Author: Giorgi Bilanishvili, Zurab Batiashvili, Alex Petriashvili, Giorgi Surmava

In the spring of 2021, the entire world’s attention was focused on the Russian-Ukrainian border. Suddenly, without any explanation, Russia began to deploy large military forces along the borders of Ukraine, in Crimea and the Black Sea. According to Ukrainian officials, 110,000 Russian troops converged near the country’s borders. NATO also made an announcement about the increased military threat.

After several days of a tense standstill, Russia began withdrawing its troops. The de-escalation was precipitated by growing international pressure on Russia, including a telephone conversation between Putin and US President Biden.

What did Putin hope to accomplish with such an escalation and, in general, what is the situation at the Russian-Ukrainian front? What is the impact on Georgia? The following edition of the Rondeli Foundation Security Review is dedicated to the analysis of precisely these issues.

Giorgi Bilanishvili analyzes the current peace process and the possible traps that lie within it for the Ukrainian side. We should not forget that the Minsk 1 and Minsk 2 Agreements were signed by Ukraine after a heavy military defeat.

Zurab Batiashvili discusses a very interesting aspect of the situation; namely, the role of Turkey in the Russian-Ukrainian conflict. Russia has even suspended air travel to Turkey after deeming the level of Ankara-Kyiv military co-operation beyond acceptable.

Alexi Petriashvili reviews the Georgian and Ukrainian paths towards NATO and evaluates the obstacles on this trail. “If you accept us, do it already.”: Such was President Zelensky’s urging a few days ago. “To do that, you must first defeat corruption.” This was the prompt response of President Biden.

Finally, our military analyst, General Surmava, analyzes the military situation of Russia and Ukraine and the strategy and tactics of the two parties, also containing important lessons for Georgia.