Vance Serchuk on Ten Years of the Russia-Ukraine War

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On February 24, 2022, Russian forces invaded Ukraine and thus escalated to a new level of violence and intensity a war that began in 2014. Estimates suggest that this war is responsible for tens of thousands of Ukrainian civilian casualties, and hundreds of thousands of military causalities.

One day after this phase of the war began, on February 25, 2022, the writer, former Senate staff member, Navy reservist, and executive director of the KKR Global Institute Vance Serchuk joined Mosaic’s editor Jonathan Silver to discuss what was happening in real time. Two years later, he joins the Tikvah Podcast again to step back and ask some basic questions, and to offer his considered judgment on the state of the war.

What are its causes? On what basis can one decipher the truth from the conflicting narratives about the war in Europe, in Ukraine, in Russia, and in the United States? What have we learned about the deployment of novel military technology? What sorts of alliances have emerged or been strengthened, and what can we learn from them? Has the invasion of Ukraine helped the West relearn the necessity of military force, and chastened some of the most idealistic discourse about human rights and multilateralism? How does the war in Ukraine shed light on the state of U.S.-Russia relations and competition?

Serchuk recently returned from the Munich Security Conference, where he spoke with foreign officials about the state of the war. And, this August, he’s teaching a specialized seminar on U.S.-Russia Relations as a part of the Security Studies Program at the Hertog Foundation in Washington, DC. If you’re an advanced undergraduate, a recent college graduate, or a young professional working in national security, foreign policy, or related fields, you might consider applying to study with Mr. Serchuk. Applications are available at, and they are due on March 4.

Musical selections in this podcast are drawn from the Quintet for Clarinet and Strings, op. 31a, composed by Paul Ben-Haim and performed by the ARC Ensemble.

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