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NDC - News-War changes everything: Russia after Ukraine

War changes everything: Russia after Ukraine

  • 13 Feb. 2023
  • |
  • Last updated: 21 Jan. 2024 12:55

NDC Research Paper 28

There, on that stair landing, I got a quick and lasting lesson in the meaning of the word cornered... Once I spotted a huge rat and pursued it down the hall until I drove it into a corner... Suddenly it lashed around and threw itself at me. I was surprised and frightened. Now the rat was chasing me”.1

In one of his earliest and most candid interviews, the newly elected President Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin explained one of his life’s lessons growing up in post-war Leningrad. His account of a cornered rat turning the tables on him, the aggressor, resonates in the current context of Russia’s war with Ukraine. Since Moscow launched the invasion on 24 February 2022, Russia has lashed out not only at Ukraine but also the West and the international community. Keir Giles describes this as “Russia’s war on everybody”, a more aggressive posture that began long before February 2022. However, what the following chapters illustrate is just how the Russia-Ukraine war has amplified this pattern of aggression in dangerous and desperate ways.

The war raises important questions, not only about Russia’s intentions toward its neighbours but also about Moscow’s leadership and approach to the international community. This edited volume addresses some of these matters, such as: how long can Russia sustain its war with Ukraine and how might the character of the war develop? Will Putin risk nuclear war to secure his gains on Ukrainian territory? Has Russia’s approach to hybrid warfare changed since February 2022? What will drive Russia’s defence posture in the future? and What sort of international actor will Russia become in the post Ukraine war era?

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1 (back) V. V. Putin et al., First person: an astonishingly frank self-portrait by Russia’s president, New York, Public Affairs, 2000, p.10.

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