Russia

  • Why Martial Law Cheapens Ukraine’s Democracy

    On November 25, Russia attacked Ukraine again. It was a vivid reminder that Ukraine is at war and the situation can escalate at any time. Three Ukrainian vessels were shot at and seized by Russian maritime forces. Twenty-three Ukrainian sailors are now in Russian captivity. It's the first time Russia has openly attacked Ukrainian forces.
    Read More
  • Herbst Quoted in Axios on Russia Firing on Ukrainian Naval Ships


    Read More
  • Beware the Lure of Sanctions for Russia’s Latest Aggression

    It’s Monday, which means that Russia is again antagonizing its neighbors to the west. But instead of little green men, Wagner “private” security forces, or Russian regulars acting under another flag, this time the FSB—Russia’s internal security service—openly fired upon and captured three Ukrainian naval vessels attempting to traverse the Kerch Strait that separates the two countries. This is a significant escalation by Moscow of tensions that have simmered for months as Russia has harassed legitimate and important Ukrainian trade ships that traverse the disputed strait to Ukrainian ports on the Sea of Azov. The chief dispute, of course, centers on Russia’s illegal invasion and annexation of Crimea in 2014 and its continued financing, training, and support to so-called separatists in Ukraine’s Donbas region, for which Moscow has been subject to broad sanctions imposed by the United States, the European Union, and the other G-7 nations.

    Against that backdrop, many in the Russia watcher community have called for significant sanctions to be imposed on Russia to address this latest flagrant violation of international law. While sanctions may be useful to threaten Russia to rectify this situation, any imposition of them needs to be more strategically deployed—ideally with the EU—and lifted only for more strategic gains, vice resolution of this specific incident.

    Read More
  • Another Ukraine Crisis Tests US Resolve

    The seizure by Russian forces of three Ukrainian naval vessels near the Sea of Azov on November 25 highlights Moscow’s strategy of broadening its “creeping annexation” beyond Ukraine’s land borders and into the Black Sea. Russia’s refusal to abide by agreements providing Ukraine rightful passage and access to the Sea of Azov is an attempt to pressure Ukraine and undermine its economy and national security.

    Rising tension between Ukraine and Russia in the Black Sea reinforces how dangerous the Ukraine-Russia conflict remains for the region and for the world.

    Read More
  • An Opportunity for the EU to Give Ukraine a Helping Hand

    Russia’s attack on Ukrainian ships in the Kerch Strait and the blockade of the Sea of Azov threaten a dangerous escalation of the war in Ukraine. As before, Russia’s goal in Ukraine is not so much to hold or conquer territory but to demonstrate that it has the capacity to put further pressure on the Ukrainian government with impunity, thereby questioning both the ability of the Ukrainian government to give an adequate response to Russian actions and the unity of Ukraine’s supporters in the West.

    Read More
  • Russia’s Provocations in the Sea of Azov: What Should Be Done?

    On November 25 Russian vessels blocked Ukrainian ones from entering the Sea of Azov, fired on Ukrainian ships in the Black Sea, rammed some of those ships, seized three Ukrainian ships, and wounded six in these exchanges. Russia also dispatched helicopters to the area to maintain surveillance and fire capability over any approaching Ukrainian vessels. By any standard, these are acts of war. We should remember that the United States went to war with Great Britain in 1812 because of such incidents. Second, Moscow’s claim to own Crimea, the Sea of Azov, and the Kerch Strait as inviolate Russian territory is wholly illegal. Russia’s claims rest on nothing more than force directed against supposedly weaker targets. We can be sure that it would not behave this way toward a NATO ally. 
    Read More
  • Herbst Quoted in Newsweek on Russia's Attack on Ukrainian Naval Ships


    Read More
  • Q&A: Russia Attacks Ukraine Again. How Should Ukraine, NATO, and the West Respond?

    On November 25, Russia fired on the Ukrainian Navy in the Black Sea, injuring at least two Ukrainian sailors. Many experts have warned that Russia is opening a new front in its forgotten war in Ukraine on the Black and Azov Seas, illegally boarding commercial Ukrainian vessels and increasing its military presence to about 120 patrol boats and ships. The Russian MFA twitter feed is full of insinuations about a Ukrainian provocation. 

    We asked Atlantic Council experts and friends the following: How should Ukraine respond? How should NATO and the West react to this latest round of Russian aggression? What would it take to force the Kremlin to stop its menacing actions in Ukraine and around the world?

    Read More
  • Russia-Ukraine Conflict Heats Up the Sea of Azov: Echoes of Russia’s War with Georgia?

    Escalating tensions between Russia and Ukraine in the Sea of Azov bear eerie echoes of Russian provocations that led to the war with Georgia in the summer of 2008.

    “For months, Russian forces have been working to make the Azov Sea an internal Russian body of water in order to both cut off Ukraine’s eastern ports and cement Moscow’s hold on Crimea,” said Damon Wilson, executive vice president of the Atlantic Council.

    “Moscow’s incrementalist approach is like the ‘creeping annexation’ we witnessed in Georgia in 2008—any single move tends not to be dramatic, but in the aggregate Russia makes strategic gains. Today, the Russians escalated with the aim of intimidating Ukraine into backing off its own effort to assert its access to its own territorial waters and its own ports,” he added.

    Read More
  • Nimmo Quoted in The Guardian on Nigel Farage


    Read More