U.S. ambassador to Russia Michael McFaul stepped down last week, and returned to his position as political science professor at Stanford University. In his two years in the post, McFaul witnessed what many have called the most sizable shift in East-West relations since the collapse of the Berlin Wall. McFaul joins us to discuss Russia’s military intervention in Ukraine and what the U.S. should do in response.

Michael McFaul, professor of political scientist at Stanford University; and U.S ambassador to Russia from 2012-2014

  • Guest

    If Russia’s meddling in Ukraine is about protecting Russia’s economic interests abroad, then people should recognize that Putin’s invasion will benefit mainly the monied class, and not the common Russian in Russia or in Ukraine. A Russian soldier would be foolish to put his life at risk to merely ensure corporate profits. He would be no more dignified than an American soldier in Iraq fighting to benefit Halliburton and Exxon. Russia’s alternative claim that the invasion is about protecting Russian speakers is of course bogus, even more bogus than America’s invading Grenada to protect medical students. Everyone in Ukraine speaks some Russian. Ethnic Russians and Ukrainians are also widely intermarried. Maybe Putin is going in to only help out the pure-blood Russians, but if so discriminations between Slavs seems like splitting hairs. Perhaps Putin is just a big baby trying to grab up all the toys for himself. Alas the toys like Ukraine and Georgia don’t want to be played with. That said, the vulture capitalists in the West are already talking about bogus bailouts for Ukraine from the IMF, which as everybody knows constitute financial enslavement.

    • thucy

      “Ethnic Russians and Ukrainians are also widely intermarried. Maybe Putin is going in to only help out the pure-blood Russians, but if so discriminations between Slavs seems like splitting hairs”

      Unless you’re counted amongst those Slavic groups. Similarly, the fact that many French and English were intermarried did not prevent the Seven Years War or any number of other conflicts amongst similarly intermarried populations of European nations.

      • Guest

        That sucks.

  • Bob Fry

    “what the U.S. should do in response.”

    Why should we do anything? No, really. Why is it that the first question is not “should we do anything?”, rather than, “what should we do?”

    And I hope your guest can discuss or mention the utter hypocrisy of the number 1 interventionist nation, the US, expressing outrage because another nation intervened with its next-door neighbor.

    • thucy

      Your point is well-taken, but saying we should “do something” does not necessarily mean military intervention. We might simply revert to G7 from G8, disqualifying Russia. That’s a rational, military-free response.

      • Bob Fry

        But again, why? Why should anything happen to Russia? What have they done that we have not a dozen times??

        • thucy

          But you are looking through a narrow lens. The G8 comprises more then just Russia and the US, it also represents the European Union. The other nations within the G8 include countries who have historically felt vulnerable to Russian expansion. (Japan, for example, in the Russo-Japanese War.) They have every reason to want to disinvite Russia from the group.

          • Bob Fry

            Odd example, since Japan attacked Russia first and started that war.

    • Guest

      Two wrongs don’t make a right. Definitely not the right to invade.

  • abe1000

    try looking up Svoboda Party. The Western media has casually avoided to analyze the composition and ideological underpinnings of the government coalition. The word “Neo-Nazi” is a taboo. It has been excluded from the dictionary of mainstream media commentary. The new Ukrainian Cabinet is not only integrated by the Svoboda and Right Sector (not to mention former members of defunct fascist UNA-UNSO), the two main Neo-Nazi entities have been entrusted with key positions which grant them de facto control over the Armed Forces, Police, Justice and National Security.

  • abe1000

    Russian troops in Crimea have prevented violence which was imminent. Check out the videos of Russian supporters beating up Ukrainian government workers in Crimea. Russian government knows that the situation could easily deteriorate into another Yugoslavia and did the right thing by sending in troops. The US, after the many failures of Libya, Afghanistan, Iraq, …could learn a few things.

    • Eugene M

      >Check out the videos of Russian supporters beating up Ukrainian government workers in Crimea.

      I’m sure you are wrong. Could you please give a link on those videos?

  • Menelvagor

    Mr. Krasny, thank you for asking some rational questions and making rational comments. Your counterpart in Boston is not doing so. The ON Point show has become a red state clown show cheering for war. Compared to other mainstream media outlets you are a breath of fresh air. In literature, science, and politics. I have criticized in the past, and I will probably do in the future but for now you have my radio vote.

  • 1stworldview

    The invasion of the Ukraine by Russia is sending a ripple effect through out Eastern Europe. With the prospects now for possible cold war starting all over again investors brace for sanctions against Russia. And with the already falling economy of the Ukraine, investors and business are bailing out as fast as they can.

    During the next few years, the Ukraine economy will be pushed to its limits. Currently, the Ukraine desperately needs 30 billion in loans to survive, and with ousted former president Viktor Yanukovich having already pulled the country out from the European Union, and the new government wanting nothing to do with Russia, the government will be in dire straits.

    The US State department has issued a travel warning urging Americans not to travel to the Ukraine. Tourism is a huge part of Ukraine economy. with hotels, airlines and restaurants depending on tourism. As these businesses cut back, the ripple effect in cities like Kiev, Odessa and Yalta will have devastating consequences on the economy. Just as when the housing market died in the US, the effects were felt world wide. Not only will Ukraine’s economy continue to decline, but most of Western Europe’s fragile economy will also feel the effects.

    One industry that seems to thrive on the situation is the foreign bride market, A Foreign Affair operates four office in the Ukraine. Kenneth Agee the marketing director says, “In the last few weeks we have seen the biggest surge ever on women signing up. Not only have we seen the biggest surge, but we have seen the highest quality of women signing up; doctors, engineers, even some of Ukraine’s most beautiful models, With the possibility of war looming over the horizon, American men are looking very desirable.” A Foreign Affair ‘s new member Irina of Kiev says, “America is stable, American men have very good family values. These are important to Ukraine women; we want a good environment to raise our families. With Russian tanks rolling down our streets, I do not see a bright future here for starting a family.

    The future does not look good for the Ukraine. Russia has no intention of letting Ukraine have complete independence. Most western Ukrainians have had a strong dislike for Russia for many generations, and will do what ever it takes to resist Russian influence or occupation. This being said, the country will have a long battle and many lines drawn in the sand, from serious economic sanctions to full out war. At this time, it looks like this struggle could go on for a decade or more.

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