UNT faculty members available to discuss Russia's possible control of the Ukraine

Tuesday, February 25, 2014 - 11:01

This week, the military of the Ukraine is on high alert, one week after Ukrainian president Viktor Yanukovych was ousted. Russia captured the Crimean Peninsula without firing a shot, and has been accused of piracy for blocking two of the Ukraine's warships and ordering them to surrender or be seized. Secretary of State John Kerry will travel to the region on Tuesday, and the European Union has called for an emergency summit on Thursday.

The following University of North Texas faculty members are available to provide commentary and analysis on underlying issues prompting the political turmoil in the Ukraine.    

John Ishiyama, professor of political science and a University Distinguished Research Professor, will discuss the East-West divide, Ukraine's national identity and relationship to Russia, and political/economic reform. He has been a research fellow at the University of Kansas' Center for Russian and East European Studies since 2002 and has expertise in comparative politics, including post-communist nations.

"Russia will not annex Crimea," said Ishiyama. "Ukraine is at an important crossroads in its history. It can either go forward as a united country, or as a fractured and, consequently, more volatile state, divided between Europe and Russia. What happens in the next week or so will determine that future."

Office phone: 940-565-4326
Cell phone: 940-300-6195
E-mail: john.ishiyama@unt.edu

Paul Hensel, associate professor of political science, investigates international conflict, especially territorial disputes, and the impact of colonial rule on the stability of borders after independence. Hensel will discuss the escalation of violence and militarization, international dimensions of the crisis and conflict management.

Office phone: 940-369-7330
E-mail: phensel@unt.edu
Idean Salehyan, associate professor of political science, has expertise in international and civil conflict, international relations and peace studies. He is an associate with the International Peace Research Institute in Oslo and on the faculty of the Castleberry Peace Institute at UNT. Salehyan will discuss political violence and events leading up to Yanukovich's removal as well as the Russian invasion.
"Russia's invasion of Crimea represents the biggest threat to security in Europe since the collapse of the former Yugoslavia," said Salehyan.

Office phone: (940) 565-2317
Cell phone: 619-301-8444
E-mail: idean@unt.edu

Olga Velikanova, associate professor of history, is an expert on Russian and Soviet history and will discuss political culture of the region's leaders and population, identity formation in the region, and culture of modern opposition in Russia and the Ukraine. She is the author of four books on popular opinion in the Soviet Union, including her latest, "Popular Perceptions of Soviet Politics in the 1920s: Disenchantment of the Dreamers," and is a native of Leningrad/St. Petersburg and a graduate of St. Petersburg State University.

E-mail (best option): Velikanova@unt.edu
Home phone: 940-565-5816

UNT News Service Phone Number: (940) 565-2108

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