As the coronavirus pandemic and growing economic hardship affect both Russia and Ukraine, and as the United States is absorbed with the pandemic, protests, and the approaching presidential election, some experts fear the Kremlin may launch a new strike against Ukraine in the late summer. Possible targets include Mariupol and the canal near Kherson,  Moscow has been building bases on its border with Ukraine for years and the current strength of the Russian Armed Forces along that border speaks for itself: an estimated 87,000 Russian military personnel and over 5,000 Russian tanks, armored vehicles, and heavy weapons system. As Kremlin military officials reorganize and restructure neighboring Russian forces, questions remain as to what Putin’s plans are for Ukraine in the near future. Has the Kremlin’s military posture in the region changed? How can Ukraine and the West best prepare for further Russian aggression, and how worried should they be?

Dr. Pavel Felgenhauer, a Moscow-based defense analyst and columnist for Novaya Gazeta; David Kramer, senior fellow at Florida International University’s Vaclav Havel Program for Human Rights and Diplomacy; and Dr. Hanna Shelest, director of the Security Studies Program at The Foreign Policy Council “Ukrainian Prism,” will join us for the discussion. Ambassador John Herbst, director of the Atlantic Council’s Eurasia Center, moderates the discussion.

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The Eurasia Center’s mission is to enhance transatlantic cooperation in promoting stability, democratic values and prosperity in Eurasia, from Eastern Europe and Turkey in the West to the Caucasus, Russia and Central Asia in the East.