© 2024 WRVO Public Media
NPR News for Central New York
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

One year later: Foreign affairs expert weighs in on invasion into Ukraine

Residents walk past an apartment building on Wednesday in Mariupol, Ukraine, destroyed during the war with Russia.
Alexander Ermochenko
The city administration building hit by shelling in the course of Ukraine-Russia conflict, in Donetsk, Russian-controlled Ukraine.

The one-year anniversary of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is a time for reflection for many experts in the world of foreign affairs. One Syracuse University expert looks at what has been learned in the past year and what to expect in the future.

For Brian Taylor, a political science professor who specializes in Russian politics, the biggest take from the one-year anniversary is Ukraine is still standing.

"A year ago a lot of people might not have expected that, given Russia’s size, the size of the population, the size of its army, the size of its economy," Taylor said.

Taylor credits the determination of the Ukrainian people as well as the strength of a western alliance, standing up to a war of colonial domination. While Ukraine has stood fast, it does not mean an end to the war is in sight. Taylor said despite Russian military goals falling short, President Vladimir Putin remains all in.

"He sees it as a defining component of his 24 years in power now,” Taylor said. “He’s gathering lands that he considers rightfully Russia’s. He’s following the steps of Peter the Great and Catherine the Great and other historical Russian leaders who’ve expanded Russia’s borders."

As far as political implications of the war, Taylor said NATO has shown it is worth and importance because Russia has not attacked any other countries helping Ukraine, and it is adding members who will actually double NATO’s border with Russia. The United Nations though has proved not so useful.

“The U.N. can play some role in condemning wars,” Taylor said “It can get involved in smaller wars, but when one of the great powers launches a major war, the U.N. is not able to stop that."

Taylor said continued U.S. support, both militarily and economically is important. He said it works out to one large Peppermint Mocha from Starbucks per person per week.

"So, if you’re willing to sacrifice that, one extra large coffee from your favorite coffee shop, to help support a country fighting against crimes against humanity, arguably fighting against genocide, and working to preserve its territory and its nation, then I think it’s an investment that is worthwhile by the United States," Taylor said.

Ellen produces news reports and features related to events that occur in the greater Syracuse area and throughout Onondaga County. Her reports are heard regularly in regional updates in Morning Edition and All Things Considered.