A panel of experts held a discussion on the clash between Ukraine and Russia Thursday at UK’s Patterson School of Diplomacy.
Consisting of History, government, and political science professors, they talked about the various cultural and historical nuances behind the events. UK History Chair Karen Petrone focused in particular on both nations’ shared identity.
“These two countries have been intertwined for the last thousand years. They actually claim the same birthplace, the same historic Kievan state, Kiev and Rus. This was the state that Christianized in 988, and ever since then, the Russian and Ukrainian peoples have been intertwined politically, economically socially," she said.
The experts framed the conflict as both a clash over national identity and a result of political and economic factors. All agreed that the U.S. had a role to play, but said it needed to proceed carefully with its diplomatic and economic measures. Moorehead State professor Adrian Mandzy, who is Ukrainian-American, was particularly adamant against threatening military action.
“How much military force can the United States bring to a nuclear power? Nobody wants World War III,” he said.
The event was attended by about 60 people, and is the first in a lecture series sponsored by Ex-Patt, a foreign affairs magazine published by Patterson School students.