Russia’s relationship with Ukraine is complicated. Ukrainian independence coming out of the collapse of the Soviet Union ended a 350-year history of Ukraine as a part of the Russian Empire, and then the Soviet Union. From that period forward, the two nations have faced off in several cases, most notably the Russian annexation of Crimea in 2014 and Russia’s ongoing support for separatists in Eastern Ukraine in a largely frozen civil war at this point since that year. There are now reports of a large Russian military buildup on the Ukrainian border. Western powers, notably NATO members, have confronted the Russians over this buildup. Is war or conflict likely? What are the Russian motivations? How should NATO respond to potential escalation? Doug Beckers discusses the ongoing crisis with Robert English.

Robert English is an Associate Professor of International Relations at the University of Southern California. English is an expert on Russia and the former USSR and is the author of Russia and the Idea of the West Gorbachev, Intellectuals, and the End of the Cold War.



This interview originally aired on the Scholars’ Circle. To access our archive of episodes and download this interview, click here.

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Disclaimer: The ideas expressed in this podcast reflect the views of the guest and not necessarily the views of The Big Q. 

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