john glenn

john glenn

Ukraine, Russia, and the West

59m ago
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Description

Last November, small protests began in Ukraine after President Yanukovich’s cabinet abandoned an agreement for closer ties with the European Union in favor of closer cooperation with Russia. The protests grew in size and intensity over the following months, resulting in violent and deadly clashes between police and protestors. On February 22, President Yanukovich disappeared from Ukraine, later reemerging in Russia, and was officially removed from power by the Ukrainian Parliament. The Parliament named speaker Olexander Turchynov as interim president and scheduled new presidential elections for May 25. In the early hours of February 27, pro-Russian gunmen seized key buildings in the Crimean capital of Simferopol. A few days later, Russia’s parliament approved Vladimir Putin’s request to use force in Ukraine to protect Russia’s interests – Crimea has long hosted a base for the Russian Black Sea Fleet and offered the enormous country a coveted and scarce warm water port. On March 6, the Crimean parliament voted to join Russia and official results from a subsequent referendum reported 97% of voters backing the proposal to join Russia. On March 18, Russia’s President Putin signed a bill to absorb the Crimean Peninsula into the Russian Federation. The EU and US have condemned Russia’s actions in Crimea and imposed travel bans and asset freezes on several Russian and Ukrainian officials. However, the situation continues to develop, ultimately determining the future of Ukraine and Russia’s standing in the world. Panelists Dr. Trevor Brown and Dr. Myroslava Mudrak discuss the situation from their unique perspectives: Dr. Trevor Brown is the Director of the John Glenn School of Public Affairs. He served as the U.S. Project Manager for the Parliamentary Development Project (PDP), a U.S. Agency for International Development funded organization that provides technical assistance to the Ukrainian parliament. He currently serves as the Associate Project Executive for the PDP. Professor Brown received his Ph.D. in Public Policy and Political Science from the School of Public and Environmental Affairs and the Department of Political Science at Indiana University and a B.A. in Public Policy from Stanford University. Dr. Myroslava Mudrak, Professor Emeritus of Art History at The Ohio State University, specializes in Russian and Ukrainian avant-garde art of the 1910s and 1920s. A native-born Ohioan, Professor Mudrak was raised in the Ukrainian immigrant community of Cleveland, which shaped her identity as a Ukrainian-American. In her professional life, Professor Mudrak has traveled extensively and regularly to Ukraine since the fall of the USSR. Under the Soviets, in 1977-1978, she conducted research in Kyiv and other cities of Ukraine and Russia, including Odessa, where she first discovered the Ukrainian artistic underground. In 1979, she helped to organize and wrote the catalogue essay for the first international exhibition of contemporary art from Ukraine, a touring exhibition that took place in Munich, London, Paris, and New York. More recently, as a Fulbright scholar based in Kharkiv during 2008-2009, she focused on Ukraine’s cultural renaissance of the 1920s, which was brought down by Stalin during the purges of the 1930s.