The Putin-Regime’s Risk Acceptance and the War against Ukraine

TraCe Research Associate Jonas J. Driedger publishes new article

Soon after Russia began the invasion of Ukraine in early 2022, it be­came apparent that the Putin regime would not achieve its goals and would pay and enormous price for the war. Did the Putin regime simply mis­calculate or did it also deliberately take risks? TraCe research associate Dr Jons J. Driedger dis­cusses the latter thesis in his recent and freely available article “Risk acceptance and offensive war: The case of Russia under the Putin regime“.

Developing a generali­zable framework, this article analyzes the development of Russian risk acceptance in offensive war initiation. Drawing on policy docu­ments, speeches, expert literature, and various inter­views with Russian, Ukrainian, and Western policymakers, the article finds that risk acceptance has con­tinuously risen since the mid-2000s and significantly in­fluenced Russia’s military operations against Georgia in 2008, Crimea in 2014, the Donbass in 2014, and against Ukraine as a whole in 2022, even though the 2022 in­vasion still evinces some risk aversion.

Dr Jonas J. Driedger also dis­cusses his study’s findings in a new PRIF blog article (available only in German).