Perspective on Ukraine, With Richard Haass

In this special episode, Why It Matters sits down with CFR President Richard Haass to ask the basic questions about the war in Ukraine, Russian President Vladimir Putin’s frame of mind, and his threat to world order. 


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  • Gabrielle Sierra
    Director, Podcasting

Asher Ross - Supervising Producer

Markus Zakaria - Audio Producer and Sound Designer

Rafaela Siewert - Associate Podcast Producer

Episode Guests
  • Richard Haass
    President, Council on Foreign Relations

Show Notes

Putin’s invasion of Ukraine shocked the world. His brazen brutality prompted tremendous backlash and an international debate about what to do. Simultaneously, Ukraine’s courage inspired and revitalized its Western allies. But as the Russian military intensifies its assault, Ukraine’s future is still unknown.


So, how did it come to war? To understand the conflict, Why It Matters Host Gabrielle Sierra turns to CFR President Richard Haass to discuss motivations, misassumptions, nuclear threats, and the potential for a new era of global instability. 



From Richard Haass


The West Must Show Putin How Wrong He Is to Choose War,” New York Times


From CFR 


Richard Haass, “How the World Can Influence Putin’s Fateful Choices in Ukraine”


Richard Haass, “Putin’s Ukraine Quagmire 


James M. Lindsay, “Can President Biden’s State of the Union Address Unify Americans Over Ukraine?” 


Ian Johnson and Kathy Huang, “Why China Is Struggling to Deal With Russia’s War in Ukraine” 


TPI Special: The War in Ukraine, With Charles A. Kupchan,” The President’s Inbox


Charles A. Kupchan, “Why Putin’s War With Ukraine Is a Miscalculation” 


TWNW Special: Russia’s Invasion of Ukraine,” The World Next Week


Ukraine’s Struggle for Independence in Russia’s Shadow” 


Crisis in Ukraine


David Sacks, “Putin’s Aggression Against Ukraine Deals a Blow to China’s Hopes for Taiwan,” 


Alina Polyakova and Daniel Fried, “Putin’s Long Game in Ukraine,” Foreign Affairs


Thomas Graham, “Has Russia Just Started a Wider War With Ukraine?” 


Max Boot, “Why the U.S. Ramped Up Its Information War With Russia” 


Jonathan Masters and Will Merrow, “How Do the Militaries of Russia and Ukraine Stack Up?” 


Jonathan Masters, “Why NATO Has Become a Flash Point With Russia in Ukraine” 


Jonathan Masters, “Ukraine: Conflict at the Crossroads of Europe and Russia


Read More


Thomas L. Friedman, “This Is Putin’s War. But America and NATO Aren’t Innocent Bystanders.,” New York Times


Chris Buckley, “‘Abrupt Changes’: China Caught in a Bind Over Russia’s Invasion of Ukraine,” New York Times


Kori Schake, “Putin Accidentally Revitalized the West’s Liberal Order,”The Atlantic


Watch and Listen


The Battle for Kyiv,” The Daily


Ukrainians’ Choice: Fight or Flee?,” The Daily


Nuclear Weapons

Before the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the possibility of nuclear war felt like a problem of days past. Now, as great-power competition heats up, the potential for nuclear conflict seems higher than at any point in decades. How did the nuclear taboo fade, and what does nuclear proliferation mean for the United States?

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