Russia

Civil Defence in Ukraine: Preliminary Lessons From the First Months of War

With the Ukrainian Armed Forces reporting the good news almost daily, and the frontline constantly moving in Ukraine’s favour, many experts are now wondering when and speculating about how the war will end. However, as the war continues and Russia targets civilian infrastructure across Ukraine, civil defence remains of outmost importance. Ukraine’s experience from the first months of this war offers some important lessons that must be considered by civil defence planners everywhere, but especially in the countries exposed to the threat of Russia’ military aggression.

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Russia’s Legal Arguments to Justify Its Aggression and Conduct in Ukraine

Russia’s wannabe triumphant ‘special military operation’ that aspired to take Ukraine’s capital city of Kyiv in three days will soon mark its nine-months anniversary. While the Ukrainian Armed Forces continue to fight the enemy on the battlefield, judicial warriors must help Ukraine hold the legal defence against Russia’s illegal assault and bring its perpetrators to account.

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Putin and Assad, Partners in Crime: Why Russian Forces Steal Wheat From Ukraine

On 29 October, Russia withdrew from Black Sea Grain Initiative, only to announce it was re-joining the deal to ship the much-needed agricultural produce from war-stricken Ukraine to the Global South on the verge of starvation a few days later. Are these machinations, coupled with the systematic theft of wheat and its subsequent delivery to the Assad regime, parts of the same Russian puzzle and the same struggle for the multipolar world order? This paper explains the intricacies and significance of bread in the Syrian Civil War, as well as connects them to the Russian geopolitical strategy, goals, and state doctrines.

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Russia’s Federal Subjects at War: Background and Implications

Russia’s full-scale war on Ukraine is a collective enterprise involving all levels of power in Putin’s regime. From high-level officials planning at the top, to bureaucrats implementing policies at the bottom, collaboration along the hierarchy has enabled this disastrous war. One essential link in this chain are Russia’s governors. Russia’s eighty-three federal states are diverse in their administrative status, and in their cultural and economic profile, but their leaders are all part of a system that is meant to facilitate the federalisation of the Kremlin’s policies. The war is no different. What has been their role in the war? How have they facilitated Russia’s Ukraine invasion? This report describes and analyses the ways Russian governors have contributed to the war, drawing implications for policymakers.

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AFP / Scanpix

Russia’s War in Ukraine and Reconfiguration in the South Caucasus

At the beginning of September 2022, Azerbaijan launched a massive artillery bombardment of neighbouring Armenia, using military force outside the disputed territory of Nagorno-Karabakh for the first time in decades. The timing was not a coincidence: Russian forces were too heavily engaged in Ukraine to intervene elsewhere. This demonstration of the CSTO’s impotence as a collective defence organisation and Moscow’s inability to provide military aid to strategic partners will likely have lasting impact on the security dynamics of the South Caucasus.

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AP / Scanpix

Georgia’s Quiet Withdrawal From the West

In the same way that it is difficult to say whether a single event in the last few decades marks Russia’s decisive breaking away from democratic path of development, it is difficult to say the same about the events of the last decade in Georgia. Nevertheless, this breaking away has taken place, although Estonia, the European Union, the United States, all Georgia’s Western friends have made powerless attempts to keep Georgia on track.

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Putin’s War in Ukraine: Alternative Russian Futures, Assumptions and Risk Calculus

Russia’s “besieged fortress” narrative generates grievances and resentments that enable President Putin to claim that Russia is “rising from its knees.” In this supposed existential construct, only Putin himself as a strong protector leader ensures regime continuity, stability, a sphere of influence and Russia’s strategic autonomy. If at some level Putin perceives Russia’s invasion of Ukraine as a breakout from “encirclement,” all is not “going according to plan.”

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10 Briefs on Russia’s War in Ukraine

Russia’s war in Ukraine has undoubtedly been game-changing for Europe’s security, challenging the long-held beliefs and assumptions of many Western nations and prompting dramatic shifts in policy, for example, in Germany, Finland, and Sweden. The war’s conduct has also produced significant surprises, not least the unexpectedly poor performance of Russia’s supposedly reformed military.

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A War of the Final Soviet Generation: Russia’s Demography, Society, and Aggression Against Ukraine

What is the attitude of Russian society towards the war? If it supports the war, why? These questions started swirling immediately after the start of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Since then, at least several major opinion polls have been conducted to find answers. However, many experts doubt the validity of those surveys, since the atmosphere of total censorship, repression, and fear strongly affects the sincerity of respondents.

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