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.
Russian President Vladimir Putin appeared to double down on his country's war effort during a major speech, calling up hundreds of thousands of new troops, threatening Ukraine and the West, vowing to use “all the means at our disposal,” and pointing out that he is not bluffing. Here's what RAND experts had to say.
A careful strategy of strength and prudence has helped the West maintain security and manage relations with Moscow. The West may continue this course while upping the ante to help Ukraine defeat and expel Russian forces. In so doing, the West may also be advancing prospects for longer-term peace that might come only through liberalization in Russia.
What Russia seeks is new political leadership across the Western world that does not support a status quo that can isolate Russia from the capital and technology it needs to generate security and prosperity over the long term.
The Battle of Saratoga turned the tides of the Revolutionary War, ultimately leading to American independence. Nearly 250 years later, the Battle of Kharkiv may be a similar turning point in Ukraine's fight against Russia.
The United States has been gradually increasing assistance to Ukraine without provoking a wider war. Although this approach has frustrated Ukrainian leaders and many observers, it reflects the best traditions of Cold War–era crisis diplomacy—pursuing U.S. interests while avoiding a direct clash with a rival, always with an eye on the long term.
Before Russia invaded Ukraine in February, its diplomatic missions began circulating some particularly fantastical lies. It's tempting to write off such claims as cartoonish propaganda. But Russia is making similarly outrageous claims to the United Nations and other international forums. Such maneuvers could dangerously undermine international arms control agreements.
Western sanctions are ensnaring more Russian business leaders, some of whom say they are unjustly targeted. Can those in the private sector reduce their risks of being designated? Perhaps, if they make difficult choices.
Russia's war in Ukraine entered the summer of 2022 with no clear military victor in sight. Although it is important to exercise caution in drawing any major conclusions, some powerful signs about the future of warfare can be derived from this conflict.
The United States and its Arctic partners suspended cooperation with Russia at the Arctic Council in response to Moscow's invasion of Ukraine. The prospect of returning to the council's business as usual seems very far away.
The concept of ontological security could help explain Putin's war on Ukraine and his regime's reasoning. It's about maintaining a continuous sense of self, and in this case, of state identity. Putin may have deemed the invasion necessary to maintain a sense of continuity and order, where order is Russia's continued adversarial relationship with the West.
Information confrontation is the use of offensive or defensive informational means to achieve political, economic, or military objectives. Russian strategy likens information weapons with weapons of mass destruction since both have the potential to reshape the international system. The Ukraine experience offers insights into Russia's tactics.
This volume compiles texts from leading members of the military-scientific communities in Russia and Ukraine and illustrates how decisionmakers in these countries understand and debate information weapons and information influence.
Since Russia's invasion of Ukraine, the West's support for Kyiv has been tempered by an ace up Vladimir Putin's sleeve: the potential use of nuclear weapons. But other countries are taking notice, which could imperil world stability even further.
The Russian armed forces have suffered tens of thousands of casualties and lost more than 5,000 pieces of equipment. These deficits will make it hard for Russia to hold regions in Ukraine that it may soon try to annex. To succeed, Moscow will have to replenish personnel and equipment at scale—tasks that will prove extremely difficult.
While the outcome of the war in Ukraine is by no means clear, the balance of materiel, manpower, and willpower all seem to make the case for cautious optimism. Although Ukraine is unlikely to throw Russia back to its borders any time soon, the war will likely trend in Ukraine's favor in the coming months. But only if the West does not blink first.
The Biden administration's recent announcement of its intention to adhere to the provisions of the Ottawa Convention on anti-personnel landmines has real consequences. This decision is the latest in the long controversy over the use of anti-personnel landmines and, more broadly, what means are moral in war.