Ukraine war: why Moscow could go nuclear over Kyiv’s ‘threats’ to Crimea

Published: July 20, 2022 10.35am BST The Conversation


  1. Stefan WolffProfessor of International Security, University of Birmingham
  2. Tatyana MalyarenkoProfessor of International Relations, National University Odesa Law Academy

Disclosure statement

Stefan Wolff receives funding from the United States Institute of Peace. He is a past recipient of grants from the Economic and Social Research Council of the UK, the British Academy, the NATO Science for Peace Programme, the EU Framework Programmes 6 and 7 and Horizon 2020, as well as the EU’s Jean Monnet Programme. He is a Senior Research Fellow of the Foreign Policy Centre in London and Co-Coordinator of the OSCE Network of Think Tanks and Academic Institutions.

Tatyana Malyarenko receives funding from the Volkswagen Stiftung and IOS Regensburg, Germany, and the Jean Monnet Programme of the European Union (Jean Monnet project Towards a More Secure Digital Europe: Multi-level Governance for Countering Online Disinformation and Hybrid Threats, 2020-2022) managed by the Ukrainian Institute for Crisis Management and Conflict Resolution, Mariupol, Ukraine


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Pedestrians pass a mural depicting a Russian soldier, the Russian flag and double-headed eagle coat of arms as well as the 'Z' military symbol, on the side of a building in Simferopol, Crimea.
Crimea has been an important strategic outpost for Russia during the war. EPA-EFE/stringer


As the war in Ukraine is about to head into its sixth month, the ferocity with which it is fought shows no signs of abating – neither on the battlefield, nor in the rhetoric emerging from Moscow and Kyiv.

Russian attacks continue to target Ukrainian cities such as Vinnytsia in western Ukraine that are far away from the front lines and those like Mykolaiv and Odesa that are of high strategic value in the battle over control of Ukraine’s Black Sea coast.

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