ECU expert weighs in on potential Russian invasion of Ukraine

ECU expert weighs in on potential Russian invasion of Ukraine
Published: Feb. 18, 2022 at 8:36 PM EST
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GREENVILLE, N.C. (WITN) - As tensions continue to swirl around Ukraine and a looming Russian invasion, Americans are wondering how it could affect them.

East Carolina University students are learning about the conflict, and amid the coronavirus pandemic, it is another thing, on top of many, to worry about.

Freshman Carly Burks says it’s impacting her family.

“I have family in the military myself and it’s kind of scary to wonder if I’ll see them again with all this happening,” Burks said.

According to ECU Political Science Professor Hanna Kassab, Russian President Vladimir Putin believes America is weak, especially after pulling troops out of Afghanistan.

“So Russia is seeing this as an excellent opportunity for it to ensure that Ukraine does not join NATO and that it doesn’t place U.S. missiles in Ukraine,” Kassab said.

Kassab believes the only impact American citizens would feel is an increase in gas prices. If Russia invades Ukraine, they could cut off gas flows to Europe and that would drive up global gas prices for months.

Kassab does not think war breaking out is likely.

He says some of those options include sanctions on Russia.

Moscow has said it would pull back some of the 150,000 troops at the Ukraine border, but there are no signs that has happened.

President Biden says that in the event Russia does invade Ukraine, he would not send troops to rescue any American citizens in the country.

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