Central Europe’s Role in the Evolving Russia-Ukraine War

The next stage of Russia’s war will require long-term planning from Europe and the West

21 December 2022

Matej Kandrík

Marcin Król Fellow

Central Europe and the West have been supporting Kyiv on an ad hoc basis. In the coming months, it will be important that Europe and NATO begin addressing the Russia-Ukraine war from a more long-term perspective to gain a strategic advantage.

Russian systematic mass-scale targeting of infrastructure and the civilian population is an important milestone of change in the Kremlin’s military strategy against Ukraine. The indirect approach of destroying sources of national power rather than the direct approach of destroying an enemy’s armed forces suggests that Russia’s theory of victory is based on the strategic effect of attrition through a long war. The aim of the barbaric airstrikes campaign is nothing less than crippling Ukraine’s continuity of government, critical services and the war effort.

Collapse or severe limitations of basic state functions can lead to a full-scale humanitarian catastrophe and cut the armed forces’ lifeline connecting it with the government and society.

Need for New Strategies

Understanding this clearly is a starting point for a much-needed discussion on how to transform Western and, specifically, Central Europe’s support to Ukraine from reactionary short-term fixes to long-term war planning.


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Matej Kandrík

Marcin Król Fellow

Matej Kandrík is a Marcin Król Fellow 2022/2023 and a cofounder of Adapt Institute and a PhD candidate in Political Science with a specialisation in Security and Strategic Studies at Masaryk University in Brno, Czechia. In 2016 he did a research stay at the National Defence University of Poland. He collaborated as a research fellow with the German Marshall Fund of the United States and the International Republican Institute as a Transatlantic Initiative fellow. Currently, he is participating in CEU Democratic Institute Leadership Academy. His research interests include comprehensive defence, paramilitarism in Central Eastern Europe and strategic communication.


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