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Pentagon Leaks Foreshadow a Long War in Ukraine

US officials were sent scrambling this month after a trove of Pentagon documents containing classified information on the war in Ukraine were leaked via Discord. While some have questioned the authenticity of the intelligence, Nonresident Fellow Paul Poast argues that it contains key insights into the future of the conflict regardless.

“Many have focused on what the documents say about Ukraine’s expected ‘spring offensive’ aimed at breaking the stalemate, including whether it will even happen. But the documents may reveal more about Russian resolve to counter any such offensive and stay the course in the war," he writes. “If it is indeed the case that Russian sources are behind the leak and that they altered the record on the number of soldiers killed in action, that points to an effort by Russian officials to portray the war as not yet being overly costly to Russia.” 

More takeaways in World Politics Review.

The Data Dimension

Is the Russian public still on board with their government’s “special military action” in Ukraine? Updated polling by our partners at the Levada Center finds a majority of Russians continue to support the war (72%), while only one in five oppose (19%).

What We're Watching

  • Child abductions in Ukraine: What does Putin’s ICC arrest warrant mean for children kidnapped during the war? Experts Nathaniel Raymond and Kathryn Sikkink join Deep Dish to discuss accountability and justice in times of conflict.
  • Netanyahu’s next steps: “In countries where an authoritarian wannabe cannot call on the security services to do his bidding, people power still packs a punch,” Senior Fellow Elizabeth Shackelford writes of the recent protests against judicial reform in Israel.
  • Iran’s deal with Saudi Arabia: The agreement, brokered by China, is really about facilitating “the rise of a new anti-Western global order,” Nonresident Senior Fellow Saeid Golkar and Kasra Aarabi argue in Foreign Policy
  • Africa’s aging elite: More than 60 percent of the continent’s population is under 25 years old, but many of its leaders are over 70, Emma Geiser notes. She digs into the implications in our Running Numbers blog.

Ask an Expert

"a headshot of Ivo Daalder"What should we make of French President Emmanuel Macron’s trip to China?
“It isn’t surprising that Beijing has embraced the idea of Europe’s ‘strategic autonomy’ and launched a charm offensive — including inviting five of the Continent’s top leaders for extensive talks with Xi since last November. The goal is to lift Europe up, while pushing the US down.”  

—Council President Ivo Daalder in Politico Europe

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About the Author
Communications Officer
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As the communications officer for the Lester Crown Center, Libby Berry works to connect audiences with foreign policy research and analysis.
headshot of Libby Berry