Ending the Russo-Ukrainian war: scenarios and consequences

Chatham House experts outline some of the possible scenarios for how the end of fighting might come about and the consequences emanating from each scenario.

Open event, Panel Recording
26 February 2024 — 6:00PM TO 7:00PM
Chatham House and Online

Event video

Experts outline some of the possible scenarios for how the end of fighting might come about.

The shape of future Ukrainian, European and global security hangs in the balance. As the war in Ukraine reaches the two year mark, a deadlock has taken hold on the battlefield.

Despite notable success in the Kharkiv and Kherson regions during late 2022, the much-vaunted Ukrainian counteroffensive of 2023 encountered stronger and much more disciplined Russian resistance, partly leading to the current impasse.

Uncertainty remains as to the level of support Kyiv’s key Western backers can provide, particularly in the heat of an election-heavy year. With the Russian economy now on a war footing, the war’s outcome is unknown and hard to determine.

Chatham House experts have identified four possible scenarios to ending the war, and their likely consequences. During this session the panel will discuss the following scenarios:

  • Scenario 1, “Russia wins”: American support is drawn down or cut off in early 2025. Ukraine struggles to defend itself, let alone push the Russians back. Russia claims victory. Zelenskyy and his government fall.
  • Scenario 2, “Ukraine wins”: Ukraine has pushed Russia back from all of its internationally recognized territory. The war is over.
  • Scenario 3, “Deal”: Forced by either the international community or by circumstance, Russia and Ukraine sign a ceasefire and/or a peace deal.
  • Scenario 4, “No Deal”: Russia and Ukraine keep on fighting with the same goals. Neither manages a decisive blow but neither shows any interest in a deal.

As with all member events, questions from the audience drive the conversation.