Russia’s Illegitimate Zones of Influence Likely to Consolidate in Early 2022

A ‘wait and see’ approach will overall characterise the beginning of the year for Central Europe

11 January 2022

Wojciech Przybylski


National electoral races in the EU may be far more important for the future of Europe than Russia’s threats of invasion on Ukraine.

The ongoing diplomatic talks with Russia are portrayed in Europe as peace efforts to prevent the Russian invasion of Ukraine, while they should be rather seen in the context of Vladimir Putin’s continuous, decades-long revisionist ambition to remake the post-Cold war order and security system in Europe. The early 2022 talks are therefore not only in defence of Ukraine but also about challenging the parameters of the European security system overall.

Editor’s Pick: Cold Winter Bad for Peace Talks

The military buildup in the vicinity of the Ukrainian border and intelligence leaked to the press has energised the public opinion leading to speculation that Russia is likely to break the 2020 cease-fire, especially since Putin’s demands for NATO to fall back are unacceptable. The ongoing confusion as to a potential new war will dominate the beginning of 2022, pushing the peace efforts to accept the status quo of territories in Ukraine and Georgia occupied by Russia and consolidating Putin’s illegitimate ‘zones of influence’. 


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Wojciech Przybylski


Political analyst heading Visegrad Insight's policy foresight on European affairs. His expertise includes foreign policy and political culture. Editor-in-Chief of Visegrad Insight and President of the Res Publica Foundation. Europe's Future Fellow at IWM - Institute of Human Sciences in Vienna and Erste Foundation. Wojciech also co-authored a book 'Understanding Central Europe’, Routledge 2017. He has been published in Foreign Policy, Politico Europe, Journal of Democracy, EUObserver, Project Syndicate, VoxEurop, Hospodarske noviny, Internazionale, Zeit, Dziennik Gazeta Prawna, Onet, Gazeta Wyborcza and regularly appears in BBC, Al Jazeera Europe, Euronews, TRT World, TVN24, TOK FM, Swedish Radio and others.


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