Category: Ukraine War

Putin’s Botched Mobilization and Nuclear Non-Option

Russian President Vladimir Putin’s September 21st address to the nation could prove to be one of his most fateful blunders in his disastrous war in Ukraine. In his 15-minute pre-recorded speech, Putin announced support for the referendums in four Ukrainian regions, declared partial mobilization in Russia, accused the West of aggressive “Russophobia” and threatened to… Read more »

A Perfect Storm? The Impact of the Ukraine War on Donor Priorities

Two seemingly unrelated global events in September – the devastating floods in Pakistan and the Russian closure of the Nord Stream 1 gas pipeline – intersect on the issue of funding for humanitarian relief. The surge in power prices, the fall in European currencies, and the fears of economic downturn in Europe as a result… Read more »

Eurasian Summit of Hidden Tensions and Thin Pretensions

Samarkand didn’t go well for President Vladimir Putin. The Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) summit hosted by Uzbekistan in this ancient city gathered many leaders of various Eurasian states, from Belarus to Mongolia, but it was the meeting with China’s Chairman (the title that Putin addresses him with) Xi Jinping that was of crucial importance for… Read more »

Russia and China Ambiguity Alliance in Africa

As the war in Ukraine continues in Europe, a new Cold War dynamic of the East and West tensions and strategic geopolitical alignment between powerful nations have heightened. As global proxy wars intensify, so does the competition over control of Africa’s vast natural resources and strategic trade routes, which is likely to shape Africa’s future… Read more »

Putin Has Unsheathed His Energy Weapon Too Early — and Too Late

In early September 2022, Russian President Vladimir Putin spelled out his intention to punish Europe for resisting Russia’s assault on the world order and supporting Ukraine louder and clearer than ever before. Speaking at the keynote session of an economic forum in Vladivostok, Russia, Putin asserted that the confrontation in Ukraine has reinforced Russia’s sovereignty,… Read more »

Putin’s Choices in Ukraine: Retreat, Attrition or Escalation

The long-promised Ukrainian counteroffensive in the south has not yet delivered any breakthrough, but it still signifies a critical turning point for the war: Russia cannot hope to win by sticking to the pattern of trench warfare and artillery duels. Some “patriotic” commentators have suggested that the failures of Ukrainian attacks would pave the way… Read more »

The Ukraine Crisis and Its Impact on Africa’s Geopolitics: What Do We Know So Far?

“We are all living in Vladimir Putin’s world now”  – Ivan Krastev On February 24, the world witnessed the full-fledged invasion of Ukraine led by the Russian President Vladimir Putin and his forces. Described as one of the most aggressive military acts seen in Europe since World War II, the military invasion of Ukraine has… Read more »

War and the Preference for a Strong Leader

Investigating what kind of leader Ukrainians want. During wars and other crises, people tend to want to be led by a strong, dominant leader. A survey among Ukrainians finds support for the strong leader preference, especially among those who feel more anger and aggression. Current president Volodymyr Zelenskyy is not seen as particularly dominant, though… Read more »

Putin’s Next Miscalculation: Russia’s Readiness for a Long War

As Russian aggression against Ukraine approaches the half-year mark and combat operations appear to be at a standstill, a new calculus has been developed in the Kremlin: A long war suits Moscow’s interests and can eventually be won. This self-serving proposition follows the failure of two previous war plans: a quick and total victory by… Read more »

Ukraine Food Export Agreement: Not Yet Delivering

The Russian invasion of Ukraine resulted in the reduction of Ukraine’s grain exports by a third. As part of its attack Russia had taken or damaged Ukrainian ports, threatened merchant ships, struck Ukraine’s rail and road infrastructure and destroyed farms. The Russian invasion was followed by rapid increases in global food prices which reached record… Read more »