Moscow sees itself as having embarked upon a broad confrontation with Western powers aimed at reshaping the global order. Its continuing war in Ukraine is thus meant both to subjugate that country and assert and cement Russia’s place in Europe and the world. Russia’s global diplomacy, meanwhile, also aims to increase Moscow’s influence and underline its great power status. Crisis Group reports on developments in the war in Ukraine, domestic processes in Russia, and Russia’s relations with its neighbours and countries around the world. In its advocacy, Crisis Group encourages policies that can lead to more sustainable peace in Ukraine, Europe, and all of the conflicts in which Russia is engaged.
This week on War & Peace, Olga Oliker and Elissa Jobson talk to Hanna Notte, Director for Eurasia at the James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies, about Russia’s response to the war in Gaza, its engagement with Middle Eastern countries and prospects for regional arms control.
Russian leaders alleged readiness for Ukraine peace talks but on their terms, Kyiv intensified drone attacks, and Bashkortostan region witnessed large-scale protests over jailed activist.
Moscow accused Kyiv of hindering peace efforts, attacks into Russia persisted. Speaking in Moscow region about Ukraine war, President Putin 16 Jan dismissed Kyiv’s “peace formulas” and said Russia would not give up occupied territories. In further sign Kremlin is only prepared to negotiate on its terms, FM Lavrov 22 Jan said Russia was ready for talks but that Kyiv seeks to “perpetuate the war”; he added that Western aid to Ukraine complicates search for peace. Meanwhile, Ukraine stepped up drone attacks into Russia, notably targeting oil infrastructure. Ukrainian forces 14 Jan shot down early warning and control aircraft A-50 over Sea of Azov and damaged Il-22M aircraft, killing unknown number. Moscow and Kyiv traded blame for downed plane in Russia’s Belgorod region 24 Jan that left 74 dead, including 65 Ukrainian prisoners of war.
Anti-war presidential candidate saw surge of support. As March election drew closer, anti-war presidential hopeful Boris Nadezhdin 25 Jan said he had collected around 200,000 signatures endorsing his candidacy, double amount required for him to run in poll, 31 Jan submitted application to Central Election Commission to run. Two other candidates 30 Jan withdrew from race and endorsed Putin.
Thousands protested in Bashkortostan in support of jailed activist. Protest 15 Jan took place in Baymak city of Bashkortostan region against trial of Fail Alsynov, environmental activist and campaigner for preservation of Bashkir language and culture. Authorities 17 Jan sentenced Alsynov to four years in prison for “inciting hatred”, prompting more protests that led to clashes with police. Despite warnings from authorities, protesters 19 Jan rallied again in Ufa city.
Russia allegedly acquired Iranian and North Korean weapons. U.S. 4 Jan said Russia used North Korean ballistic missiles to strike Ukraine (see Ukraine), while UK 22 Jan presented fresh evidence to UN indicating transfer of North Korean weapons to Russia. Sky News 10 Jan claimed Iran has developed new attack drone and appears close to providing Moscow with surface-to-surface missiles.
Russian weapons and facilities are under solid control and there’s no evidence that Wagner or anyone else is looking to capture them.
If Russian soldiers feel their commanders are not in control, their trenches will be much easier to take for advancing Ukrainian troops.
I think they [the Kremlin] will use this [Biden's Kyiv trip] to repeat the line that this is a conflict between Russia and the West, not between Russia and Ukraine.
Russian engagement in the Sahel is very low-cost [financially]. It is distracting the West and diminishing the West’s symbolic power.
Moscow also has leverage over Türkiye in other conflict zones such as Syria and the South Caucasus, as well as a vested interest in driving a wedge between Turkey and its...
We have seen nuclear deterrence work, on the part of both Russia and Western countries.
Crisis Group's Europe and Central Asia Program Director Olga Oliker and Senior Russia analyst Oleg Ignatov discuss the aftermath of the mutiny in Russia and what the future holds for the group.
On 24 June, President Vladimir Putin faced his biggest challenge in over two decades at Russia’s helm: a mutiny by a mercenary group fighting alongside Russian forces in Ukraine. In this Q&A, Crisis Group experts explore the implications for Putin’s rule and Russian foreign policy.
This week, Richard speaks with Crisis Group experts Olga Oliker, Jean-Hervé Jezequel and Richard Gowan about Wagner’s mutiny in Russia, what it means for the Ukraine war and for places in Africa where Wagner operates – particularly Mali, where the government’s ties to Wagner have informed its recent demand that UN peacekeepers leave.
In this online event, Crisis Group experts discuss the implications of the Wagner rebellion for Putin’s rule, the war in Ukraine, Russian foreign politics and the country’s power projections abroad.
In this Twitter Space, Crisis Group experts explore about the need for and purpose of a tribunal on the crime of aggression.
This week on Hold Your Fire!, Richard Atwood talks with Olga Oliker, Crisis Group’s Europe and Central Asia director, about the latest escalation in Ukraine, as Russian airstrikes batter multiple Ukrainian cities.
Designating Russia as a state sponsor of terrorism will only backfire.
This week on War & Peace, Olga Oliker and Elissa Jobson talk with RAND Senior Policy Researcher Dara Massicot about the latest military developments in Ukraine amid Russia’s decision to declare a partial mobilisation.
Receive the best source of conflict analysis right in your inbox.