Will Russia invade Ukraine?

Think tank: The Henry Jackson Society

Author(s): Dr Taras Kuzio

January 10, 2022

This report from UK think tank the Henry Jackson Society looks at why Russia has massed troops on its border and issued an ultimatum to the West.

The report investigates why Russia has massed upwards of 175,000 troops on its border with Ukraine since November 2021, and issued an ultimatum to the West. Three sets of negotiations were held during the week beginning 10 January – in Geneva (US–Russia), Brussels (NATO–Russia), and Vienna (OSCE) – which led to no fruitful decisions that could reduce tensions. The report investigates how Russian President Vladimir Putin’s military threat and ultimatum came after the Kremlin failed to achieve Ukraine’s capitulation during eight years of negotiations within the Minsk peace talks. A second factor which has led to Russian military threats, raised in the report, is the Kremlin’s growing fear of Ukraine’s increasing military strength, as seen by its first use of drones against Russian proxy forces on 27 October 2021, and its military cooperation with the US, UK, Canada, and other NATO members. The report analyses the factors behind the artificial crisis generated by Russia, Russia’s threat to invade Ukraine, and four scenarios that Russia could undertake against Ukraine. The final part of the report discusses why this artificial crisis represents a major threat to European security and what policy options are available to the UK and its Western allies to counter Putin’s military threats and ultimatum.