• Is Putin Irrational? Nuclear Strategic Theory on How to Deter Potentially Irrational Opponents

    By Edward Geist

    Vladimir Putin’s astonishing lapse of judgment in invading Ukraine has fueled speculation that the Russian president may have taken leave of his senses. If this assessments is accurate, then the world faces a highly disturbing situation: a mad king in possession of the world’s largest nuclear arsenal. If Putin is not a rational adversary, then the policies that would deter a more-reasonable man may fail or even backfire.

  • Can Ukraine Be Saved Without Triggering a Nuclear Response?

    By Brendan Nicholson

    Worries about the war in Ukraine are deepened by the prospect that if, against the odds, Russian forces are brought to the point of defeat, Putin will launch a ‘battlefield’ or ‘tactical’ nuclear weapon to destroy the forces opposing the Russian military, and, perhaps, even attack military bases inside neighboring countries – some are NATO member states – which provide supplies to the resistance.

  • Ukrainians Fear Putin Has Chosen 'Grozny Option'

    By Jamie Dettmer

    Grozny” is on the lips of many Ukrainians in the port city, a reference to the near destruction of the Chechen capital in late 1999 to early 2000, when Putin was prime minister and in the process of succeeding Boris Yeltsin as president.

  • As War Loomed, U.S. Armed Ukraine to Hit Russian Aircraft, Tanks and Prep for Urban Combat

    Declassified documents show that the United States substantially augmented its shipments of lethal military aid and protective equipment to Ukraine as the prospect of a Russian invasion became more apparent and then a reality. The United States has committed about $3 billion in military aid to Ukraine since Russia annexed Crimea in 2014.

  • It’s Going to Get Worse Before It Gets Better in Ukraine

    By Alvin Powell and Colleen Walsh

    Military and intelligence analysts and Ukraine scholars offered a somber assessment of the weeks ahead in Ukraine, saying that despite the resistance offered by Ukrainian fighters, the situation is likely to get worse before it gets better, as the fighting will grow more brutal and deadly before serious talks begin.

  • How Ukraine’s Military Has Resisted Russia So Far

    Ukrainian troops are mounting a stiffer-than-expected resistance to Russian forces, to the surprise of military analysts. U.S. officials have been impressed with the fighting prowess of the Ukrainians, but their assessment that Russia has the superior military has not changed.

  • Strategic Folly in Ukraine: A War That Putin Cannot Win

    By Lawrence Freedman

    From the start, the Russian campaign has been hampered by political objectives that cannot be translated into meaningful military objectives. This underlying strategic folly has been reinforced by the tactical ineptitude with which the campaign has been prosecuted. If only for reasons of prudence, we must still assume that the Russians will be more successful in bringing the weight of their military strength to bear.

  • Putin’s Catastrophic War of Choice: Lessons Learned (So Far)

    By Stewart M. Patrick

    Although the situation in Ukraine continues to evolve rapidly, there are already several vital lessons to glean from Russia’s incursion into the sovereign territory of its neighbor.

  • Why Ukraine Is Key to Russia's Pursuit of Great Power Status

    By Nikolas K. Gvosdev

    Putin believes that Russia has no choice but to remain as one of the agenda-setting powers of the world. His view of “sovereign democracy” is that a Russia that lacks the wherewithal to defend itself from outside pressure will find itself forced to adopt Western standards or a Chinese diktat.

  • The Dangers Following Russia’s Attack on the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant

    By Ross Peel

    Following recent news of Russian shelling of Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant in southern Ukraine, which is the largest in Europe, there is great concern over the potential for a Chernobyl-esque release of radioactive material. Several security personnel at the plant were injured by the attack.

  • The Role of Drones in Ukraine’s Military Defense

    By Lauren A. Kahn

    Drones are playing a critical role in Ukraine’s military defense against the Russian invasion, but they will likely become more vulnerable as the war expands.

  • Is Russia Using Vacuum Bombs in Ukraine?

    By Marcus Lütticke

    Ukraine has accused Russia of using a vacuum bomb during its invasion. The use of these weapons, whose destructive power is immense, is prohibited in populated areas. DW looks at how they work and the harm they inflict.

  • A War Within a War: Cyberattacks Signal a New Approach to Combat

    In addition to fighting with troops on the ground, Ukraine is also defending itself on another front, from cyberattack.

  • Cyberspace: The New Battleground in Modern-Day Warfare

    Twenty-first century battles are now being fought digitally, as well as with missiles on land, sea and air. Bolstering cybersecurity is thus becoming ever more important as nation states wage war in new and complex arenas.

  • What Are Russia’s Strategic Aims and How Effectively Are They Achieving Them?

    By Frank Ledwidge

    In his “declaration of war” speech to the nation on February 24, Putin made clear that his overarching strategic goal is to blur, if not eradicate, the distinction between Russia and Ukraine. He aims to achieve that goal by decapitating the Ukrainian political leadership, defeating of the Ukrainian armed forces, and destroying Ukraine as a functioning independent state. How will the Russian high command achieve these goals?