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Russian Society Disfigured and Degraded by the ‘Long War’

Russians still do not call the full-scale invasion of Ukraine what it actually is — a war. Now in its third year, the war continues to be referred to in Russia by its awkward abbreviation SVO, short for Russian President Vladimir Putin’s so-called “special military operation.” Russian war propaganda pushing this narrative is everywhere.

Russia’s Post-Putin Future Becomes Darker

This year’s Munich Security Conference recently took place on February 16 but was soon overshadowed by other events, which is becoming a tradition for the annual conference. In early February 2022, most high-level participants did not believe a Russian attack on Ukraine was imminent. In 2023, many expected decisive success in Ukraine’s much-anticipated counteroffensive. This… Read more »

Russian Economy Feels Bite of Attrition

On February 1, the European Council unanimously approved the 50 billion euro aid package to Ukraine. Although this package will not alter the course of the battles for Avdiivka or Kupyansk as it does not include funding for armor or ammunition, it will deliver a boost to Ukraine’s struggling economy. In a long war of… Read more »

Five Shifts in the Balance of War in Ukraine’s Favour

At the start of 2024, the deadlocked European war reached the balance point where Russia was at the peak performance, while Ukraine arrived at the dangerous minimum of its capabilities. Massive budget allocations ensured that Russian defense-industrial complex expanded production to the maximum possible level, while North Korea supplied wagon-loads of artillery shells and Iran delivered hundreds of Shahed-135 drones. On… Read more »

The Ambivalent Juridification of Humanitarian Space

While humanitarians remain sceptical of legal regulation, litigation, and lawyers, the sector is going through a process of juridification. This blog post takes stock of the ambivalence to law and emergent shifts in the sector and calls for international law scholars to pay more attention. ‘We have a toxic relationship with the law’ the aid… Read more »

Assessing Russia’s Maneuvers in the Middle East Amidst Escalating Tensions

On Friday, February 2, the United States conducted a massive airstrike, targeting terrorist militia bases in Iraq and Syria but reverberating across Russian geopolitical designs. In Russia’s grand strategy, the escalation of tensions in the broader Middle East triggered by the shocking attack by Hamas terrorists on Israel on October 7, 2023, is of much… Read more »

Refugee Protection Is Being Eroded

The pledges of USD 2.2 billion for refugees that were secured by Global Refugee Forum in December are a mere drop in the ocean. It can seem that we have reduced refugees to pawns in a political game; a game in which they are unwelcome both in their neighbouring countries and also in Europe. Conflict,… Read more »

Breaking the Russian-Ukrainian Stalemate: Lessons from Military History

Today it is still the case that neither side seems to possess the military capability needed to end the war to its advantage, but there is also no prospect of peace negotiations anytime soon. Ukraine’s summer offensive did not alter the overall state of the war. From the perspective of military history, there is nothing… Read more »

Russian Siren Song of Peace and Baltic Warnings of War

Russian propaganda on the war against Ukraine illogically, but deliberately, combines three different narratives. First, President Vladimir Putin insists that his goals for the “special military operation” remain unchanged. Ukraine must be “neutralized,” and a pro-Russian government will be installed in Kyiv (Interfax, December 14). Second, Putin repeatedly confirms his readiness to engage in peace… Read more »