Author Biography

Dr. Ngo Di Lan is a researcher at the Institute for Foreign Policy and Strategic Studies, Diplomatic Academy of Vietnam.



Subject Area Keywords

Diplomacy, Foreign policy, International security, Military affairs, National security, Small wars and insurgencies


This article focuses on the nuanced decision-making process of Ukrainian leaders in the wake of Russia's 2014 annexation of Crimea. Utilizing primary sources, including transcripts of Ukraine's cabinet meeting, it seeks to explain why Kiev refrained from employing coercive means to immediately retake Crimea following the fait accompli. The analysis reveals that decisions in such scenarios are typically influenced by a complex interplay of perceived territorial value and the strategic advantages of restraint. It also argues that fait accompli strategies can be strikingly effective when carried out with agility and minimal force, as demonstrated by Russia in Crimea. The findings offer a multifaceted understanding of the variables that shape state responses to territorial aggression, contributing to the broader discourse on territorial conflicts and deterrence.


The author would like to thank the two anonymous reviewers for their invaluable comments and insights, which have significantly enriched the quality of this article.