The Ukraine War: A View From Moscow
The Ukraine War: A View From Moscow

The Ukraine War: A View From Moscow

This week on Hold Your Fire!, Richard Atwood is joined from Moscow by Crisis Group Board Member and expert on Russian foreign policy Andrey Kortunov, to talk about Russian reactions to the war in Ukraine and what options exist to end the fighting. 

Russia’s war in Ukraine thus far has not gone Moscow’s way. Russian President Vladimir Putin appears to have expected that Russian forces would capture Ukraine without much resistance, but Ukrainian forces have put up a fierce fight. The Western response has been more united than Putin appears to have anticipated. Russia faces economic isolation, after Western leaders have enacted crippling, far-reaching sanctions, shutting off the country from the global economy. They have also sent arms to Ukraine and deployed additional NATO troops in the countries on the alliance’s eastern flank. Yet for now nothing suggests the Kremlin will reverse course. Talks between Russian and Ukrainian officials continue, but have yielded little. Russia has stepped up its bombardment of Ukrainian cities. Casualties on both sides, and among Ukrainian civilians, are mounting. 

This week on Hold Your Fire!, Richard Atwood is joined from Moscow by Andrey Kortunov, Crisis Group trustee, director-general of the Russian International Affairs Council and a leading expert on Russian foreign policy. They discuss Russian perspectives on the war, decision-making in the Kremlin, why President Putin appears to have miscalculated so badly and what the next few weeks might hold for the fighting. They look at the danger of the crisis escalating into a wider confrontation between Russia and NATO, potentially through one side misunderstanding the other’s intentions, and at ways to avoid that happening. Andrey also lays out what options exist for de-escalating the conflict and obstacles to that happening. 

Click here to listen on Apple Podcasts or Spotify.

For more of Crisis Group’s analysis, visit our Ukraine regional page, and make sure to read our recent Q&A: “No-Fly Zone: War with Russia by Another Name” and our commentary: “The Ukraine War: A Global Crisis?”.

Contributors

Executive Vice President
atwoodr
Andrey Kortunov
Board Member and Director General of the Russian International Affairs Council

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