In this interview on December 6, 2021, Prof. Braun at the University of Toronto assesses the state of Russia's society and economy, Putin's world view, and Russian interests in Ukraine. He distinguishes the Kremlin's apparent successes at presenting strength abroad from its actual weaknesses at home. Putin's large-scale deployments to Ukraine may be an effort to divert attention from those weaknesses. But however much Putin fears Ukraine as a potential democracy, he is not reckless, and an actual invasion of Ukraine seems unlikely at the moment. A diplomatic resolution of the Ukraine crisis, however, seems equally unlikely.