Firefighters work to contain a fire at Karazin Kharkiv National University in Ukraine after shelling from Russian military.

Russia-Ukraine War: Insights and Analysis

Read what Harvard Kennedy School faculty members and other experts are saying about the Russia-Ukraine war. From geopolitics to sanctions to the role of misinformation and cyberattacks, HKS scholars analyze the Russian invasion of Ukraine and what it means for the world.

Expert Insights

Lessons from a year of war in ukraine.

One year on from Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Harvard Kennedy School faculty members reflect on how the conflict has changed the way we think about vital global issues and what lessons it has taught us.

Belfer Center scholars reflect on first year of Ukraine war

Why a new cold war with russia isn’t the worst outcome, are we entering another cold war probably not—but it could be even worse, russia-ukraine war report card, one year in, how russian history—and human psychology—can explain the crisis in ukraine, how i am using psychology to persuade russians of the truth about ukraine.

The Perpetually Irrational Ukraine Debate

‘be unstoppable, be true to yourself, but be just’, “something i must do”: andrey liscovich phd 2015 left silicon valley to defend his hometown in ukraine.

O’Sullivan and Frankel: How the sanctions on Putin’s Russia are reshaping the world economic order Meghan O'Sullivan & Jeffrey Frankel

Spotlight on Ukraine Harvard Kennedy School faculty

“I heard hope”: Harvard reacts to Ukrainian President Zelenskyy’s HKS Forum address Harvard Kennedy School students

Better coordination and more granular design can make sanctions on Russia much more effective, research finds Harvard Kennedy School’s Growth Lab

Reform, refugees, and the war next door: President Maia Sandu of Moldova Maia Sandu MC/MPA 2010

Earnest defenders in the darkest hour Harvard Kennedy School students

Russia is using rape as a weapon of war against Ukraine Dara Kay Cohen

These Russia sanctions are different Jeffrey Frankel

Helping Ukraine Win Against Russia Is a Vital NATO Interest Paula Dobriansky

What would be signs protests in Russia are making a difference? Erica Chenoweth

Why China Won’t Mediate an End to the Ukraine War Joseph Nye

What to know about the threat of nuclear war Matthew Bunn

It’s going to get worse before it gets better in Ukraine Ash Carter

How Russians see Russia Natasha Yefimova-Trilling

Ukraine war prompts surprising unity in Europe on need for bolstered defense Stephen Walt

Tony Saich on Sino-Russian relations and how Beijing views the invasion of Ukraine Anthony Saich

Impacts of Russia’s war in Ukraine Belfer Center experts

The case for a punitive tax on Russian oil Ricardo Hausmann

How democracy drives the resistance in Ukraine Pippa Norris

Harvard professor warns of misinformation in Russia-Ukraine conflict Joan Donovan

Cyberattacks against Ukraine have intensified in recent days Lauren Zabierek

‘A lot at stake’ with oil markets for Russia and the West Meghan O'Sullivan

Why peace in Ukraine isn’t likely soon Graham Allison

Autocracy and patriarchy are surging worldwide—but women are pushing back Erica Chenoweth & Zoe Marks

Ukraine crisis: Will China have Putin’s back? Graham Allison

Russian invasion of Ukraine would have global impact, specialists say Paul Kolbe & Paula Dobriansky

The West is sleepwalking into war in Ukraine Stephen Walt

What happens next in Ukraine? Kevin Ryan

Watch carefully how China responds to Russia's invasion of Ukraine, says national security analyst Juliette Kayyem

Wide range of possible targets for Russian cyber strikes, from infrastructure to smartphones Lauren Zabierek

The economic consequences of the Ukraine war Jason Furman

As Russia’s invasion of Ukraine unfolds, many analysts question what happens next Mariana Budjeryn

Why Ukraine gave up its nukes Mariana Budjeryn

Ukraine attack: Putin target may be democracy, near and far Pippa Norris

How to think about the risk of nuclear war, according to 3 experts Matthew Bunn

Summers says ‘more dangerous world’ requires an FDR-like pivot Lawrence Summers

Can intelligence tell how far Putin will go?  Calder Walton

Russia’s attack is illegal and a wake-up call to the West Paula Dobriansky

Russian disinformation, propaganda ramp up as conflict in Ukraine grows Jane Lytvynenko

A hurting stalemate? The risks of nuclear weapon use in the Ukraine crisis Francesca Giovannini

Ukraine stands up to Russian cyberattacks; Putin could launch revenge attacks against US, expert warns Paul Kolbe

It gets worse before it gets better in Ukraine Ash Carter, Paul Kolbe, Kevin Ryan

Former Defense Secretary Ash Carter discusses Russia's invasion of Ukraine at IOP Forum Ash Carter, Eric Rosenbach

What mobilises the Ukrainian resistance? Pippa Norris

Sanctions will devastate the Russian economy—will they destabilise the west’s? Megan Greene

Will China's support for Russia hold as condemnation over Ukraine grows? Tony Saich

Ukraine war drives Europe toward unity on bolstering defense Steve Walt

Centers, Programs, & Resources

Harvard kennedy school.

Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs

  • Russia Matters
  • Intelligence Project
  • Geopolitics of Energy Project
  • Project on Europe and the Transatlantic Relationship
  • US-Russia Initiative to Prevent Nuclear Terrorism

Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation

Carr Center for Human Rights Policy

Center for International Development

Shorenstein Center on Media, Politics and Public Policy

Harvard University

Harvard Ukrainian Research Institute

  • Slavic and Eurasian Studies at Harvard: Library and Archival Resources
  • Teaching Resources on Ukraine
  • Ukraine Crisis resource page

Davis Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies

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People wearing traditional Ukrainian clothing gather at a memorial event in Kyiv, on 16 August 2023.

What happened in the Russia-Ukraine war this week? Catch up with the must-read news and analysis

Ukraine now the most heavily mined place on earth; Nato downplays idea that Kyiv could give up land for membership

Every week we wrap up the must-reads from our coverage of the war in Ukraine , from news and features to analysis, visual guides and opinion.

Ukraine is now the most heavily mined place on earth

A demining device, mounted on an excavator and capable of detonating anti-personnel and anti-tank mines, is tested near Kryvyi Rih, Zaporizhzhia region, Ukraine on 12 August 2023.

Ukraine is the most heavily mined country in the world . Estimates vary, but the territory affected is said to be equivalent to twice the land mass of Portugal. Some have been laid by Ukrainian forces, but most are Russian.

Countless further mines are being dug into Ukraine’s soil, distributed across fields and forest from the air or blasted into position by rockets every hour of every day. Daniel Boffey joined a brigade of Ukrainian sappers in Donetsk as they worked to make progress through the fields.

Even as some might be cleared by detonation, often undertaken with tools no more sophisticated than a long metal rod to find them and a handful of TNT, a whole load more can float down from above.

The soldiers spearheading Ukraine’s counteroffensive face minefields that are 10 miles deep, a fact defence officials will press upon any commentator bemoaning the lack of progress in this summer’s counteroffensive.

Nato chief downplays idea Ukraine could give up land for membership

Ukraine’s president Volodymyr Zelenskiy and Nato secretary-general Jens Stoltenberg shake hands at a press conference during a Nato leaders summit in Vilnius, Lithuania, 12 July 2023.

Nato’s secretary general, Jens Stoltenberg, has said it would be up to Ukraine to decide when it wanted to negotiate peace with Russia , as he sought to downplay comments by a key aide about a land-for-Nato-membership agreement, Dan Sabbagh reported.

The head of the military alliance was speaking at the Arendal democracy festival where a couple of days earlier his chief of staff had caused controversy by suggesting that Ukraine could “give up territory” for peace and Nato membership.

Stoltenberg argued that the path to a settlement was “to support Ukraine militarily. If you want a lasting, just peace, then military support for Ukraine is the way to get there. There is no doubt about that.”

The Ukrainian men trying to avoid conscription

Soldiers who volunteered at the beginning of the war with Russia are exhausted or injured, and conscriptions are becoming more common in cities and towns.

It is believed that tens of thousands of Ukrainian men have left the country illegally since the full-scale war with Russia started last February , many by paying bribes, Shaun Walker and Jamie Wilson reported.

In the first weeks after the invasion, hundreds of thousands of ordinary Ukrainians volunteered to serve at the front in an explosion of patriotism that helped keep the country independent and fight off the initial attack.

More than a year later, however, many of those initial recruits are now dead, wounded or simply exhausted, and the army needs new recruits to fill the ranks. By now, most of those who want to fight have already signed up, leaving the military to recruit among a much more reluctant pool of men.

On Friday, the Ukrainian president, Volodymyr Zelenskiy, fired every regional military recruitment head in the country , citing endemic corruption in the apparatus.

Ukraine fires missiles at Kerch Bridge connecting Crimea to Russia

A Russian military landing ship, which now transports cars and people between Crimea and Taman because the Crimean Bridge connecting Russian mainland and Crimean peninsula over the Kerch Strait is closed.

Ukrainian forces fired three missiles at the bridge connecting occupied Crimea to Russia , forcing Russian authorities to cover the structure in white smoke to deter further attacks and prompting a furious threat of retaliation.

In the latest example of Kyiv taking the war to Russia , multiple guided S-200 rockets were fired at Kerch Bridge but they were seemingly shot down by local air defences.

A further 20 Ukrainian unmanned drones attacked targets in Crimea, the Ukrainian territory illegally annexed by the Kremlin in 2014 , but Russian officials said they had also been successfully neutralised. Ukraine’s SBU intelligence service claimed responsibility for the attack .

Daniel Boffey reported.

Berlin prosecutor investigates possible poisoning of Russian journalist

Elena Kostyuchenko has won multiple awards including the European Press Prize.

German authorities are investigating a possible poisoning attack in Munich last autumn on a Russian dissident journalist who had written critical articles about her country’s invasion of Ukraine, the Berlin prosecutor has confirmed.

In an article published with Russian-language outlet Meduza and US publication n+1 on Tuesday night, journalist Elena Kostyuchenko said she was tipped off by a source in Ukrainian military reconnaissance last March about Russian plans to assassinate her.

Kostyuchenko, who was at the time reporting for the now-shuttered independent newspaper Novaya Gazeta from near Mariupol, Ukraine, initially managed to escape to Berlin. Philip Oltermann reported this story.

Kyiv’s drone strikes on Moscow mean Kremlin’s war can’t be ignored by Russians

Security officers are seen at the City Clinical hospital No. 67 near the site of an attempted attack by a Ukrainian drone in Moscow, Russia on 11 August 2023.

A new campaign of drone strikes has targeted the Russian capital in recent days as Kyiv has demonstrated its ability to hit Moscow and to keep the Kremlin’s war in the hearts and minds of the Russian elites and others seeking to ignore the invasion of Ukraine , Andrew Roth , Pjotr Sauer and Daniel Boffey reported.

Video from two weeks ago showed a drone slamming into the ground and exploding near a residential area in the north-west of the city, as rowers nearby participated in a national championship in the Krylatskoye district.

Russia’s defence ministry claimed to have downed other drones and earlier in the week on the south-west approaches of the city, illustrating Kyiv’s ability to target the Russian capital on a weekly or even daily basis, although with mixed success.

Putin to discuss capital controls to help prop up rouble

Russian president Vladimir Putin attends a cabinet meeting via video conference in Moscow, Russia, Wednesday, 16 August 2023.

Vladimir Putin is reportedly planning to hold a meeting with Russian policymakers on Wednesday in order to discuss reintroducing some capital controls to help prop up the struggling rouble , Andrew Roth reported.

Citing a Russian finance ministry proposal, the Financial Times said large exporters could be forced to convert up to 80% of their foreign currency into roubles in order to raise demand for the currency.

Other proposals included a ban on foreign dividend payments and loan extensions, cancelling import subsidies, limiting currency swaps, and reducing the amount of foreign currency exporters can take out of Russia, the newspaper reported.

Russia turning to sleeper cells and unofficial agents

From left: Orlin Roussev, Katrin Ivanova and Biser Dzhambazov.

An Argentinian couple living in Slovenia , a Mexican-Greek photographer who ran a yarn shop in Athens and now three Bulgarians arrested in Britain . Over the past year, police and security services across the globe have accused numerous people living apparently innocuous lives with being Russian intelligence agents or operatives , Shaun Walker wrote in an analysis piece this week.

Many others have been accused of passing information to Russia, including a security guard at the British embassy in Berlin, sentenced to 13 years in prison , and more than a dozen people arrested in Poland accused of carrying out various tasks for Russian intelligence.

Much about the three Bulgarians, said to be among five people detained in February, remains unclear. They have been charged but their trial is not until January, they have yet to enter pleas, and the British authorities have made no details public about the allegations.

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