Former Georgia President Mikheil Saakashvili, who has had a first-hand view of Russian aggression, offered observations about Vladimir Putin’s rapidly unfolding geo-strategy. A longtime friend of Hudson Institute, he is best known for his firm stance against Russia in August 2008 during what has become known as the “Georgia War.”
An advisor to the new government in Kiev, Saakashvili, having seen first-hand the chaos the Kremlin is sowing in Ukraine, laid out the stark threat Moscow now poses to the West and what to do about it. His up-close and personal insights into Vladimir Putin’s character and strategy were the highlight of the evening.
The international community has now shown greater comprehension of Saakashvili’s actions in the aftermath of Russia’s invasion and occupation of Crimea. But whether western powers will heed the lessons of the Georgia War remains an open question. Saakashvili addressed these lessons head on, forecasting Putin’s next steps and the necessary response from the U.S. and the international community.
At age 37, Saakashvili became the youngest national president elected in Europe following the bloodless Rose Revolution that ousted his predecessor, President Eduard Shevardnadze in 2003. Saakashvili served two terms before stepping down in November 2013.
Hudson Institute President and Chief Executive Officer, Kenneth Weinstein introduced President Saakashvili. Sarah May Stern, Chairman of the Board of Trustees, provided closing remarks.