School of Social and Political Science

Mykola Kapitonenko: Why Russia Invaded Ukraine and What Comes Next

Online event
07 June 2022
14:00 - 15:30


Microsoft Teams


Mykola Kapitonenko:  Why Russia Invaded Ukraine and What Comes Next

Tuesday 7 June 14.00-15.30 GMT

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Moscow’s decision to launch a full-scale war against Ukraine has caught many by surprise. There are several possible ways to explain a decision which seems to be such a mistake. 

From a theoretical perspective, a perceived security dilemma might have been present behind Russia’s strategy. From a decision-making standpoint, prospect theory may help understand an extremely high risk decision taken by the Russian leadership. The risk has been considerable: Russia might lose a larger part of its global and regional influence, even if it in some sense wins in Ukraine. It may also face internal instability and economic crisis in a mid-term perspective. Russia’s decision to invade Ukraine is also putting international security under test, measuring strength of international regimes, power of leading actors, and effectiveness of usual instruments. 

Mykola Kapitonenko is Professor at the Institute of International Relations of Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv. He is also a Director to the Center of International Studies. He has been a visiting professor at the University of Iowa, and has taught at the Diplomatic Academy of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine. Since 2015,  Mykola has been co-editing UA: Ukraine Analytica. He is a consultant to the Committee on Foreign Policy and Inter-Parliamentary Cooperation of the Parliament of Ukraine. His main research focus is in conflict and security studies; and Ukrainian foreign policy. He is an author of International Relations Theory (Routledge: 2022), International Conflicts (2009) and Power in International Politics (2013). He is also a winner of a National Prize of Ukraine in science (2012).

Key speakers

  • Professor Mykola Kapitonenko