Russia-Ukraine Crisis

Ex-Ambassador to Russia Warns of Europe's ‘Largest War Since 1939' If Putin Invades Ukraine

Michael McFaul
NBC News

The former U.S. ambassador to Russia warned Wednesday that the West's sanctions against Moscow are not enough to deter President Vladimir Putin, but acknowledged that the U.S. and NATO doesn't have "very much" in their arsenal to stop him.

In an interview on the "TODAY" show Wednesday, Michael McFaul said President Joe Biden has ruled out going to war with Russia over the Ukraine and has played the cards he does have well. The sanctions will be "difficult" for the Russian economy, he said, "but he hasn’t thrown everything at them yet that they are planning because they expect that this invasion will escalate."

McFaul said Putin's speech on Monday did not suggest he was interested in resolving the conflict through diplomacy, adding the Russian president "doesn't care about face-saving."

“Tragically, I think he’s going to go in, he’s going to go in big, and this will probably be the largest war in Europe since 1939,” he said.

This is a live update. Click here for complete coverage of the crisis in Ukraine.

Contact Us