Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is now more than a year old with little sign of any resolution in the near future. Meanwhile, the U.S. has supplied billions of dollars’ worth of military aid and supplies to help push the invading Russians back. Many wonder how much more might it take.
Chuck Hagel, who served as the U.S. Secretary of Defense under the Obama administration from 2013 to 2015, will be at the University of Chicago Friday for a sold-out lecture on the current state of affairs in Ukraine and the future of liberal democracy.
“This illegal massacre and invasion of a sovereign nation by President Putin and the Russians is the most dangerous challenge to the global world order that we built after World War II that we’ve seen,” Hagel said. “That world order was based on law and order, common interests. It produced institutions like the United Nations, the World Bank … not perfect, makes mistakes, but this is what this war’s really about. If Putin is successful, it will change not only the entire world order, it will break that order up into a world that’s very fractured, much like we saw before World War I.”
Meanwhile, Putin met with Chinese President Xi Jinping earlier this week backing a “peaceful settlement in Ukraine,” without the involvement of Kyiv.
“When you look at China and Russia, in many ways they need each other,” Hagel said. “Historically, they’ve never been close, but neither have allies. … These two nations for their own interest are coming together at a time that the world is seeing this, even though Xi is not fully endorsing the invasion of Putin into Ukraine. But that’s the way the world is today. … There’s not a country in the world that hasn’t been affected by the Ukrainian war, whether it’s trade diplomacy, security … everyone is connected. Putin is on his knees. … They need each other.”
Friday’s lecture, titled “Ukraine, Russia, and the Future of the Liberal Order,” will be held at the University of Chicago’s David Rubenstein Forum beginning at 5 p.m.