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History As It Happens

Feb 21, 2023

This is the first episode in a two-part series marking the anniversary of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, which began on February 24, 2022.

One year ago, Russian president Vladimir Putin may have believed he was on the precipice of a legacy-defining victory. His superior troops and tanks would roll into neighboring Ukraine – in a “special military operation” – beyond the areas of the eastern Donbas region, where Russian forces had been backing separatist groups in a stalemated conflict since 2014. Mr. Putin’s armies would reach Kyiv in days, decapitate the Ukrainian government, and be greeted as liberators. Within weeks, Mr. Putin’s war aims were exposed as a fantasy. In this episode, The Washington Times national security team leader Guy Taylor and Catholic University historian Michael Kimmage discuss what to expect in the coming year as well as the origins of the war, still a hotly debated topic on both sides of the Atlantic. Also, Mr. Kimmage, who worked on the Russia-Ukraine portfolio for the U.S. State Department in 2014-16, discusses the ways in which U.S. leaders talk about national interests, as Congress has approved billions in military and humanitarian aid to Ukraine.