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Questions and answers about the war in Ukraine

February 24th marks one year since Russia's invasion of Ukraine. We let Linnaeus University's Instagram followers ask questions about the war to Patric Lindgren, researcher in political science. Here is a selection of questions and answers.

How big is the risk that other countries will join the conflict and send soldiers?
There are several risks, that other counties will become involved ion each side, due to either mistakes or strategic considerations. For example, Belarus and Poland may become more closely involved. Right now it is not so close at hand, but the situation can change quickly.

Will there be more sanctions against Russia?
It cannot be ruled out. Additional sanctions could target Russians exports and imports, as well as against the ability to travel abroad for more Russian citizens. The effects that can be achieved by additional sanctions are difficult to assess in advance.

What is the most likely solution to the conflict?
Much depends on how each side’s offensive plans might develop later this spring, and how quickly the West’s support with heavier equipment for Ukraine can have real significance.

Do you think that it will be war in Sweden?
As long as Russia is involved in Ukraine, they have limited capacities for major offensives in the Baltic Sea area. The threat to Sweden, among others, may increase significantly when the war in Ukraine is over, and Russia gets to recover and rearm. It is difficult to predict possible acts of war in, or close to, Sweden, but many analysts believe that the risks will increase in the longer term.

What is Russia’s goal in the short term and longer term?
It is unclear what objectives Russia have in the short term. It could be to conquer parts of Ukraine, or the whole country, we don’t know. The objectives can also have changed since the war started.

In the longer term, it is a little clearer, where it appears that they want to re-establish the position as a great power. However, it is uncertain exactly how far such ambitions go, if it also includes Belarus and Moldova, for example.

Will the war end if Putin or Zelensky dies?
Not necessarily. It might somewhat depend on how either of the leaders dies, but it is not impossible that the war will continue with a new leader. One should not put too much hope that a new leader in Russia will be more peaceful – it could be the opposite.

Who provides Russia with money and weapons?
Russia receives most of its income from selling raw materials. Far from all countries have imposed sanctions. For example, Russia sells significant amounts of iron to India. Concerning weapons, Russia has had large stocks of military equipment, especially older variants. It is uncertain how much has been consumed in Ukraine, and the spring will show more about this and what remains. A critical factor is the availability of ammunition, especially for heavy weapons.

More information:

Linnaeus University's collected information on account of the Russian invasion of Ukraine can be found here.