The Kremlin instrumentalises fear of nuclear war to make others bow to its ambitions. The West and Russia have often supported different factions in conflicts without sliding into a nuclear conflict.
Russia still hopes to force Ukraine to accept its interpretation of the Minsk agreement. There is no evidence that it has abandoned the idea of achieving this through a large-scale military offensive.
Russia’s preparations for a full-scale war in Ukraine provide it with plenty of coercive options short of a massive invasion. Ukraine and the US may have different assessments of the threat, but they both need to prepare for all likely scenarios.
Regardless of whether Russia launches another major offensive against Ukraine, Belarus’s territory will increasingly become a source of military threats to all its western neighbours – not just Ukraine
Many European leaders do not seem to grasp the seriousness of this moment in the Ukrainian conflict. Unless the West makes a greater effort to counter Russian military coercion, there is no guarantee that Russia will stop with Ukraine.
Russia is mobilising its forces, but much more covertly than in the past. Moscow’s belief that the EU and US will not step in to protect Ukraine could lead it to take direct military action.
The EU should show the Lukashenka regime that it will no longer tolerate the weaponisation of migration. As with any form of blackmail, it would be senseless and dangerous to make concessions – because the aggressor will only demand more.
Faced with a Russia that is still conducting a war in Ukraine and weaponising gas, Washington’s new deal with Kyiv could provide a real boost to Ukrainian defence and intelligence
Germany’s recent corruption scandals are as much about the health of democracy in Germany and the EU as they are simply questions of money
European governments have yet to learn a key lesson from the war in Ukraine. The alternative reality the Kremlin lives in is becoming increasingly dangerous.