May 14, 2022
Michael McFaul knows a thing or two about
Russia and Putin from his days as the former US ambassador in
Moscow. As Putin's Victory Day speech illustrated, Russia hasn't
moved on much since 1945, McFaul tells Ian Bremmer on the GZERO
World podcast. But if the West goes too far, there's a much bigger
risk: World War III. McFaul says that Putin signaled in his
nothing-burger speech that Russia is ready to gobble up another
chunk of Ukraine in the Donbas region, and explains why that gives
Ukraine a stronger hand at the negotiating table.
McFaul also explains why the US needs to
change up its sanctions game and debunks the overwhelming support
for the war claimed by the Kremlin. He says he talks to Russians
almost every day, and what he's hearing is that there are no
winners inside Russia, where the war has hurt Putin politically.
Even the oligarchs are unhappy: "There is not a single economic
actor in Russia [who] thinks this is good."