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World Stage: Crisis in Ukraine with William B. Taylor, Former U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine

With more than 100,000 Russian troops positioned along the Ukrainian border, the specter of conflict continues to loom large over Europe. Washington Post columnist David Ignatius speaks with William B. Taylor, former U.S. Ambassador to Kyiv, about what he learned from his recent visit to Ukraine and the prospects for a diplomatic solution.

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“They are ready. The Russians have done everything to prepare for an invasion. I imagine that President Putin told his generals, told defense minister [Sergei] Shoigu ‘Do everything. Put everything in place. Do these false flags, move medical facilities up, move the aircraft into position… because he wanted to intimidate President Zelensky of Ukraine, or President Biden, to give him concession.” - William B. Taylor (Video: Washington Post Live)
“The gun is clearly cocked and loaded his fingers on the trigger. He hasn't pulled it yet. Which means that he can still be deterred. He can still be stared down… President Zelensky and President Biden and indeed backed up by NATO and Europe are staring him down. They are not caving in. They're not blinking. President Putin might be blinking. So that's where I think we are right now.” - William B. Taylor (Video: Washington Post Live)
“I couldn’t make any sense of expelling the deputy chief of [U.S.] mission in Moscow… For them to take that exact moment to expel ambassador Sullivan’s deputy, it makes no sense.” - William B. Taylor (Video: Washington Post Live)
“We should… make it clear to him [President Putin] the cost that he will pay for pulling that trigger are not worth it. Are very, very high… The NATO alliance is more unified than ever… This diplomatic effort that Biden’s administration has undertaken has been unprecedented in my in my experience.” - William B. Taylor (Video: Washington Post Live)
“I think we will not be kind to Putin at all. And I think you know, the historians will look back and they will look at other dictators who caused the deaths of hundreds of thousands of millions of people in the previous century. We can think of those dictators names. They lost in the end. President Putin will go into that category of dictator and that category of historical figure who failed and who as failing was responsible for the deaths of hundreds of thousands, even millions of people.” - William B. Taylor (Video: Washington Post Live)

William B. Taylor

Former U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine