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Fiona Hill on the U.S. and Russia, from Trump to Biden47:30
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Former White House national security aide Fiona Hill testifies before the House Intelligence Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, Nov. 21, 2019, during a public impeachment hearing of President Donald Trump's efforts to tie U.S. aid for Ukraine to investigations of his political opponents.(AP Photo/Susan Walsh)
Former White House national security aide Fiona Hill testifies before the House Intelligence Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, Nov. 21, 2019, during a public impeachment hearing of President Donald Trump's efforts to tie U.S. aid for Ukraine to investigations of his political opponents.(AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

Fiona Hill was a presidential advisor and top Russia expert on President Trump's National Security Council. She's one of the most respected Russia experts in the world.

How does she interpret the build up of Russian military forces near the Ukrainian border?

“It's the precedent that this would set," she says. "This would be like ... us invading Canada, which would be a bit shocking.”

But to understand Russian motives, Hill says you must understand this about Vladimir Putin:

“He's thinking about his legacy. He's been president for 21 years. He wants to be president for another God knows how long, but potentially until 2036," Hill says.

"He sees himself as a kind of an inheritor of Vladimir the Great, and he wants to kind of bring Ukraine back into the fold. There's all this stuff going on all at once.”

Today, On Point — Fiona Hill on Russia and the U.S., from Trump to Biden.

Guests

Fiona Hill, senior fellow at the Brookings Institution. Formerly the National Security Council's top Russia expert in the Trump Administration from 2017 to 2019. Author of "There Is Nothing for You Here."

From The Reading List

Brookings: "Putin, Trump, and the road to authoritarianism" — "On this episode, a discussion with experts Fiona Hill and Angela Stent on Russia’s re-emergence as a great power after the Cold War ended, under the leadership of Vladimir Putin, and also more broadly on how economic change, deindustrialization, and other forces open doors for populist leaders to rise in places like Russia, and the United States and the United Kingdom as well, as we’ve seen in recent years."

This program aired on December 17, 2021.

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