Two events of profound, and maybe even decisive, importance for the outcome of the Ukraine war happened last week: the Davos gathering of the World Economic Forum and the meeting of top defense officials from some 50 members of the Western coalition at the Ramstein air base in Germany.
Month: January 2023
Ukraine Is Not Melos, and Russia Is Not Athens
Let’s keep Thucydides out of Russia’s war against Ukraine “Ukraine is confronted with a stark choice: fight on through a bitter winter with death raining from above, or initiate negotiations with Russia under unfavourable terms. Two-and-a-half millennia ago, the leaders of the Greek island of Melos confronted a similar choice.” The quote is from the… Read more »
Fear and Loathing in the UN Security Council
The war in Ukraine has changed the atmosphere and the dynamics within the UN Security Council. The five permanent members and veto powers of the Council distrust each other, and diplomats fear that the war will have long-lasting negative effects on other matters. How did Norway and the other elected members of the Security Council… Read more »
As War Against Ukraine Lengthens, Russia Shifts Top Brass
Combat operations in Ukraine have largely contracted to a 10-mile battleground between Bakhmut and Soledar. During this fierce fighting, the command structure of Russia’s “special military operation” was suddenly upgraded on January 11. General Valery Gerasimov, the chief of the Russian General Staff, is now in charge, and the previous commander, General Sergey Surovikin, has… Read more »
Land and Mining in the Green Energy Transition
Global mining uses more than 57.000 km2 of land. This area is likely to expand in the coming years due to a rising mineral demand for low-carbon technologies. The more strategic minerals become, the more critical the land becomes below which they are found. This poses a number of challenges.
Better Arms for Ukraine, Zero Response from Russia
No cease-fire can possibly mute artillery barrages in Donbas, but the intensity of political battles exceeds the intensity of this cannonade. Russian stubborn and costly attacks on Bakhmut may yield only tactical success, but in geo-strategic terms, it is the shift in Western positions on supplying heavy arms to Ukraine that signifies the most significant… Read more »
Russia, China and New Power Dynamics in the Sahel Region
France’s announcement to withdraw its forces from the Sahel in November 2022, alongside growing dissatisfaction with the nation’s presence in the region, opens the door for other actors to exercise greater influence in the Sahel and West Africa. As the security situation in the Sahel deteriorated dramatically over the past decade, the international response has… Read more »
Putin’s Lonely Christmas Amid His Hopeless War
It was a striking image for a traditional season of joy and hope: Russian President Vladimir Putin attending the Orthodox Christmas service all alone in one of the Kremlin’s cathedrals. This loneliness stands in contrast with his persistent attempts to show himself actively engaging with subordinates, particularly servicemen — for example, during his visit to… Read more »
Russia Remains Stuck in 2022, a Year of Miscalculated War and Deep Degradation
The new year of cheerful celebrations and renewed hopes has failed to arrive in Russia, which is sinking deeper into the vortex of President Vladimir Putin’s devastating war against Ukraine. Putin has duly delivered his traditional New Year’s message, emphasizing the sacred duty of defending the motherland (Meduza, December 31). However, his best wishes did… Read more »
Right on Its Side, but Not Might?
The lessons an ancient Greek war can teach Ukraine today. Ukraine is confronted with a stark choice: fight on through a bitter winter with death raining from above, or initiate negotiations with Russia under unfavorable terms. Two-and-a-half millennia ago, the leaders of the Greek island of Melos confronted a similar choice.