On Sunday, acting U.S. ambassador to Ukraine Kristina Kvien, and former NATO Ambassador Doug Lute appeared on ABC’s “This Week” with host Martha Raddatz, which filmed on location in Ukraine.

During their discussions about a possible Russian invasion of Ukraine, Raddatz first asked Kvien if an invasion is “a certainty,” and how it would impact the world.

After noting that she believes the invasion is “likely” to take place, she said that it “doesn’t mean President Putin can’t change his mind.”

“It means, not only is Ukraine at threat, but really all of the global order, and certainly eastern Europe is at threat, because if President Putin is bold enough and brazen enough and foolish enough to do this, who knows what else he’ll be willing to do,” Kvien said.

Raddatz then asked Lute about how much intelligence can be trusted, bringing up the Iraq war. Lute responded that intelligence can be wrong, and that trying to “assess intentions” is difficult — though some of what is being measured are “photographs of troops amassed along the border and so forth.”

Lute added that Putin “has enjoyed the last several weeks of attention,” but that he might not want to incur the damage that sanctions would pose, as well as face the prospect of controlling tens of millions of occupied Ukrainians.

Turning again to Kvien, Raddatz asked about the people of Ukraine.

Kvien stressed that Ukrainians are already experiencing casualties in Donbas, and that they have “a tough constitution.”

As for what would happen if Russia launches a full-scale invasion, Kvien said:

…Ukrainians will fight. Ukrainians are extremely patriotic. They love their country, and they’re not afraid to fight. We’ve seen that in the past. If the Russians come in, the Ukrainians will fight, and there could be very heavy casualties on both sides. The human cost of this could be astronomical and horrendous. And all of that will be on the shoulders of Vladimir Putin.

 TRANSCRIPT:

RADDATZ: If this happens, and, first of all, I want to know whether you think it’s practically a certainty … How does that conflict spread beyond here? Can it spread beyond here? Will we be in a new Cold War?

KVIEN: Right. Well, first of all, I would say that I agree with President Biden, that it is likely to happen, that President Putin has made a decision. That doesn’t mean it can’t be stopped. It doesn’t mean President Putin can’t change his mind. But I do think that right now, he’s moving towards a large-scale invasion.

So then the question is, what does that mean? It means, not only is Ukraine at threat, but really all of the global order, and certainly eastern Europe is at threat, because if President Putin is bold enough and brazen enough and foolish enough to do this, who knows what else he’ll be willing to do.

RADDATZ: And Doug, I know you said you don’t think it’s necessarily a certainty. But when you hear them say it’s a certainty and you think of the intelligence, and they’ve put out all of this intelligence, you can’t help thinking of Iraq, which you have great experience in there, 9/11, and Afghanistan, where intelligence clearly failed. So, could they be wrong?

LUTE: Well, sure. The intelligence may be wrong. Of course, what the analysts are looking at, Martha, are both the capabilities, things that are easy to measure, like photographs of troops amassed along the border and so forth, but they’re also trying to assess President Putin’s intentions. And this gets very foggy. This gets — he holds his cards very close to the vest. It’s much harder to assess intentions.

I think that he has enjoyed the last several weeks of attention. He has already destabilized Ukraine by way of its — the impact he’s had on the Ukrainian economy. And it’s not clear to me that he wants to incur all the consequences that Kristina laid out, plus this most severe consequence, which is trying to control the 40 million people in Ukraine. So, I’m not sure.

RADDATZ: And I want to talk about the people of Ukraine. Obviously, it’s a day where people are out shopping. It almost seems like they’re not on the brink of war. But really talk about the cost here. What would happen to this nation?

KVIEN: Right. First of all, you know, Ukrainians have been living with war now for eight years. Russia is already in Crimea and the Donbas and there is a hot war in Donbas where 14,000 Ukrainians have been killed. So, the Ukrainians do have, you know, a tough Constitution. They’re used to this. And that’s why you see, they’re not panicking. They’re not, you know, hiding in their houses. They’re going out and enjoying life while they can.

But Ukrainians will fight. Ukrainians are extremely patriotic. They love their country, and they’re not afraid to fight. We’ve seen that in the past. If the Russians come in, the Ukrainians will fight. And there could be very heavy casualties on both sides. The human cost of this could be astronomical and horrendous. And all of that will be on the shoulders of Vladimir Putin.

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