Russia

Putin’s Final Goal in Ukraine Has Demonstrably Shifted, As Has His Escalation Calculus

Vladmir Putin’s September 21 Speech — alongside Russian mobilization and sham referenda in Ukraine’s occupied east and south — demonstrates that the Russian leader’s immediate war aims have shifted. As always, Putin seeks to let the context shift, grab what he can, and await a better set of circumstances. Putin’s …

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US President Joe Biden and Russian leader Vladimir Putin are tilting the world towards a disastrous crisis.

Shocking Behavior by Putin and Biden

Anyone who listened to Vladimir Putin’s TV broadcast to his nation on September 21 had to be shocked by the Russian leader’s tone, incoherence and threat. US President Joe Biden, in a speech to the UN General Assembly, only made matters worse, not better, by putting all of the burden …

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Photo: Kremlin Pool / Sputnik / Sergei Bobylev

SCO Summit Did Not Show What You Think It Showed

Last week, Vladimir Putin and Xi Jinping met in person for the first time since February 4. When they spoke more than six months ago, the mood appeared rather different. On that occasion, the two kindred authoritarians produced a Joint Declaration proclaiming a “partnership without limits” and presented the outlines of …

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Putin and Xi at Beijing Olympics

Spasm Escalation: Russia’s Last Weapon has been Spent

Russia has its back against the wall. Western analysts have missed this fact. Indeed, they have completely misinterpreted Russia’s “escalation ladder,” the technical term for the set of responses Russia sees at each stage of the Ukraine war. The “gas weapon” that Russia has just employed, a full supply cut, signals the Kremlin’s …

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Putin and Erdogan

Keeping Turkey on the Right Side of the Battle between US and Russia

Recent revelations of deepening Russo-Turkish economic ties despite the Ukraine war forces the U.S. to reckon with Russia’s wider strategy. The Kremlin’s strategic objective in the Eastern Mediterranean and the Black Sea since the late 2000s has been to reorient Turkey, peeling it from the Atlantic Alliance and shifting it to the …

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Blinken

Geopolitical Linkage of Anti-US Powers

US President Joe Biden’s administration appears keen on rejoining the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), the Barack Obama administration’s so-called “Iran deal” that notionally guaranteed Iran would not produce nuclear weapons. A deal remains unlikely. Nevertheless, the very fact that the Biden administration has doggedly pursued the chimerical agreement for …

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Artillery shells

All Elements of National Power

A pivotal issue in Ukraine’s defense is the West’s—and the U.S.’ in particular—ability to provide weapons and ammunition swiftly enough to defeat Russia. As Western arms shipments continue, the Ukrainian military will become more capable. Several thousand Ukrainians are now training in the UK and Eastern European NATO states, learning …

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A Ukrainian serviceman walks on a destroyed Russian fighting vehicle in Bucha, Ukraine, Thursday, April 7, 2022.

Putin Can’t Control His Ukraine Cataclysm — and the US Must Get Ready

As the Russo-Ukrainian war grinds into its sixth full month, we must reckon with strategic reality. Russia is losing ground, and its strategic position will only deteriorate in coming months; further military reversals will intensify its strategic quandary. Three possibilities exist — revolution, a palace coup, or horizontal escalation — and …

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Destroyed Russian Tank in Ukraine

Does Ukraine Herald End of Tank Warfare? Not Yet

While estimates differ, Russia has lost around 1,000 tanks in Ukraine since its invasion on February 24, according to the Oryx database. There are no reliable figures on how many tanks the Ukrainians have lost, but it would be significantly fewer because they have been used in more limited ways during the …

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Kherson

Ukraine War: The Crucial Coming Fight for Kherson

Russian troops today occupy Kherson and have carried out some limited assaults on Odesa. The Russian army occupies most of the territory from Kherson and due east, including Mariupol. While Russia has said little about its long-term intentions, there is a growing awareness that Russia wants to consolidate the cities and towns, …

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