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Putin's stockpile on Ukraine border makes backing down difficult

River to River, hosted by Ben Kieffer

In response to Russian demands, the Biden administration said it's committed to Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity. With the ball in its court, what will the Russian Federation do? Ben Kieffer talks with political scientists about the standoff.

Having a common enemy in the U.S. and the West might be a great distraction from Russian inflation and COVID-19 pandemic troubles. But the stockpile of troops and armament on the Ukrainian border makes it difficult for Russian President Vladimir Putin to back away from an actual conflict.

"Would (Vladimir) Putin be willing to invade Ukraine during the Olympics?" asked political scientist Wayne Moyer. "Well, he did in Georgia."

On this episode of River to River, host Ben Kieffer speaks with experts on the Russian-Ukranian standoff and Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer's retirement announcement.


  • Donna Hoffman, professor of political science University of Northern Iowa
  • Wayne Moyer, Rosenfield Professor of political science at Grinnell College
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Ben Kieffer is the host of IPR's River to River
Zachary Oren Smith is a reporter covering Eastern Iowa
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