Jonathan Guyer covers foreign policy, national security, and the world for Vox. We chat with him about the Russian invasion of Ukraine, in context. Obama made mistakes with Putin, which Biden can correct. Where Obama was slow, Biden has quickly rallied US allies in resisting Putin: financial sanctions, other actions by actions, that include military support to countries surrounding Russia. Obama had been more interested in nuclear disarmament in the long term. Sweden and Finland, very neutral vis-a-vis NATO, have expressed interest in joining. It is becoming more obvious that the Russian army is not as effective as feared. Zelensky’s messaging is very very good. Putin underestimated the quick cohesion of NATO, and the fierce Ukrainian response, though they are outmatched in terms of resources.
We talk with Audrey Carleton, an environmental journalist and producer based in Brooklyn, and writer for VICE. We are concerned about the environmental damage caused by this war. Chernobyl has been overrun by the Russians, and the personnel appear to be held hostage. Radiation levels in the area has reached new highs, no doubt by the disturbance in the soil caused by heavy equipment.This is a distinct breach of of Article 56 of the Geneva Convenstion, and a war crime. Half of Ukraine’s energy is nuclear-generated. This is an opportunity for Biden to push renewables. Oil and gas companies, however, are looking forward to providing these to the Europeans, at great profits.