ICYMI: Russia and Ukraine — where did it all go so wrong?
PODCAST: With special guest Simon Pirani, energy researcher & historian
“An all-out invasion of Ukraine would be a huge risk for Russia. It would have an unpredictable outcome, it would commit Russia to a land war in Europe for many years and I don’t see why the Kremlin would want to take that risk or indeed what it would get out of it.”
Listen again to Simon Pirani, British energy researcher, historian and Ukraine-Russia-CIS regional expert, offering some reassuring insights into the fraught situation in eastern Ukraine. Simon delved into recent political history between the two countries and what motivated the build-up of Russian troops along their common border.
The episode is essential listening for anyone trying to understand how the crisis might pan out. Check it out on the Energy Flux podcast page (and please excuse the technical glitches — the Callin app servers seem to be having a bad day):
Aside from the immediate crisis at hand, Simon also dissected the complicated domestic energy situation for Ukraine — and the challenges facing the decarbonisation of a coal-rich post-Soviet economy that has paid such a high political and economic price for its heavy reliance on imported natural gas.
The full 43-min show is well worth listening to in full, but if you haven’t the time here are a few choice highlights:
“Invading Ukraine is too risky for Russia, a country whose imperial power is in decline” — 2m 20s
“Ukraine must quit coal & avoid hurting mining communities. These are not mutually exclusive, both are possible” — 2m 20s
“Exporting green hydrogen from Ukraine before decarbonising the grid is close to madness” — 2m 06s
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As ever, a big *thank you* for reading and listening. I’m always grateful for you lending me your eyes and ears.
Have a fantastic rest of week,