Ukraine Forum

By: Heather Fleck

The Coe College Office of the Provost held a forum on Ukraine Monday night that allowed students, staff, and faculty to attend and ask questions about what is happening between Russia and Ukraine. Multiple professors spoke and gave their own thoughts about what was happening, along with facts about what is and has happened so far.

Professor Kim Lanegran, a political science professor, was the first to share her thoughts. She began her talk with a map that showed Russia and Ukraine along with countries that surrounded that area. She gave a brief background of history reminding those that attended that Ukraine was part of the USSR. 

Professor Lanegran went on to state that she believes that President Vladmir Putin may feel threatened by Ukraine. President Putin is using the justification for invading Ukraine on grounds that he wants Ukraine to promise they will never join NATO – the North American Treaty Organization. 

Professor Lanegran continued on to share the history of Ukrainian politics leading up to the current war between Russia and Ukraine, hitting on major turning points such as Ukraine’s Orange Revolution in 2014 and Russia annexing Crimea in 2014.

Following Professor Lanegran was Professor Bethany Keenan, chair of the History department. She added onto the history of Ukraine’s political and war history, hitting on Ukraine’s relations through time with various countries including Russia and Poland. 

Professor Keenan reminded us that President Putin moved into Ukraine for denuncification. 

Following Professor Keenan was Professor Rick Eichhorn from the Economics department. He shared with us that one of the remarkable things that has been happening in the last few days is that many countries, including the United States, have been getting serious about placing sanctions on Russia. 

Last to share insight on what is happening in Ukraine was Professor Alissa Boguslaw from the Sociology department. She rehashed some points that Professor Lanegran and Professor Keenan made before talking about what the Russian invasion of Ukraine may really be about. She mentioned that the invasion is not just about one thing, it’s about multiple things including democracy. She ended talking about things that we can do here in Iowa and in homes across the country. 

The forum ended with multiple questions from the Kohawk community.

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