The self-proclaimed Donetsk and Luhansk republics are moving on from the wild days of economic piracy to more orderly exploitation schemes. The prospects of reintegrating the region under the Minsk accords are growing more illusory.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky sees his growing popularity as proof that he chose the right course when he gave up trying to please all the disparate groups that voted for him in 2019. He is likely to continue his anti-Russian rhetoric and sanctions against domestic enemies.
Biden’s call to Putin confirmed that unchecked escalation is not part of the new U.S. administration’s plans. Tough rhetoric, preemptive escalation, and the announcement of new sanctions were necessary for Biden to start the inevitable conversation with Russia.
Join us for a conversation featuring Vicki Birchfield, Erik Brattberg, Philip Breedlove, and Suzanne DiMaggio in conversation with Suzanne Kelly, with special remarks by Sam Nunn on on the path forward for the transatlantic alliance.
There is no consensus in NATO in favor of Ukraine’s membership. What the most determined Western countries can do is provide intelligence and military support to Ukraine, including weaponry and capability building.
Perhaps the most important thing for the Russian leadership in this episode was to prevent the need to actually go to war against Ukraine in the future. Going overkill in terms of military maneuvers on the Ukrainian border now may avoid the need to do terrible things at a later point.
Donbas should brace itself for a long time in the role of a Russian military protectorate like Transnistria or South Ossetia. Local elites will have to deal with Moscow’s efforts to optimize the region’s administration, while the people there will see the creeping integration of the republics with Russia.
Adebahr is a nonresident fellow at Carnegie Europe. His research focuses on foreign and security policy, in particular regarding Iran and the Persian Gulf, on European and transatlantic affairs, and on citizens’ engagement.
Rose Gottemoeller is a nonresident senior fellow in Carnegie’s Nuclear Policy Program. She also serves as the Frank E. and Arthur W. Payne Distinguished Lecturer at Stanford University’s Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies and is a research fellow at the Hoover Institution.
Ulrich Kühn is a nonresident scholar at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, and the head of the arms control and emerging technologies program at the Institute for Peace Research and Security Policy at the University of Hamburg.
Lehne is a visiting scholar at Carnegie Europe in Brussels, where his research focuses on the post–Lisbon Treaty development of the European Union’s foreign policy, with a specific focus on relations between the EU and member states.