Anticipating Russia’s Next Move in Ukraine

By Rob Dannenberg

Rob Dannenberg served as chief of operations for CIA's Counterterrorism Center, chief of the Central Eurasia Division and chief of the Information Operations Center before retiring from the Agency.  He served as managing director and head of the Office of Global Security for Goldman Sachs, and as director of International Security Affairs at BP.  He is now an independent consultant on geopolitical and security risk.

EXPERT PERSPECTIVE — Bilateral negotiations in Geneva between the US and the Russian Federation concluded without resolution of Russia’s “security guarantee” demands.  The same result as well for last week’s negotiations between NATO and the OSCE respectively and the Russian Federation.  With this round of negotiations concluded and surprising and commendable unity and resolve shown by the West, the question arises what Vladimir Putin’s next move might be?  What is the likelihood of further Russian military action against the Ukraine or elsewhere? 

Press reports from Kiev state the Government of Ukraine suffered a massive cyberattack on 13 January, the day the OSCE discussions concluded. Cyberattacks are a favorite tool in Putin’s strategy of asymmetrical warfare.  There was no immediate statement of attribution, but it seems an odd coincidence. Was this a foreshadowing of Russia’s next move? 

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