Russia in Review: Targeting Ukraine to Test the West

Key Takeaway: Russia conducted a brazen act of war against Ukraine in the Sea of Azov on November 25. The Russian Coast Guard fired on Ukrainian naval vessels and detained their crews in violation of multiple international laws including the Geneva Convention. This escalation is part of a broader deliberate campaign by Russia to test the resolve of the U.S. and NATO, and identify the thresholds at which Russia can conduct aggressive actions against its neighbors without suffering consequences from the West. Russia is waging this campaign across multiple theaters and multiple domains, and its campaign is escalating. The lack of a meaningful response to this act of war by the U.S. and NATO will only encourage further escalation by Russia. The U.S. and NATO must respond decisively to send a strong message to our adversaries and uphold the modern rules-based international order which has prevented large-scale state warfare for decades.

Continue reading this analysis on ISW's blog here.