Today’s episode is one that I was very excited about, but before I get into it, I want to offer a quick update on my recent trip to Berlin. Jeff Gedmin and I were joined by a few journalists as well as a number of Ukrainian, German, and Polish thought leaders to see how the West could come together to join forces in support of Ukraine. This is just the beginning of a series of dialogues RDI will host in coordination with American Purpose. We’ll keep you apprised of how these conversations go and what they will produce. And now, onto the episode!
I’m joined by Fiona Hill for a conversation on how Russian dictator Vladimir Putin’s psychology informs his decision making in the war in Ukraine, and how it may inform the decision making of dictators everywhere. We discuss Putin’s calculated choice to escalate the war in Ukraine, the many ways Putin could lose control over Russia, Putin’s connection to Zelensky and Trump, the possibility of nuclear war, and the necessity of maintaining a united front against Russian aggression.
Fiona was the deputy assistant to the president and senior director for European and Russian affairs on the National Security Council from 2017 to 2019. She served as a national intelligence officer for Russia and Eurasia at the National Intelligence Council from 2006 to 2009. Prior to that, she held numerous positions at the Eurasia Foundation in Washington, D.C. and Harvard's Kennedy School of Government. Fiona is currently a Senior Fellow at the Brookings Institution’s Center on the United States and Europe and has written extensively on Russian history, Vladimir Putin, and geopolitics.