As Israel weighs a possible ground offensive in Gaza, there are valid reasons to worry about new fronts in the war—and a wider conflict—in the Middle East. And as the United States expends time, money, arms, and political capital on containing that crisis, it gives actors in other arenas an opportunity to further their own ends. Chief among those actors must be Russian President Vladimir Putin, who celebrated his birthday on Oct. 7, right as Hamas launched its brutal and shocking assault on Israel.
How will a new conflict in the Middle East impact Putin’s now 21-month-old war in Ukraine? The two conflicts are already linked in U.S. policy: In a rare national address from the Oval Office on Oct. 19, President Joe Biden appealed directly to the American people for their support as he pushed Congress to approve a $105 billion aid package—$61 billion of it for Ukraine, and $14 billion for Israel.
It’s never easy to guess what Putin might be thinking, but it’s always useful to learn how Fiona Hill views the state of play. Hill is one of the world’s foremost experts on Russian affairs and served as a senior director for Europe and Russia on the U.S. National Security Council. She joined FP’s Ravi Agrawal to discuss the latest on the war and the world’s efforts to constrain Putin.
How is Fiona Hill, a Russia expert and a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution , viewing the progress of the Ukrainian counteroffensive against Russia?
Fiona Hill, a former U.S. National Security Council senior director on Russian and Eurasian affairs, explains how Russian President Vladimir Putin is looking at the crisis in the Middle East between Israel and Hamas.
Watch Fiona Hill explain how she sees Russia’s war in Ukraine progressing.
Fiona Hill on whether Biden’s linking of the war in Ukraine with the war between Israel and Hamas could backfire when it comes to the fate of the war in Ukraine?
Fiona Hill explains her take on U.S. President Joe Biden’s linking of the war in Ukraine with the war in Israel, and how that might be damaging for U.S. relations with countries in the global south.
Senior fellow, Brookings Institution
Fiona Hill is a former U.S. national security official specializing in European and Russian affairs and was deputy assistant to President Donald Trump from 2017 to 2019 and an impeachment witness against him in 2019. She is also a senior fellow in the Center on the United States and Europe at the Brookings Institution. She is the author of There Is Nothing for You Here: Finding Opportunity in the 21st Century and co-author of Mr. Putin: Operative in the Kremlin.
Editor in chief, Foreign Policy
Ravi Agrawal is the editor in chief of Foreign Policy, the host of FP Live, and a regular world affairs analyst on TV and radio. Before joining FP in 2018, Agrawal worked at CNN for more than a decade in full-time roles spanning three continents, including as the network’s New Delhi bureau chief and correspondent. He is the author of India Connected: How the Smartphone Is Transforming the World’s Largest Democracy.