GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — An expert on Russia who worked in the past three U.S. administrations made a stop in Grand Rapids on Monday.
Dr. Fiona Hill spoke at an event hosted by the World Affairs Council of Western Michigan.
Hill, a former Trump advisor, served as a deputy assistant to the president and senior director for European and Russian affairs on the National Security Council from 2017 to 2019.
From 2006 to 2009, Hill worked as a national intelligence office for Russia and Eurasia at the National Intelligence Council.
In an interview with FOX17, Hill called Russian President Valdimir Putin’s actions predictable.
According to Hill, Putin has planned this invasion for years. She pointed to the country’s annexation of Crimea in 2014, an escalation in military exercises, and two decades of unchecked power.
“He had been premeditating this,” said Hill. “This is somebody that is pretty ruthless and really wants to make sure that by whatever means that they have at their disposal that they will be able to turn the situation to their advantage.”
Hill believes Putin’s ultimate goal is to re-establish Russia’s dominance and designate it the decisive decision maker in Europe, although she cautioned that doesn’t necessarily mean invading other former Soviet Union republics.
In the past week, protests against Russia’s actions have erupted, private companies have cut ties, and countries like the United States have issued harsh economic sanctions in an attempt to stop Putin.
Hill says that outrage needs to press on and gain additional support.
Without it, she worries that other countries with territorial issues may think it’s okay to do the same. Hill exemplified tensions between Chine and Taiwan, but added many countries in Southeast Asia and Africa only gained independence in the past century.
“There just has to be a concerted message from the rest of the world that this isn’t right because again, it opens up not just the proverbial pandora’s box, but the whole set of precedents,” said Hill. “This would be like the British for example deciding to kind of invade any of the former colonies including Ireland.”
Hill added worldwide chaos would ensue without a stop.
“Putin is really saying that none of the rules after World War II really matter at all and that basically if a country is stronger than its neighbor and has a territorial claim over it, then you know, you have the right to act if you can create sufficient of a pretext,” said Hill. “If you start to kind of think through your mind if you take Ukraine and Russia out of this and think about what this could be like it’s actually fairly shocking and easy to see the much larger precedence this could set.”
Watch the full interview with Dr. Hill below: