Russia’s War on Ukraine: U.S. Policy and the Role of Congress

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Publication Date January 2023
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On February 24, 2022, Russia launched a new undeclared war against Ukraine, a country Russia first invaded in 2014 and has partially occupied for almost nine years. The war is Europe’s largest armed conflict in decades. Ukraine has successfully waged defensive and counteroffensive operations bolstered by extensive military assistance, chiefly from the United States and Europe. Still, Russia occupies more than 15% of Ukraine’s territory and has intensified its attacks on infrastructure nationwide. The war to date is estimated to have led to the deaths of tens of
thousands and the forcible displacement of more than 14 million people.

Many observers view the Russia-Ukraine war in the context of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s increasingly authoritarian rule, rising neo-imperialism and nationalism, and belief that Ukraine’s pro-Western democratic trajectory could undermine his own regime and model of development for Russia. The war follows a number of malign Russian activities abroad, including the 2008 invasion of Georgia, 2014 invasion of Ukraine, 2015 intervention in Syria, 2016 interference in U.S. elections, use of chemical weapons targeting regime opponents, and the deployment of mercenaries in conflicts in the Middle East and Africa.

The United States, member states of NATO and the European Union (EU), and other partners regard Russia’s war against Ukraine as “unprovoked and unjustified.” The United States, the EU, and the United Kingdom (UK), among others, have coordinated efforts to impose a series of increasingly more severe sanctions on Russia. They also have provided substantial military and economic aid to Ukraine. To deter further Russian aggression, the United States and NATO also have increased their military presence in Central and Eastern Europe. Congress may consider additional actions and oversight with respect to these and related issues.

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This In Focus was first published in December 2022. The latest update was published in January 2023. All updates can be checked on the Primary Source link provided below.

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