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Tag: Russia’s war against Ukraine

Ukraine and NATO. Five lessons after Russia’s full-scale invasion

The upcoming NATO summit in Vilnius will be dominated by discussions on the Russian invasion of Ukraine. While member states have continued to provide all manner of aid to Kyiv, the Alliance has yet to take any concrete steps on Ukraine’s potential membership. Guidelines are now needed more than ever to strengthen both the security of Ukraine and the region.

Russia's full-scale aggression against Ukraine not only radically changed the security situation for the Euro-Atlantic space, but also affected the global balance of power and the interests of both individual states and the alliances they belong to. NATO, which directly borders Russia, had to respond to a qualitatively new security and political landscape in the region. And this reaction will not be comprehensive without political lessons, which should be drawn from Russia’s full-fledged war against Ukraine.

July 4, 2023 - Mariia Zolkina

NATO summit in Vilnius: waiting for a strategic roadmap for Ukraine

During the upcoming Vilnius summit, NATO will need to form a clear and consistent position and specify its own understanding of how the war will end. The Ukrainian side expects NATO to declare the steps necessary to guarantee its security and achieve the complete restoration of control over all its territories, ultimately leading to Ukraine’s membership in the Alliance.

July 4, 2023 - Anton Naychuk

NATO 2023: Embracing a paradigm shift

While it is clear that there are a number of challenges and pending issues, the newly established sense of solidarity with Ukraine and urgency when it comes to territorial defence are driving domestic processes regarding NATO's adaptation and flexible response. Even if it is yet to be seen how quickly NATO states will adapt to the new environment and collectively share new commitments within the bloc, the new mentality is clearly being felt.

In the run up to the NATO Vilnius summit in July 2023, the Alliance is facing new challenges, but at the same time is benefiting from several opportunities stemming from the newly created sense of relevancy. The Russian aggression against Ukraine and the West has helped to revamp and restore the original purpose of NATO dating back to the post-Second World War period, especially in terms of the principle of collective defence.

July 4, 2023 - Pavel Havlíček

Is NATO prepared to collectively defend its allies?

NATO wants its member states to spend more on their militaries, but governments need public support. While Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is a pivotal moment for both East and West, threat perceptions continue to differ. For current and future western governments to get public support for increased military spending, they need to explain the new threat environment now.

Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine has brought about a paradigm shift in western security and defence policy. A new kinetic war on the European continent has revived NATO. Its member states are adapting strategies and strengthening the Eastern Flank. We are witnesses to historic changes. Whether allies are willing and able to defend NATO territory depends on capabilities and political willingness. However, preparing for war tomorrow means investing in military capabilities and public awareness today.

July 4, 2023 - Marta Prochwicz-Jazowska

Baltic voices – from the fringes to the fore

The Baltics’ painful historical relationship with Russia and their memory of occupations, along with first-hand experience of Moscow’s interference and aggressive tactics, have increasingly emerged as a precious resource for NATO and the European Union in understanding Putin’s strategies and countering them effectively. The Baltics have moved from being on the margins to the foreground in the collective policy-shaping and decision-making process.

Voices of small states often go generally unnoticed in times of trouble, when grand geopolitics prevails over diplomacy. When the temperature heats up, both observers and decision-makers tend to focus on power dynamics and the imperium of the strong. In the context of Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine, the Baltic states of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania have proven that their small size does not automatically equal irrelevance.

July 4, 2023 - Stefano Braghiroli

Russia’s golden thousand and the last days

Russia’s propaganda, which is largely aimed at the so-called “global south”, denigrates the West as degenerate, poor, and being in “satan’s power”; while Vladimir Putin is portrayed as their representative and saviour. Never mind the fact that the Russian onslaught on Ukraine triggered a worldwide food crisis and made automobile transport and education once again unavailable for hundreds of millions in the global south.

Walking directly into the defunct Soviet Union’s ideological worn-out shoes, neo-imperial Russia of today poses itself as a friend of the poor and oppressed masses outside the West. The Kremlin’s top rashists criticise the “golden billion” (золотой миллиард zolotoi milliard), or the West’s inhabitants who enjoy peace and prosperity across the rich global north. On this platform, the Russian government usurps for Moscow the right to speak on behalf of the world’s poor and huddling seven billion, living the so-called global south. But who is Russia’s golden thousand (золотая тысяча zolotaia tysiacha) whom this rhetoric benefits and who literally own Russia?

July 4, 2023 - Tomasz Kamusella

How effective is Russia’s information war?

It has been almost a decade since Russia’s information operations became widely recognised as a means by which Moscow can reach out to influence western democracies. And throughout almost all of that period, one question that has consistently been raised is whether or not these information operations work.

In addition to high-profile interventions of Russian disinformation, such as attempts to influence elections in the United States, there are multiple other targeted campaigns in which Russia has sought to bring about specific outcomes in target countries. This has all been happening alongside long-running operations designed simply to degrade a particular country’s societal cohesion or trust in institutions.

April 29, 2023 - Keir Giles

How Ukraine breaks Russia’s weaponised propaganda and disinformation

Ukraine’s fight against Russian aggression continues to make headlines around the world. However, what has not been discussed to any great extent is the fight against disinformation and collaborators on the home front. With no end in sight to the fighting, it is clear that such espionage could prove pivotal to the war’s outcome.

More than a year into Russia's full-scale war on Ukraine, the fight with Moscow’s propaganda is entering another important stage. Despite all the efforts of Ukraine’s special and secret services, there are still some pro-Russian Ukrainians or Russian citizens themselves who are spies, trying to provide essential information to the Russian Federal Security Service.

April 29, 2023 - Vladyslav Faraponov

The West’s rude awakening: lessons after the first year of war

The crucial factor in Russia’s war against Ukraine is how to help Kyiv defend itself and win? There should be a straightforward answer: as Europeans, we should do everything in our power to assist the Ukrainians in stopping the Russian war of conquest and that Ukraine should decide the conditions of victory and the subsequent peace. Yet, unfortunately, there still is no consensus among the western partners of Ukraine on the war’s endgame.

It has been more than one year since Russia launched its full-scale invasion and over nine years since Moscow started its war in Ukraine. After the 2014 illegal annexation of Crimea, the Euro-Atlantic community made several attempts to recalibrate its security and defence policies. However, it was only after the shock of February 24th 2022 and its aftermath that most western states and societies experienced a rude awakening.

April 29, 2023 - Wojciech Michnik

From domestic abuse to Wagner’s sledgehammer: war as a product of systemic violence in Russia

Russian war crimes in Ukraine and the terror against people in occupied territories will go down in the history books. In a sense, the Russo-Ukrainian War is a clash of civilisations. Wartime politics has exposed the long-known yet startling truth about the low price of human life in Russia – a product of a deeply entrenched culture of violence. There is a direct link between the war in Ukraine and the political disempowerment of Russian society.

Both Ukrainians and EU citizens have been shocked by Russian war crimes, but equally shocking may be how Russia’s politicians and military leadership treat their soldiers. They are nothing more than cannon fodder, utilised in the name of Putin’s neo-imperial ambitions. Even more perplexing is the fatalism and the lack of resistance from conscripts sent to be slaughtered on the frontline, as well as from their families.

April 29, 2023 - Maria Domańska

How Putin turned Russia into a failed state

In 2014 Vladimir Putin and his propagandists did everything to convince the public that Ukraine was a failed state. By the end of 2022 the situation appears to have reversed. Over the last year, Putin has turned Russia into a failed state.

On August 6th 2022 a programme on the YouTube channel BesogonTV featured a story about a prisoner who died in Ukraine during the “special military operation” while he was simultaneously serving a sentence in a federal correctional facility in Russia. The next day, Russia-1, a state-sponsored TV channel, aired his story as part of its daily news programme.

April 29, 2023 - Anastasiia Sergeeva Andrei Nikolaev

February lasts a year

Despite some popular convictions, there are Russians who do not support their country’s war in Ukraine but decided not to leave. Instead, they are creating civil initiatives that help Ukrainian refugees who ended up in Russia. They also support their fellow Russians who are against the war and need assistance.

To attend a protest in Russia is today almost akin to suicide. This is especially true since the new law on discrediting the Russian army was passed last year. It stipulates punishment in the form of imprisonment for up to three years for those who dare criticise the ongoing war in Ukraine. In addition, another new law on spreading false information or fakes about the Russian army or volunteers who signed up for the war states that a person accused of such an act might get up to 15 years of prison.

April 29, 2023 - Victoria Odissonova

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