The geopolitical implications of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine

World politics War International security Military operations Europe Russia (Federation) Ukraine

As the Soviet-era quip goes - The future is certain. It’s only the past that is unpredictable - which is applicable to history as remade and retold by Russia’s leadership. For the Russian President, Vladimir Putin, today’s past is being continually reinvented, along with his reasons for his ‘special military operation’ in Ukraine. Fake news and fake facts are the key tools of his huge propaganda offensive to reinforce Russian popular support for his ‘limited military operation’.

The structure of this paper is as follows:

  1. Why did Putin decide to attack Ukraine?
  2. Why have Russia’s military forces performed so woefully?
  3. What are the geopolitical implications for the world order, including for Australia?
  4. Key policy and intelligence recommendations.

The policy background to this assessment is that Russia’s outright invasion of Ukraine is an extremely dangerous moment for global security because Europe’s security order is now being fundamentally challenged with the real risk of escalation into a major war involving Russia and the United States.

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