Russia Is Weaker—but Is It Less Threatening?

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Russia has suffered major setbacks on the battlefield in Ukraine, its economy is battered by Western sanctions, and its diplomatic clout has suffered due to President Vladimir Putin’s illegal invasion. It is fair to say that Russia is militarily, economically, and geopolitically weaker than it was a year ago—and policymakers in Washington and Europe may be tempted to downgrade the Russian threat as a result.

But dismissing Russia would be a mistake, argue Andrea Kendall-Taylor and Michael Kofman in the November/December issue of Foreign Affairs. “Russian power and influence may be diminished, but that does not mean Russia will become dramatically less threatening,” they write. “Instead, some aspects of the threat are likely to worsen.”

In this episode, Kendall-Taylor and Kofman speak with Deputy Editor Kate Brannen as part of Foreign Affairs event series. We discuss the state of Russian power, Ukraine’s recent battlefield wins, and how this war might end.

You can find transcripts and more episodes of “The Foreign Affairs Interview” at https://www.foreignaffairs.com/podcasts/foreign-affairs-interview.

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