Why Ukraine Surrendered Security: A Methodological Individualist Approach to Nuclear Disarmament

  • Daniel Gibbs University of Wisconsin-Madison
Keywords: Ukraine, USSR, Soviet Union, Nuclear Disarmament, Nuclear, Nukes


After the breakup of the Soviet Union, Ukraine found itself in possession of the world’s third largest nuclear arsenal.  By 1994, Ukraine had surrendered its entire nuclear arsenal to its historical enemy, Russia.  This phenomenon has largely escaped scrutiny.  At a time in world history when the question of nuclear proliferation and disarmament has again come to the forefront of international politics, it is important to reexamine the case of Ukrainian disarmament in which standard paradigms of international relations fail to satisfactorily explain historical events.  Only by applying the underutilized individual level of analysis can Ukrainian disarmament be clearly understood.