Putin’s War in Ukraine in Perspective

Please join us on Tuesday, June 28th for a talk and discussion about the war in Ukraine led by guest speaker Dr. Jeanne L. Wilson.

The Russian invasion of Ukraine on February 24, 2022 has sent shock waves throughout the international system. It raises the immediate question of the Kremlin’s motivation for launching this operation as well as its end goal. There are numerous competing explanations for this war and no definitive answers. It is clear, however, that Putin overestimated the capabilities of the Russian military while underestimating the political will and motivation of the Ukrainian military and the Ukrainian people. It was also not anticipated that Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky would emerge as an inspirational heroic figure or that the West would come together in a show of unity in resistance to Russian aggression with the provision of military equipment and the application of economic sanctions. This talk will introduce the main issues of the conflict with a focus on answering questions and encouraging discussion from the audience.

Dr. Jeanne L. Wilson is an emeritus professor of political science and the former Shelby Cullom Davis Chair of Russian Studies at Wheaton College where she taught from 1982-2017. She is also a research associate at the Davis Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies at Harvard University. She has a research specialty in Russian-Chinese relations as well as Russia’s relationship with the states of the former Soviet Union. She has been an active participant in national and international meetings, including testimony to the US-China Economic and Security Review Commission of the US Congress, and has traveled to Russia and Ukraine on numerous occasions.

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