Press Release

December 9, 2021
Russian Military Buildup to Be Scrutinized At Helsinki Commission Briefing

WASHINGTON—The Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe, also known as the Helsinki Commission, today announced the following online briefing:

Thursday, December 16, 2021
10:00 a.m. 

The Kremlin has dramatically increased its military activities and capabilities in and around Ukraine, leading to predictions that the regime may be preparing for an aggressive military operation in the coming months. Russian military movements have sufficiently concerned U.S. and allied observers that CIA Director William Burns was personally dispatched to Moscow to telegraph U.S. concerns. Secretary of State Antony Blinken also has added to a chorus of alarm, and Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba has described Russia’s movements as preparations for an invasion. On December 7, President Biden held a two-hour phone call with Russian President Vladimir Putin over the apparent buildup.

The Helsinki Commission will convene a briefing to evaluate the Russian regime’s actions and capabilities near Ukraine and assess potential options for U.S. and Western countermeasures to deter aggression and preserve Ukrainian sovereignty. The briefing will include U.S. and international experts on Russian military capabilities and Eurasian security.

The following panelists are scheduled to participate:

  • Andrew Bowen, Analyst in Russian and European Affairs, Congressional Research Service
  • Dr. Maryna Vorotnyuk, Expert on Black Sea security; Research Fellow, Royal United Services Institute
  • Katsiaryna Shmatsina, Belarusian analyst on Eurasian politics and security; Visiting Fellow, European Values Center for Security Policy in Prague
  • Robert Lee, Expert on Russian military capabilities; PhD candidate, Kings College London