Russia’s Strategy of Escalation Against Ukraine

Ukraine’s President Petro Poroshenko says he is ready for four-country talks with Russia over the crisis in the Black Sea.  Poroshenko declared martial law last month after Russian ships seized Ukrainian vessels and took Ukrainian sailors into custody, claiming they had illegally entered Russian waters. 

The United Nations held an emergency security council meeting after the incident, with world leaders calling on Russian President Vladimir Putin to release the sailors and return the ships.

President Donald Trump cancelled a planned meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin at the G20 summit in Buenos Aires, Argentina last month, choosing that method of protest over publicly pressuring the Russian leader over the incident.

National security experts are calling on U.S. President Donald Trump to publicly affirm U.S. support for Ukraine as a means to influence Russian behavior in the Sea of Azov, a crucial conflict point between Russia and Ukraine.

Cipher Brief Experts bring their expertise to the issue to help predict what is likely to happen next.

This is Cipher Brief Level I Member Only content. It can be accessed via login or by signing up to become a Cipher Brief Member.  Joining this high-level, security-focused community is only $10/month (for an annual $120/yr membership).

Cipher Brief Members engage in high-level conversations about national and global security issues every day. If you’re not already a member, you should be.

If you are experiencing any issues with signing up or signing in, please drop an email to

We look forward to welcoming you to the community!