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Local experts analyze Russia-Ukraine conflict

Published: Feb. 22, 2022 at 1:40 PM EST
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ROANOKE, Va. (WDBJ) - President Joe Biden spoke Tuesday afternoon from the White House in his first public appearance since Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered troops to deploy to separatist regions of Eastern Ukraine.

President Biden announced that the United States and its allies will begin to impose economic sanctions on Russia for invading Ukraine, but that will come at a price.

“Defending freedom will have costs for us as well, and here at home. We need to be honest about that,” said the president.

“Intelligence right now, having done its job to avoid strategic surprise for the policymaker, is now doing its other major job. Helping the policymaker make better decisions that are more informed,” says Nicholas Dujmovic, Ph.D.

Dujmovic, who tells us we’re not going to see this sort of disclosure from U.S. intelligence again, is a Clinical Assistant Professor of Intelligence Studies and Politics Department at the Catholic University of America. Professor Dujmovic joined the CIA in 1990 as an analyst on the USSR and East Europe, and later was a speechwriter for the Director of Central Intelligence, editor of the President’s Daily Brief, and a manager of analysts working on Southeast Asian issues.

“All this intelligence that’s being released, which is unprecedented and has a strategic aim to rattle Putin to deter him from doing the things we say he’s likely to do, this is a great example to the American people of the work of the men and women in the U.S. Intelligence community”

Dujmovic says it’s not a question of if Putin will react, it’s how, and when.

“We always have to give him the benefit of the doubt that he’s going to act as Putin would, not as we would,” says Dujmovic. “He may go for a partial solution that destroys Ukraine as the modern state it is by dividing it.”

The largest economic impact would be on energy prices. Dujmovic is also predicting a downtown in the stock market.

Senator Tim Kaine also mentioned this during his February 16 remarks.

“Russia is a major supplier of oil and gas to much of Europe,” said Kaine. ”A lot of those supplies would be disrupted, not just to Ukraine but to other countries as well in the event of war.”

Edward A. Lynch, Ph.D. is a Professor of Political Science at Hollins University and Chair of the Department of Global Politics and Society.

Lynch details how he does not believe the imposing of economic sanctions will work to stop Russia, and will continue to increase the world’s price of oil. He says the U.S. is much more vulnerable to this and the rise of inflation in other areas.

“Under the previous administration that would not have mattered so much because the U.S. was drilling more oil and producing more oil. But a lot of those efforts like the Keystone pipeline have been stopped by the current administration,” says Lynch.

The professor has been following the operation in Ukraine, saying as far as we know, it began soon after the chaotic U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan, which suggests a connection.

Although he says Putin will stop until he is met with a forceful response, Lynch doubts any American troops will go near Ukraine.

“The problem is with each step he moves forward that forceful response becomes more and more risky, more and more expensive, and is likely to have a greater and greater impact on the US economy including the economy here in the Roanoke Valley,” says Lynch. “To escalate this is to risk a major conflict over a country that has a long history and the right to its sovereignty and all of that, but is not central to U.S. global interests. To not escalate this is to let Putin get away with it and be on the defensive and be reactive rather than proactive as the world waits for Putin to make his next move. Biden, unfortunately, has maneuvered himself into a position where he has no good options.”

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