On March 23, the historic process of North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) enlargement passed a critical milestone as Finnish President Sauli Niinistö signed into law legislation on accession to the Alliance approved by parliament. In response, the Kremlin merely expressed regret about this development and reiterated the absence of any threat from Russia to its… Read more »
Tag: Ukraine War
Four Complications for the Rushed Putin-Xi Summit
Chinese President Xi Jinping’s state visit to Moscow, which started yesterday and is expected to go for three days, is certain to be rich in pomp and ceremony. Yet, its content remains rather uncertain. Russian President Vladimir Putin, in most cordial terms, invited his Chinese counterpart during their video conversation on December 30. But Xi,… Read more »
China Adjusts Limits on Partnership With Russia
The Russian army’s ongoing struggle to capture Bakhmut might appear to be primarily a tactical episode in the larger geo-strategic picture of Russia’s war against Ukraine. However, it also affects the key political interactions shaping this picture, including the formally cordial, but in fact rather uneasy, relations between Moscow and Beijing.
China’s Plan for Ukraine Is No Plan at All
China’s position paper won’t contribute to peace in Ukraine, but it does offer useful insights into how Beijing conceives of its global role. On February 24, one year after Russia began its invasion of Ukraine, China released a paper on “China’s Position on the Political Settlement of the Ukraine Crisis.” In classic Beijing style, the document… Read more »
Putin’s War-Mongering Spectacle Reveals War Fatigue
As the one-year mark of President Vladimir Putin’s disastrous war against Ukraine neared, the Russian army failed to score anything resembling even a minor victory to provide the Russian leader with a talking point for his public performances. In his address to the Federal Assembly on February 21, Putin said nothing about the prospects of… Read more »
Don’t Forget the Children Born of War in Ukraine
Over nine months have passed since Russia’s attack on Ukraine. Several of the first Ukrainian women who became pregnant as a result of wartime sexual violence have now given birth to children who were conceived as a result of this violence. More will be born in the coming months. And if the conflict and the… Read more »
Before Decisive Battles, Russia’s War Against Ukraine Reaches a Political Culmination
As the one-year mark approaches, the Russo-Ukrainian war shows little movement along the battle lines but plenty of action along the political dimension, which may be approaching a culmination point. First came the meeting of Ukraine’s key supporters in the Ramstein format; then the meeting of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) defense ministers, to… Read more »
NATO Should Pursue Peace over Victory in Ukraine. Here Is Why and How.
In his foundational book on the causes of war, Kenneth Waltz observed that “[a]sking who won a given war […] is like asking who won the San Francisco earthquake. That in war there is no victory but only varying degrees of defeat is a proposition that has gained increasing acceptance in the twentieth century.” These… Read more »
Davos Meets Ramstein: Russia’s Global Standing Takes a Hit
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.
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 »