank overlooking Bakhmut, Ukraine, January 10, 2023, photo by Clodagh Kilcoyne/Reuters

    Commentary

    Consequences of the War in Ukraine: The End and Beyond

    We don't know yet know how the war in Ukraine may end. Despite heavy casualties, neither side is visibly falling apart or appears ready to back down. While no scenario can be excluded, the unequal strategic situation pushes future war scenarios toward variations of a stalemate.

    Mar 8, 2023

  • An employee walks past a part of Gazprom's Power Of Siberia gas pipeline at the Atamanskaya compressor station outside the far eastern town of Svobodny, in Amur region, Russia, November 29, 2019, photo by Maxim Shemetov/Reuters

    Commentary

    Consequences of the War in Ukraine: The Economic Fallout

    Before Russia invaded Ukraine, projections estimated global economic growth in 2022 would be around 5 percent. But the war in Ukraine contributed to slowed economic growth in 2022 and a slowed recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. What are the broader consequences for the global economy?

    Mar 7, 2023

  • The Foreign Ministers of Russia, Turkey, and Ukraine meet for talks at the Antalya Diplomacy Forum in Antalya, Turkey, March 10, 2022, photo by Latin America News Agency via Reuters Connect

    Commentary

    Ukraine Should Not Close Off Routes to the Negotiating Table

    Ukraine and Russia will probably eventually return to the table—perhaps not this month or even this year—and therefore it is important to debate ideas for how to get there, not to dismiss them.

    Mar 7, 2023

  • Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu shake hands at a meeting in Ankara, Turkey, June 8, 2022, photo by Umit Bektas/Reuters

    Commentary

    Consequences of the War in Ukraine: Two Areas of Contention—Turkey and the Balkans

    Turkey is navigating a narrow path between its NATO commitments and its relationship with Russia. The Western Balkans remain an arena of competition between pro-Russian and pro-Western elements. It's not clear how events might play out, but there are indications and track records.

    Mar 6, 2023

  • Flags fly outside NATO headquarters in Brussels, Belgium, November 16, 2022, photo by Yves Herman/Reuters

    Commentary

    Consequences of the War in Ukraine: NATO's Future

    Security issues have again become paramount among NATO members, making the alliance far more relevant. But NATO's southeastern flank is soft and the war in Ukraine has exposed its fault lines.

    Mar 2, 2023

  • Ukrainian soldiers prepare a tank for combat in the fronlines of Bakhmut, Donbass, December 11, 2022, photo by Celestino Arce/Reuters

    Commentary

    What Does Russia's War on Ukraine Mean for the International Order?

    Russia's war on Ukraine has shown the danger of Russian revanchism and the risk of living next door to a power that embraces war as a coercive tool. It has also highlighted the West's role as a major protector of the democratic world.

    Mar 2, 2023

  • Close-up of soldier holding a phone and looking at social mesia posts, U.S. Army photo

    Commentary

    The Ukrainian Army Is Leveraging Online Influencers. Can the U.S. Military?

    Much has been said about Ukraine's astounding success in the information battlefield. How might the U.S. military emulate Ukraine's success to not only help win wars, but also to address its flagging campaign to recruit new members?

    Mar 1, 2023

  • A Ukranian soldier is seen near a checkpoint with blockades in place, amid Russian invasion, in Kyiv, Ukraine, 24 March 2022.

    Multimedia

    Russian Military Operations in Ukraine in 2022 and the Year Ahead

    An overview of testimony by Dara Massicot presented before the U.S. Senate Committee on Armed Services on February 28, 2023.

    Feb 28, 2023

  • Russian service members take part in a ceremony to receive new off-road vehicles and basic needs kits for soldiers fighting on the front line in the Russia-Ukraine conflict, in Rostov-on-Don, Russia, February 19, 2023, photo by Sergey Pivovarov/Reuters

    Testimony

    Russian Military Operations in Ukraine in 2022 and the Year Ahead

    Russia's combat potential is diminished due to its staggering losses in the first year of the war. Now it's trying to overcome these deficits with mobilization and brute-force tactics. Ukraine will need continued Western support as Russia digs deep into its reserves.

    Feb 28, 2023

  • Russian President Vladimir Putin at a training center for mobilised reservists, in Ryazan Region, Russia, October 20, 2022, photo by Sputnik/Mikhail Klimentyev/Kremlin via Reuters

    Commentary

    Consequences of the War in Ukraine: A Bleak Outlook for Russia

    Whatever may happen in Ukraine or in Russia, things will never be the same. A Russian failure in Ukraine could lead to escalation and a world-changing wider war, or it could lead to dramatic changes within Russia. Either outcome would make for a very different world.

    Feb 28, 2023