Russia-Ukraine War: Foreign affairs experts in Arizona weigh in on what might happen next
PHOENIX - With the ongoing Russian invasion of Ukraine, experts in foreign affairs are weighing on the war, as well as what might happen in the coming days and weeks.
NAU expert: Invasion has high impact on Russia
"Things could get worse before they get better," said Gretchen Gee, Principal Lecturer of International Affairs at NAU.
Gee, who used to live in Kyiv, has been studying the Soviet Union her whole career, and she said with the sanctions in place crippling Russia, the country's economy can't last much longer.
"In the past, Putin has been a master of high impact, but low cost actions. He has been very good at taking action by the use of cyber, him being able to deny involvement," said Gee. "This is a totally different scenario. There is a high impact on Ukraine, and a horrifically high impact on Russia, but it is not coming at a low cost to Russia."
With reports of empty food shelves, struggles to gain access to cash in the country and the Ruble crashing, the war is hitting the Russian people hard. But what will happen?
The protests against the war are still going on in the country, and Gee questions will this finally be the time the protests work, or will something else be done.
"Will he make a calculation that this is too high of a cost for us to start to withdraw troops, and paint it as a victory to Russian people?" said Gee. "I emphasize to my students: the Russian people are not our enemy. These are people who have loved having the ability to travel, have loved being connected to the West and sending their students to colleges here. They are suffering."
McCain Institute official: U.S. imposing severe sanctions
"The brazenness of the attack. I think the general consensus was that he would invade areas, but it wasn't necessarily part of the plan to take over the whole country, and try to do it so swiftly," said Paul Fagan, Director for Human Right and Democracy Program at the John McCain Institute.
Fagan said for years, John McCain supported the freedom of the Ukrainian people, which now is under threat as the Russians continue to invade the country.
"For years, he went to the front lines of Ukraine," said Fagan. "2014, 2015, visiting troops their front lines showing what was going on, so he was certainly one of the lead statesmen around the world, showing what the Ukrainian people were doing."
Fagan explains that the sanctions the U.S. Has placed on Russia are some of the most severe sanctions he has seen in our nation's history.
"They're going after banks. They're going after Putin. They're going after every aspect of the Russian economy, which will really devastate Putin and this war against Ukraine," said Fagan.
Fagan adds, however, that sanctions alone will not end the war. He believes it will take help from the Russian people, who at the moment are cut off from the western world.
"Whether it is by flying, credit cards – Facebook has been shut down, Twitter -- so much of what is gonna happen will depend on how the Russians act internally," said Fagan.
Ukrainian journalist: more needs to be done to stop Putin
Mark Savchuk says more need to be done to stop Putin in his tracks before more people are killed.
"He's crazy. That's why he needs to be stopped," said Savchuk. "The West needs to keep supporting Ukraine, because we are fighting for the freedom and security of the whole world."
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