Beyond The Headlines: The Ukraine-Russia Crisis

As Russia built up historic troop levels around the Ukraine, The Policy Circle sought to identify reliable and insightful information to share with our community of civic-minded women. Our Policy team assembled a Policy Brief on the Ukraine-Russia Crisis that is being updated daily. You can access it here.  It provides historical context, timelines, maps, and details on the unfolding crisis. It also includes a resources section that we will continue to build out to help you identify ways you can help the citizens of Ukraine. 

A humanitarian crisis is unfolding in Ukraine as we witness the largest military conflict in Europe since WWII.  Many of us are in shock that in 2022 there are renewed fears about nuclear war and that the world order is shifting almost daily.  A unified Europe coupled with leadership from the United States has brought unprecedented sanctions against Russia that appear to be destroying Russian’s economy.  Pressure is mounting from NATO and the UN.  Yet – many posit that nothing can stop President Putin now.  

With the onslaught of news coverage, press briefings and nonstop social media, The Policy Circle continues to seek ways to bring clarity in the chaos. We conducted two interviews with foreign policy experts who shared their valuable insights and perspectives about how we got here.    

We sat down with Ambassador Kurt Volker, a leading expert in U.S. foreign and national security policy with some 30 years of experience in a variety of government, academic, and private sector capacities. He served as U.S. Special Representative for Ukraine Negotiations from 2017 to 2019, and as U.S. Ambassador to NATO from 2008-2009. Ambassador Volker explained how the history of the Ukraine/Russia conflict set the stage for this invasion and how Putin’s ultimate desire is to rebuild the former Soviet empire.

We also spoke with the U.S. Global Leadership Coalition’s National Engagement Director, Michelle Bekkering, who leads strategic outreach and builds alliances in support of America’s global engagement and investments in diplomacy and development. Previously, she held national security and policy positions in the U.S. government, and spent more than a decade at a nonprofit where she focused on building democratic societies nationwide. Michelle spoke about Putin’s motivations, the increasing humanitarian crisis in Ukraine, and America’s role in the conflict.

The Policy Circle will continue to seek insight from other policy experts and leaders about the impact this war will have on energy, supply chains, and democracy around the world.  We encourage you to read the Brief, convene others for constructive conversation using The Policy Circle framework and visit The Policy Circle’s YouTube Channel – Ukraine/Russia Playlist for Virtual Briefings. 

Our hearts are broken for all of the people impacted by this senseless and brutal attack by Russia. We are keeping Ukraine’s courageous leaders and citizens in our prayers. And, we will find ways, as a community of women who value freedom and the rule of law, to strengthen democracy at home and abroad.