Image credit: Andriy Dubchak/AP

July 31, 2022

Nuclear Risks: Russia’s Ukraine War Could End in Disaster

By Rachel Tecott and Giles David Arceneaux

As the Russo-Ukrainian War grinds on, both Russia and Ukraine have adjusted their strategic objectives. Russia abandoned its initial goal of seizing Kyiv and installing a pro-Russian government after facing fierce Ukrainian resistance, and is now focusing on conquering Eastern Ukraine and annexing significant portions of Ukraine’s southern territory. Ukraine’s minimum objectives include reestablishing its prewar borders, with political leaders occasionally suggesting that Ukraine should expand its ambitions to reclaiming territory lost to Russia in Crimea and the Donbas region since 2014.

The likelihood of nuclear use in Ukraine may be low, but it is not zero.

U.S. strategic objectives in Ukraine are also a moving target. Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin stated that the United States not only wants Ukraine to remain a sovereign and democratic country, but also “to see Russia weakened to the degree that it can’t do the kinds of things that it has done in invading Ukraine.” Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi promised that the United States would support Ukraine “until the fight is done.” President Joe Biden reiterated this point, stating that the United States would support Ukraine for “as long as it takes so Russia cannot, in fact, defeat Ukraine and move beyond Ukraine.”

Read the full article from The National Interest.

  • Commentary
    • Foreign Affairs
    • March 17, 2023
    The Surprising Success of U.S. Military Aid to Ukraine

    Ukraine’s military has defied expectations in its war with Russia, and many analysts attribute its success to U.S. help. But the mere fact of receiving aid is no guarantee of ...

    By Rachel Tecott & Polina Beliakova

  • Podcast
    • February 23, 2023
    Defense & Aerospace Air Power Podcast with Stacie Pettyjohn and Becca Wasser

    On this week’s episode of the Defense & Aerospace Report Air Power podcast, co-hosts Vago Muradian and JJ Gertler review the air war in Ukraine one year into the conflict with...

    By Stacie Pettyjohn & Becca Wasser

  • Reports
    • February 22, 2023
    Avoiding the Brink

    The United States is entering an unprecedented multipolar nuclear era that is far more complex and challenging than that of the Cold War. This report examines potential trigge...

    By Stacie Pettyjohn & Hannah Dennis

  • Podcast
    • February 22, 2023
    DEFAERO Strategy Series with CNAS' Richard Fontaine

    On this latest episode of the Defense & Aerospace Report Strategy Series, Richard Fontaine, the president and CEO of the Center for a New American Security, discusses key take...

    By Richard Fontaine

View All Reports View All Articles & Multimedia