ON THE HILL: Expert provides insight into the war between Russia and Ukraine

FOX 5's On The Hill spoke with an expert on the Russia-Ukraine region to dig deeper on the war there, as Russian attacks in the region intensify. 

Tom Fitzgerald sat down with former U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine, William Taylor, during the show Sunday morning.

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Taylor, who served as the U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine from 2006 to 2009, has extensive experience dealing with politics in the region. He spoke with FOX 5 about the mindset of Russian President Vladimir Putin, and why he is invading Ukraine.

"There is no business for the Russians meddling in Ukraine's business. President Putin has this, it is almost a mystic obsession with Ukraine. He thinks he is going to be the great Russian leader that reassembles the Soviet Union or the Russian Empire, and Ukraine is the single most important, it's the largest, it's the richest, part of that reassembling," Taylor told FOX 5. "He thinks he can do that. So he's trying to do it in a couple different ways, tried to control it, those haven't worked so he finally had to invade."

Tom Fitzgerald also asked Taylor for his thoughts on how the Russian invasion of Ukraine would have played out if Donald Trump was still president in the U.S. 

Taylor said he is not entirely sure how the situation would have played out, but adds "I think the answer is Putin would have invaded sooner or later anyway because of what I just said. He has this obsession with Ukraine. And again, he wanted to control Ukraine, one way or the other," said Taylor. "Even with Trump in, he would've still had this sense that he had to go after Ukraine."

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Taylor was also asked about the U.S. response to the war. He said the U.S. needs to continue sending a strong message that it supports the Ukrainian people. Taylor said this is because "Ukraine is on the front line for us Tom. Ukraine is on the front line. It's fighting the Russians. Russians have invaded Ukraine, but the Russians, if they're somehow allowed to control Ukraine, the next thing they will go after will be Eastern Europe."

Taylor said a result like that could have devastating consequences for the world.

"Nations like Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania that used to be part of the Soviet Union, are now part of the European Union, part of NATO. If he goes after them, that triggers Article Five of the NATO treaty, that triggers world war," Taylor told FOX 5.

Tom Fitzgerald also asked Taylor how he thinks the conflict will end. Taylor believes that the war will probably close out with "a long simmering confrontation. Ukrainians will not give up. The Russians have a lot of equipment, so there will be battling to a standstill. It might be a kind of North Korea - South Korea kind of thing. Where, South Korea develops, Ukraine develops and joins the European Union, maybe even NATO."

You can watch the full interview above.


Make sure to tune into On The Hill every Sunday morning on FOX 5, starting at 8:30 a.m.