Is Russia Poised to Invade Ukraine?


The United States is increasingly concerned by a large buildup of Russian military forces along the border with Ukraine.  Secretary of State Tony Blinken has publicly warned Moscow against launching military operations against Ukraine, American officials have briefed NATO allies about these concerns, and CIA director Bill Burns reportedly raised the matter with Kremlin officials during recent talks in Moscow.  Is Russia preparing for a large-scale invasion of Ukraine?  What factors might affect prospects for war?  And how should the United States and Europe deal with this danger? 
On November 19, 2021, the Center for the National Interest assembled an all-star panel of experts for a discussion of these important questions. 

  • George Beebe is Vice President and Director of Studies at the Center for the National Interest, a former head of Russia analysis at the Central Intelligence Agency, and a former adviser to Vice President Dick Cheney on Russia policy.   
  • Melinda Haring is a Deputy Director of the Atlantic Council’s Eurasia Center and former editor of its UkraineAlert publication.  She is the vice-chair of the board of the East Europe Foundation in Kyiv, a member of the supervisory board of the Right to Protection NGO in Ukraine, and a senior fellow at the Foreign Policy Research Institute.

  • Michael Kofman is Director of the Russia Studies Program at the Center for Naval Analysis and a Fellow at the Kennan Institute in Washington, DC, specializing in Russia’s armed forces, military capabilities, and strategy.

  • Dmitry Suslov is Deputy Director of the Centre for Comprehensive European and International Studies and Senior Lecturer at the National Research University Higher School of Economics in Russia.  He is the author of numerous publications on US-Russian relations and changes in the world order.    

Jacob HeiIbrunn, editor of The National Interest, moderated the discussion.