Graduation Year


Document Type

Open Access Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts


Politics and International Relations

Reader 1

Professor Jordan Branch

Reader 2

Professor Nancy Neiman

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2023 Madeline P Levine


Under the guise of a “special military operation,” Russian forces invaded Ukraine on February 24, 2022. The immediacy with which the United States rallied support for Ukraine within the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (“NATO”), the United Nations (“UN”), and the European Union (“EU”) raised speculation: Is Russia-Ukraine the beginning of a second Cold War? Did the Cold War actually end in the 1990s? Is Ukraine the first proxy war in a series of more to come between the United States and Russia? This thesis will address the first question by identifying and analyzing the characteristics that distinguished the Cold War from earlier conflicts, how the Russia-Ukraine War compares, and the implications of the Russia-Ukraine war on the global order.