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The Council on Strategic Risks on the Russian Invasion of Ukraine

As a non-partisan policy institute focused on security risks, peace, and stability, the Council on Strategic Risks (CSR) acknowledges the extraordinarily dangerous situation facing the world. Despite significant efforts to avert this outcome by numerous nations and international organizations, Russia’s attacks on Ukraine and invasion of its sovereign territory mark a tragic moment for Ukraine and the world. 

In the weeks ahead, our thoughts will be with the people of Ukraine and the people of other nations that may be afflicted, our NATO and European allies and partners, and our colleagues and friends in the region. 

Sadly, the attack on Ukraine arrives in an already deteriorating security landscape, as climate and ecological security crises continue, and a deadly, global pandemic persists. Since our founding, CSR has led efforts to address a wide range of nuclear, biological, climate, and other threats, and to understand and address the ways in which these issues converge. Russia’s seizure of the Chernobyl nuclear disaster site drives home how interconnected nuclear, climate and environmental, and humanitarian security considerations must be—a core  area of focus for CSR. 

American and international concerns that Russia may possess an offensive biological weapons program have informed CSR’s work in developing and promoting both sound and bold policies to  deter and defend against such threats. We have also explored the need to reexamine how we define and address weapons of mass destruction threats in a world where their use in hybrid warfare and tactical attacks may remain likely. 

Further, we have assessed the risks posed by a melting Arctic, including Russia’s ability to harness this dynamic to its geopolitical advantage.  We also have examined the instability that can flow from dependence on Russian wheat in the face of a changing climate, and the strategic benefits of supporting U.S. partners and allies in their clean energy efforts.

Bold work to address all of these global risks must therefore continue. No nations or peoples will be safe if we cannot drive progress together. Indeed, action on such issues may eventually form critical pathways toward greater international cooperation, even if success  seems distant in light of  this week’s troubling events. In the spirit of reducing these risks, both those related to the crisis in Ukraine and those related to other situations globally that threaten national and international security, we will continue CSR’s critical work on this wide range of often-converging issues. 

CSR supports ongoing efforts to diffuse this situation before more people are killed, and humbly hope our work can help contribute to peace and security in the long term.

Signed,
The Council on Strategic Risks Staff

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