Will Russia Invade Ukraine? Moscow’s Threat to European Security

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Will Russia Invade Ukraine? Moscow’s Threat to European Security

19th January 2022 @ 1:00 pm - 2:00 pm

For the last three months, Russia has massed upwards of 175,000 troops on its border with Ukraine and issued an ultimatum to the West. Three sets of negotiations were held during the week beginning 10 January in Geneva (US-Russia), Brussels (NATO-Russia) and Vienna (OSCE). The timing of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s military threat and ultimatum are not coincidental. They came after Russia’s failure to achieve Ukraine’s capitulation during eight years of negotiations within the Minsk peace talks and fear of Ukraine’s growing military strength, as seen by its first use of drones against Russian proxy forces on 27 October of last year.

This new report by the Henry Jackson Society analyses the factors behind Russia’s threat to invade Ukraine, why this represents a major threat to European security and what policy options are available to the UK and its Western allies to counter Putin’s military threat and ultimatum.

The Henry Jackson Society is delighted to invite you to a discussion of a new report “Will Russia Invade Ukraine? Moscow’s Threat to European Security” by its author Taras Kuzio (Henry Jackson Society), Keir Giles (Chatham House) and Mariia Zolkina (Kyiv’s Democratic Initiatives Foundation).



Mariia Zolkina is a Political Analyst at the Ilko Kucheriv Democratic Initiatives Foundation (DIF), Co-Founder of the Kalmius Group and a DAAD Fellow. She combines public policy analysis with public opinion research. As Public Opinion Analyst, Mariia deals with issues of foreign policy, European and Euro-Atlantic integration of Ukraine and its relations with Russia.

Since 2014 Mariia Zolkina has been developing comprehensive expertise regarding Russia-Ukraine conflict in Donbas, including  conflict-resolution and reintegration scenarios, socio-political implications of the conflict both on national and international level. She is well-known for various types of public opinion research in the region, mainly  in the government-controlled part of Donbas. She is also an author of a number of policy papers as well as publications in prominent Ukrainian mass media about policy towards frontline and temporary occupied territories.

Mariia regularly consults both international organizations and Ukrainian public institutions on negotiations with Russia and policy towards conflict-resolution. As a researcher, she directly contributed to the development of the Public Strategy on Informational Reintegration.



Keir Giles spent the early 1990s in the former USSR. With the BBC Monitoring Service, he reported on political and economic affairs in the former Soviet Union for UK government customers. He also wrote for several years as a Russia correspondent for UK aviation journals.

Other professional experience in Russia includes a period with Ernst & Young working on intricate and constantly shifting Russian business law.

While attached to the UK Defence Academy’s Research and Assessment Branch (R&AB), he wrote and briefed for UK and overseas government and academic customers on Russian military, defence and security issues; Russia’s relations with NATO and with its neighbours in Northern Europe; and human factors affecting decision-making in Russia.

In addition to Keir’s work with Chatham House, he leads the Conflict Studies Research Centre, a group of subject matter experts in Eurasian security.



Taras Kuzio is a Research Fellow at the Henry Jackson Society and Professor in the Department of Political Science, National University of Kyiv Mohyla Academy. His previous positions were at the University of Alberta, George Washington University, and University of Toronto, International Institute of Strategic Studies, and School of Advanced International Studies, Johns Hopkins University. Taras Kuzio holds a PhD in political science from the University of Birmingham, England, an MA in Area Studies (USSR, Eastern Europe) from the School of Slavonic and East European Studies, University of London, and a BA in Economics from the School of European Studies, University of Sussex. He held a Post-Doctoral Fellowship at Yale University. Taras Kuzio is the author and editor of 22 books, 38 book chapters and over 130 scholarly articles on Soviet, Eurasian, Russian, and Ukrainian politics, colour revolutions, nationalism, geopolitics, and international relations.



Sam Ashworth-Hayes is the Director of Studies at the Henry Jackson Society. Prior to joining HJS, Sam co-founded a startup using satellite imagery to support the installation of urban green infrastructure, raised funding and built a team to develop prototype products and deliver the first commercial trials. He has also previously worked designing field and lab experiments in behavioural economics, and as a journalist and researcher. Outside of academia Sam writes regularly for outlets including The Spectator, CapX, and National Review on economics and politics, and has made media appearances for the BBC, GB News, and Times Radio. He holds an MPhil in Economics from the University of Oxford, and a Bachelors in the same from the University of York.




On the 19th of January 2022, Sam Ashworth-Hayes, the Director of Studies at the Henry Jackson Society, Mariia Zolkina, co-founder of the Kalmius Group, Keir Giles, lead of Conflict Studies Research Centre at Chatham House, and Dr Taras Kuzio, Professor at the National University of Kyiv-Mohyla Academy, discussed the potential of a Russian invasion of Ukraine and the broader threat Russia poses to European security.

Sam Ashworth-Hayes started the discussion by introducing the topic and the speakers and then asked Mariia Zolkina to speak about the Ukraine reaction to this threat. Mariia gave a brief description of public opinion data gathered showing that most Ukrainians have a positive view of their Western Allies in preventing conflict with Russia. Mariia showed a plurality of Ukrainians would be willing to engage in defensive activities during an invasion. Dr Kuzio then explained the likely scenarios that would lead to a Russian invasion, stating that it is unlikely there will be full scale war and any conflict would look similar to the 2008 Russian-Georgian war. Keir Giles then spoke about how much Russia has gained from this relatively inexpensive strategy of intimidation while also undermining European security, a goal they have long sought to achieve.

The speakers were then asked a series of questions on a range of topics relating to Ukrainian and European security, as well as the underlying causes for this current bout of tension.


19th January 2022
1:00 pm - 2:00 pm


United Kingdom


Keir Giles, Dr Taras Kuzio


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