Russia's invasion of Ukraine culminates the trend toward militarization of Russian foreign policy. At the same time, the war exposes the weaknesses of the military modernization program launched by Moscow in 2008. In comparison, the successes of the reforms implemented in the Ukrainian armed forces since 2014 are evident. The army succeeded in repelling Russia's initial offensive toward Kyiv. Since then, hostilities have been more concentrated in the east and south of the country. In the war of attrition, arm supplies to Ukraine play a growing role. To deter Western states from providing military support to Ukraine, Moscow increased its threats, among other things, of a nuclear escalation of the war.
Since the invasion began, attempts to end the war through negotiations have failed. In March, Kyiv and Moscow negotiated quite intensively. Ukraine made far-reaching proposals, but Russia did not agree to them. In April, talks flagged against the backdrop of Russian war crimes in Butchah and elsewhere and Ukraine's military successes. When the conditions for effective cease-fire negotiations will be in place remains unclear for now.
Eastern Europe, Eurasia (Head of Research Division)phone:+49 30 88007- 256
SWP Brussels (Head of Office)
Eastern Europe, Eurasia (Senior Associate)
International Security (Head of Research Division)phone:+49 30 88007- 430
This working paper attempts to collect Russia's nuclear rhetoric in its war against Ukraine and the reactions of the West.
A stress test for military reform and regime legitimacy
A balancing act between deterrence, dissuasion, and compellence strategies