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Russia Analytical Report, Nov. 7-14, 2022 | Russia Matters

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Russia Analytical Report, Nov. 7-14, 2022

4 Ideas to Explore

  • Of potential scenarios for the war in Ukraine, a Ukrainian advance toward Crimea is “perhaps the most dangerous,” in the view of The Economist’s defense editor Shashank Joshi. Such an advance could force Putin to issue an ultimatum: Stop, or face the use of nuclear weapons. Even in the nightmare scenario where Russia detonates a nuclear weapon in Ukraine, the U.S. would need to become more involved in supporting Kyiv in its war effort, according to Richard Fontaine of the Center for a New American Security, though this “need not mean direct American military action against Russia.
  • Lasting peace between Ukraine and Russia—in the sense of more than the cessation of military violence—is only conceivable in the long term, if at all, according to Sabine Fisher of the German Institute for International and Security Affairs. And such a peace would require “profound political change in Russia,” in the view of this premier German think-tank’s lead researcher on the post-Soviet neighborhood.
  • U.S. midterm elections or not, when it comes to policy toward Russia and Ukraine, the coming year is likely to look very much like the last eight months, according to FPRI’s Nikolas Gvosdev. However, if the conflict stalemates in the longer term, then the divide may grow between those in the U.S. policymaking community who will want to cajole Ukraine into accepting a compromise settlement versus those who wish to continue aiding Ukraine to achieve a complete Russian defeat, according to the U.S. Naval War College professor.
  • The issue of Ukrainian corruption has to be addressed if only to fend off a Russian disinformation campaign that has been churning out stories of weapons trafficking, according to Roger Boyes at the Times of London. It’s not impossible that some of the weapons the West has supplied to Ukraine may have indeed been diverted into the international arms bazaar, he writes. After all, the diplomatic editor reminds us, before the war Ukraine had “sat rather low in the global corruption league tables.”