Latest Former Soviet Union Analysis
A Ukrainian soldier rides atop a vehicle near Donetsk on Jan. 23. (Oleksandr Stashevskiy/AFP/Getty Images)

Red Alert Update: At the Heart of the Mariupol Crisis

The current round of fighting around Mariupol has quieted down. That does not mean that it is over, however, because the strategic issues underlying the problem have not changed.

A car burns amid debris after rockets shelled the city of Mariupol, Ukraine, on Jan. 24. (Image from Reuters video)

Red Alert: Rocket Fire Could Signal New Offensive on Mariupol

Stratfor has declared a Red Alert over Ukraine as we watch for signs of a new offensive. We do not yet know Russia’s strategic intentions. Reports of rocket fire and potential moves on the city of Mariupol could simply be an attempt to signal the danger Russia could pose to their negotiating partners in the West. It could be an attempt to extend the pocket separatists supported by Russia currently hold in eastern Ukraine. It could, finally, be the opening of an offensive toward Crimea.

(From L) Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani and U.S. President Barack Obama. (Photo by Lior Mizrahi/Getty Images, Spencer Platt/Getty Images, JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/Getty Images)

Renegades Prolong U.S.-Iran Rapprochement

Forces opposed to a rapprochement between Washington and Tehran might not derail talks but will try to slow them down.