To launch a new season of the World Class podcast, Michael McFaul discusses recent developments of the war in Ukraine and how those will impact Ukraine’s future, Russia’s standing in the world, and the responses of the global community.
Events on the ground in Ukraine are shifting quickly. In the east and south, the Ukrainian military continues to make progess on its counteroffensives. In Russia, thousands of draft-aged men have left the country in repsonse to the Kremlin’s call for a limited mobilization. Across the NATO and the West, allied nations have reinforced their positions of solidarity and support for Ukraine.
To delve deeper into recent developments, former U.S. Ambassador to Russia and FSI Director Michael McFaul joined Ray Suarez for a special crossover episode of the World Class podcast and the World Affairs podcast. They spoke Just before Putin’s military mobilization order on September 21 and discussed what the world can can expect from the war in Ukraine in the coming weeks and months, and how it may impact Russia’s domestic politics and international standing.
Listen to the full episode here, or browse highlights from the conversation below.
Click the link for a transcript of «Putin’s Failed War.»
The following commentary from Michael McFaul has been excerpted from his original conversation and edited for length and clarity.
Russia and China’s RelationshipPublicly, there’s still support and solidarity between XI Jinping and Vladimir Putin. But we have to look at what’s happening between the lines. I think it’s pretty tense. At the most recent Shanghai Cooperation Summit in Kazakhstan, Putin acknowledged that one of his agenda items was to address Chinese concerns about what he called “the Ukraine crisis.”
“Concerns” is not a very friendly word. In the Russian readout of that meeting, Putin expressed his appreciation for Xi’s “balanced approach” to Russia’s operations in Ukraine. But a “balanced approach” is hardly a big sign of support. In the Chinese readout of the meeting, Xi doesn’t even mention Ukraine.
Putin miscalculated. He miscalculated how the Ukrainians would fight. He miscalculated How the West would react. He’s miscalculated how his own people have reacted. I think it will be the blunder that will erase his entire legacy.Michael McFaul, FSI Director