Russia’s Lesser-Known Intentions in Ukraine – by Olivia Lazard (Carnegie Europe – June 14, 2022)

Up until the last days before Russia’s invasion, the European Union did not believe that Putin was about to attack Ukraine. If the EU—an organization whose premise was based on “never again”—missed a war, what else could it be missing?

Quite a lot, as it turns out. For all the violence already unfolding in Ukraine, the war may actually be but a single fragment in a much larger puzzle that Russia has been piecing together through trial and error in the last few years.

In this puzzle, the war in Ukraine must be analyzed in parallel with Russian maneuvers in Africa, Central Asia, Latin America, and East Asia. It must also be analyzed in light of a transitioning world destabilized by climate disruptions and geoeconomic competition.

Russia has long been perceived as an actor making little of climate change. Russian President Vladimir Putin wavered between denying climate change, underplaying it, arguing that it will benefit Russia and then positing Russia as a climate-positive actor helping with carbon offsetting markets in more recent moves.

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