Understanding Ukraine

Lynchburg professors discuss the conflict between Russia and Ukraine. Image retrieved from campus-wide correspondence from dawson.s@lynchburg.edu

Dr. Ghislaine Lewis ~ Newspaper Advisor

University of Lynchburg professors convened a panel on Tuesday in the Ballroom to discuss the ongoing conflict and humanitarian crisis in the Ukraine. 

The professors helped to give both historical and cultural context to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Philosophy Professor Nick Frank stated, “The purpose to go into Ukraine to protect people under threat of bullying and genocide. Separatists control Donetsk and Luhansk. Putin has created much opposition to his policies, united most United Nations countries behind him. Russia was removed from Paralympics and others. Russian reasons for waging war are not just, because only wars which serve to defend oneself are just. Russian soldiers may kill Ukrainian civilians, the DDE can justify some civilian deaths although that is controversial. Aiding Ukraine is justified, but we must ask whether we are undermining Ukrainian self-determination, are we escalating the conflict, are we harming Russian civilians, and when would war be justified? This war is more complicated than a good guy or bad guy narrative, extensive and complicated ethnic conflict is being played out in this war.”

Political Science professor Marek Payerhin, stated, “Putin claims that Ukraine is led by Nazis, Putin has claimed he wants to demiliterize and denazify Ukraine. Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett’s delegation found Putin neither delusional nor out of control, although Macron disagrees.”

Dr. Brian Crim, a history professor, stated, “Kiev was the capital of Kievan Rus, a medieval Kingdom of Slavs. Vladimir Putin believes that Ukraine is not a nationality. Putin believes it was a strategic disaster that the USSR fell. The 1994 Budapest Memorandum guaranteed Ukrainian independence in exchange for denuclearization. 2008 Russo Georgian War, and in 2014 the Pro-Russian President was ousted in the Euromaidan revolution.” 

Dr. Sabita Manian, an International Relations professor, stated, “Many are fleeing Ukraine, this is a common event during war. There are usually corridors established to allow refugees out. Corridors like this have been established in Lviv. Thermobaric weapons, a form of artillery, have been used in most modern wars, and are suspected of being used in this war. Cluster bombs have been confirmed to have been used, they are essentially mines that are launched like a mortar.” 

To learn more about how you can help those affected by the conflict visit the International Rescue Committee. 

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