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 Emeritus, 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 CFR 


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


Richard Haass, “Putin’s Ukraine Quagmire 


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


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



From Our Guest


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



Read More


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


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



Watch and Listen


The Battle for Kyiv,” The Daily, New York Times


Crisis in Ukraine,” 


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


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


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

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