Sam Ramani On Ukraine Striking Back

The foreign policy expert returns to the Dishcast to update us on Putin’s war.

Appears in this episode

Andrew Sullivan

Where are we in the war between the West and Russia in Ukraine? We asked Sam back to help us figure it out. He’s a tutor in the Department of Political Science at Oxford and a member of the Royal United Services Institute in London. He’s an expert on Russia’s wars in Chechnya and Syria, and he’s been to Russia and Ukraine many times in the course of getting his International Relations DPhil. His forthcoming book is Putin’s War on Ukraine: Russia’s Campaign for Global Counter-Revolution. I learned a lot in this conversation and so will you.

You can listen to the episode right away in the audio player above (or on the right side of the player, click “Listen On” to add the Dishcast feed to your favorite podcast app — though Spotify sadly doesn’t accept the paid feed). For two clips of our convo — on whether Russia or Ukraine is winning, and the EU’s surprising response to the war — pop over to our YouTube page.

Other topics: Putin’s Pyrrhic victory in Bahkmut; the unexpected support for Ukraine from Meloni; the bromance between Boris and Zelensky and now Rishi; the odd airing of dissent within Russia; how Putin is spinning his failures; Lavrov’s propaganda that Hitler was partly Jewish; how Ukraine is now a proxy war for the West; Russia’s self-fulfilling prophecy of Ukraine joining NATO; Prigozhin bad-mouthing the Kremlin; the possibility of his Wagner Group going rogue; the Russian far right and Dugin; the prospects of a Ukrainian offensive; the chance Zelensky could take back Crimea; the dangers of the war spilling into Russia; the increased risk of nukes as the war grinds on; how Putin could save face in a ceasefire; the stretched limits of US support for Ukraine; how electing DeSantis or Trump could affect that support; Putin exploiting the culture wars; the wild card of war breaking out in Taiwan; and the election next year in Russia.

Browse the Dishcast archive for another conversation you might enjoy (the first 102 episodes are free in their entirety — subscribe to get everything else). Coming up: Ben Smith on going viral, Tabia Lee on her firing as a DEI director, Patrick Deneen on a post-liberal future, and David Grann on an 18th-century mutiny that’s a “parable for our own turbulent time.” Please send your guest recommendations and pod dissent to

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Categories: Geopolitics, Military

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