Policy Briefs Books Journals

Cooperative Security, Arms Control and Disarmament Policy Brief  No.147 - January, 2023 • By Ramesh Thakur

Policy Brief No.147: Ukraine as a Proxy War:
Issues, Parties, Possible Outcomes, and Lessons

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This Policy Brief looks back on Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in a longer-term and broader reflective analysis of four intertwined threads: the core issues at dispute, the conflict parties, the possible different endings to the war, and the principal lessons to be drawn from the conflict. Since the second world war, there has been a long-term shift from the power end of the spectrum towards the normative end as the pivot on which history turns, with a steady reduction in societal, national and international violence. This has been accompanied by a geographical shift from Europe to Asia and the Pacific as the new cockpit of world affairs. Bucking these twin trends, Russia’s invasion of Ukraine marked the return of Europe to the centre of world affairs, and the return to Europe of geopolitics, territorial disputes and large-scale force and ground wars not experienced since 1945. The Policy Brief concludes with the question: Where to next?

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