Will Russia Attack Ukraine?

How Moscow, Washington, Kyiv, and Brussels are preparing for the possibility of war.

What Russia Wants

Russian President Vladimir Putin speaks in Moscow.

Putin’s Calculus Over Ukraine

The Russian leader risks huge casualties and painful sanctions if he invades, but he’s left himself little room to de-escalate.

A Ukrainian serviceman in Donetsk

Russians Believe Ukrainians Want to Be ‘Liberated’

Delusions about Moscow’s “little brother” are common and dangerous.

Russian Ambassador to the United States Anatoly Antonov speaks in San Francisco on Nov. 29, 2017.

“The Situation is Extremely Dangerous”

Antonov: “No one should doubt our determination to defend our security.”

Russian President Vladimir Putin holds his annual press conference in Moscow.

What’s Behind Russia’s Latest Demands

Moscow has long chafed at Ukraine’s relationship with the West, so why the sudden urgency?

Washington’s Moves

Russian President Vladimir Putin and U.S. President Joe Biden meet for the U.S.-Russian summit in Geneva, Switzerland, on June 16, 2021.

Biden Must Do Better Than Obama on Ukraine

Russia’s 2014 invasion distracted Washington and delayed the Asia pivot—something the West cannot afford to repeat.

White House National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan gives a press briefing.

Defining the Biden Doctrine

U.S. National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan sat down with FP to talk about Russia, China, relations with Europe, and year one of the Biden presidency.

U.S. President Joe Biden and Russian President Vladimir Putin meet during the U.S.-Russia summit in Geneva, Switzerland, on June 16, 2021.

Biden Ponders the Sanctions Doomsday Device

Washington has created and tested a powerful toolkit of sanctions—but never applied them at scale.

A Ukrainian serviceman patrols.

Biden Must Choose Between Appeasement and Deterrence in Ukraine

Russia’s threat on the Ukrainian border is not a bluff, but forceful U.S. financial sanctions could stop Putin from another land grab.

Regional Impact

Wheat harvest in Ukraine

A Russia-Ukraine War Could Ripple Across Africa and Asia

Beware of food price spikes and revolutions if Ukrainian grain deliveries are disrupted.

Erdogan and Putin sit side by side in front of their respective country flags.

Turkey Could Lose Big in the Russia-Ukraine Standoff

Conflict could topple Ankara’s delicate balancing act between NATO and Russia.

Soldiers take part in the NATO military exercise "Winter Shield" in Latvia.

Baltic Citizens Worry They’re Next on Russia’s Menu

Moscow’s aggression has stirred old fears in its neighbors.

A Ukrainian soldier patrols at the checkpoint.

The West Must Deter Russia or Accept Defeat

Putin hasn’t set his sights on just Ukraine. Further destabilization of Georgia is next on his agenda.

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Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky arrives a press conference with NATO Secretary General after their bilateral meeting at the European Union headquarters in Brussels on December 16, 2021.

Ukraine Urges the West To Chill Out

With one eye on the economy, and the other on Russia’s troop buildup, Ukrainian officials call for cooler heads.

Russian President Vladimir Putin and Chinese President Xi Jinping meet.

China’s ‘Wolf Warriors’ Are Having a Field Day With the Russia-Ukraine Crisis

Beijing’s social media pugilists are taking the opportunity to troll the U.S. and Europe.

An activist wrapped in Ukraine's flag stands outside the White House during an anti-Putin protest on March 12, 2014 in Washington.

Is Defending Ukraine Vital to U.S. Security?

As Putin prepares to invade, Washington and its allies still appear undecided on whether Kyiv is worth fighting for.

A new volunteer recruit of the Ukrainian army 'Donbass' battalion flashes a 'victory sign' during a military oath ceremony of the National Guard near the Novi Petrivtsi village not far from Kiev, on June 23, 2014.

Ukraine Is Betting on Militias to Bleed Russia

Ukraine hopes 130,000 new civilian defensive forces will make Putin think twice.

Mikhail Ulyanov, Russia's envoy to the Iran nuclear talks in Vienna.

The Iran Nuclear Talks’ Breakout Player

Love him or hate him, Russia’s man in Vienna has become the Iran deal’s unofficial spokesman.

Ukrainian soldiers take part in a military training exercise.

Britain, Canada Flex Hard-Power Muscles in Showdown With Russia

Other NATO allies deploy fighter jets and naval forces to shore up its eastern flank.

People with Ukrainian flags attend a rally.

There’s Plenty of Blame to Go Around on Ukraine

Focusing on U.S. idealism ignores Russia’s own agency.

Russian President Vladimir Putin

Stop Panicking About Ukraine—and Putin

Russia has its own limits and logic that make war unlikely.

A view of the U.S. Embassy in Kyiv.

U.S. Orders Diplomats’ Families to Leave Ukraine Amid Russian Invasion Fears

High-level diplomatic talks between the United States and Russia have failed to defuse the crisis.

Historical T-34 tanks move through Red Square.

What a ‘Minor’ Russian Incursion Into Ukraine May Look Like

Don’t expect Russian ground forces to try to hold territory.

Russian President Vladimir Putin gestures during a meeting with French President Emmanuel Macron (not pictured) at the G-20 Leaders’ Summit in Buenos Aires on Nov. 30, 2018.

A “New Cold War” to Decide the Future of Europe—and the World

Trump’s ambassador to the OSCE says a Russian invasion of Ukraine is an attack on “all of America’s allies.”

Ukrainian servicemen taking part in the armed conflict with Russia-backed separatists in Donetsk region of the country attend the handover ceremony of military heavy weapons and equipment in Kiev on November 15, 2018.

The West’s Weapons Won’t Make Any Difference to Ukraine

U.S. military equipment wouldn’t realistically help Ukrainians—or intimidate Putin.


What Do You Want To Know About The Ukraine Crisis?

A space for subscribers to submit questions to our team of reporters and experts.

U.S. President Joe Biden

‘Don’t Freaking Test Us’: U.S. Sanctions Alleged Intelligence Operatives Undermining Ukraine

It’s part of an effort to shed light on Russia’s orchestrated campaign to destabilize Kyiv—and even take over Ukraine.

Bill Clinton and Joe Biden  at a meeting of the U.S. Congressional delegation to the NATO summit in Spain on July 7, 1998.

Liberal Illusions Caused the Ukraine Crisis

The greatest tragedy about Russia’s potential invasion is how easily it could have been avoided.

A Ukrainian military serviceman waits at his position on the frontline with Russia-backed separatists.

Russia Planning Provocation in Ukraine as Pretext for War

Warnings from U.S. officials come amid a cyberattack on Ukrainian government websites.

A meeting of the United Nations Security Council

Biden Plans U.N. Showdown if Russia Invades Ukraine

There’s lots of history at the Security Council, but few changes.

Sen. Ted Cruz questions Secretary of State Antony Blinken at a hearing.

Showdown at the Nord Stream Corral

U.S. Senate strikes down sanctions bill on a Russian pipeline project that became a political lightning rod in Washington.

Former Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko addresses supporters.

Ukraine Can’t Afford Presidential Prosecutions

Going after former leaders is a mistake in a time of crisis.

Russian President Vladimir Putin (L) shakes hands with U.S President Joe Biden during their meeting at the 'Villa la Grange' in Geneva, Switzerland in Geneva on June 16, 2021.

Biden Set for Putin Call to Ease Ukraine Standoff

The United States is demanding that Russia roll back more than 100,000 troops on Ukraine’s border.

The Territorial Defense Forces, the military reserve of the Ukrainian Armed Forces, holding replicas of Kalashnikov rifles, take part in a military exercise near Kyiv on Dec. 25.

How Russia Decides When to Invade

Past attacks suggest Moscow probably won’t move on Ukraine.

Ukrainian soldiers take part in the Sea Breeze drills at a shooting range in the Kherson region of Ukraine on July 2. Ukraine and the United States launched joint naval exercises in the Black Sea on May 28 in a show of Western cooperation with Kyiv as it faces off with Russia.

Ukraine’s Military Has Come a Long Way Since 2014

But so have Russia’s armed forces—making any conflict more of a toss-up than a walkover.

Finnish troops wear gas masks in 1939.

What Ukraine Can Learn From Finland

In December 1939, a small country with a small military held off the vastly superior Soviet Red Army and avoided occupation by its larger neighbor.

Representatives of different Ukrainian political parties and movements stage a protest outside the Constitutional Court building in Kyiv, Ukraine, on Oct. 30, 2020.

Why Ukraine’s Fight Against Corruption Scares Russia

The country’s democratization and ongoing efforts to fight entrenched graft and cronyism are a threat to Putin’s model of governance.

U.S. President Joe Biden meets with Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelensky in the Oval Office of the White House, on September 1, 2021, in Washington, DC.

Ukraine Ready to Fight to ‘Last Drop’

But Biden’s talk of accommodating Russia has Congress worried.

A U.S. soldier prepares Ukrainian soldiers for an exercise in ambush tactics at the Yavoriv Combat Training Center in Starychi, Ukraine, on July 26. The advisors from Task Force Raven are working to improve Ukraine's defense capabilities against a potential military threat from Russia.

Biden Is Running Out of Time to Help Ukraine Fend Off Russia

Kyiv’s pleas for more U.S. guns to hold off Moscow have prompted a political knife fight in Washington.

Servicemen salute as their tanks move through Red Square during the Victory Day military parade in Moscow on May 9, 2021.

Is Russia Preparing to Invade Ukraine?

Moscow’s military buildup is raising eyebrows in Washington as Belarus ups the ante in its standoff with the EU.

A view of the Pipeline Inspection Gauge receiving station, part of Nord Stream 2, in Lubmin, Germany, on Sept. 21.

How to Stop Moscow From Squeezing Ukraine’s Energy Sector

Kyiv and the West can work together to strengthen security.

Ukrainian servicemen take part in the joint Rapid Trident military exercises with the United States and other NATO countries nor far from Lviv on September 24.

Russia Isn’t About to Attack Ukraine

Moscow occupying its neighbor would be expensive, dangerous, and pointless.

Russian President Vladimir Putin gives a speech.

U.S. Eyes Russian Military Movement Near Ukraine

Echos of the spring’s equipment movements are seen as tensions escalate between Moscow and Kyiv.