Russian forces launched attacks on civilian sites in Kyiv on Tuesday, including Kyiv TV tower and the city's Babi Yar Holocaust Memorial, killing at least five and wounding several others, according to Ukrainian officials.

The Russia-Ukraine War In Plain English By Council On Foreign Relations President Richard Haass

All wars need a plain-English explanation for most of us.

In the embedded podcast below, Richard Haass, nineteen-year President of the Council on Foreign Relations provides an insightful perspective on why he thinks Vladimir Putin decided to invade Ukraine at this particular moment in time.

Haass also discusses why he doubts sanctions will help win against this war and how a generally safe world order is threatened.

According to his full biography, from January 2001 to June 2003, Dr. Haass was director of policy planning for the Department of State, where he directed the policy planning staff and was a principal advisor to Secretary of State Colin Powell.

Confirmed by the U.S. Senate to hold the rank of ambassador, Dr. Haass also served as U.S. coordinator for policy toward the future of Afghanistan and U.S. envoy to the Northern Ireland peace process.

Dr. Haass has extensive additional government experience. From 1989 to 1993, he was special assistant to President George H.W. Bush and senior director for Near East and South Asian affairs on the staff of the National Security Council.

In 1991, Dr. Haass was awarded the Presidential Citizens Medal for his contributions to the development and articulation of U.S. policy during Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm. Previously, he served in the Departments of State (1981–1985) and Defense (1979–1980), and was a legislative aide in the U.S. Senate.

A Rhodes Scholar, Dr. Haass holds a bachelor’s degree from Oberlin College and master’s and doctorate of philosophy degrees from Oxford University. He has also received numerous honorary degrees and was a member of the faculty of Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government and Hamilton College.

Haass is interviewed by the podcast, “Why it Matters,” hosted by Gabrielle Sierra.

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