Putin’s decision to invade Ukraine shattered decades of international efforts to preserve peace in Europe Almost overnight, Russia has gone from an important actor seeking to upend the international system to a pariah state, the subject of devastating economic sanctions and diplomatic isolation. And Putin’s growing willingness to employ indiscriminate violence in service of his geopolitical ambitions makes it even more crucial for the international community to remain unified in pressuring Moscow for an end to the bloodshed. USIP is committed to developing a new portfolio of analysis and research that addresses the threat Russia poses to both Ukraine’s sovereignty and the rules-based international system.
USIP’s China Team and Center for Russia and Europe are soliciting proposals for new research on the activities and interests of Chinese and Russian private security companies (PSCs) and private military companies (PMCs) in Africa. For details on how to submit a proposal, download the Request for Proposals along with the related budget template (required for all offerors) and Financial Management Assessment Form (required for organizations). Proposals are due by 5:00pm EST on February 24, 2023.
The United States and its allies are seeking ways to promote a sustainable peace in Europe — one that ends Russia’s brutal assault on Ukraine and strengthens a global prohibition on such wars of aggrandizement. Tragically but realistically, Russia, like most historic imperial powers, will need to be defeated militarily before it abandons war as a means to dominate its neighbors. Any negotiated peace before such a defeat will simply let Russia rebuild its forces and renew its assault. Yet even as the West should maintain full support for Ukraine’s defense, such as the tanks much discussed this month, it should encourage negotiation toward specific goals.
Amid military struggles in Ukraine, Russia’s presence in Syria is slowly receding, setting off a series of regional shifts from Turkey, Iran and Israel that could have major ripple effects on U.S. national security interests, says USIP’s Mona Yacoubian: “There are too many actors there for it be a simple math equation.”
How will Ukraine’s war evolve in 2023, and can it yield a path to peace? Analysts’ scenarios for the war are full of unknowns. Yet one certainty is that Ukrainian soldiers and civilians will continue to fight Russia’s assault with every weapon at hand — or with none. Building a sustainable, rather than illusory, path to peace must take account of the Ukrainians’ determination. And laying such a path will benefit from noting that the immediate option for peace rests in the hands of Vladimir Putin, who on any given day could end this war by withdrawing his forces.
Russia’s massive assault on an independent Ukraine menaces not only Eastern Europe, but the human effort, since World War II, to build global peace through the international rule of law. USIP provides analysis and support for policies that can help sustain the democracy, dialogue and diplomacy that will be required to ultimately defeat this threat.