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The War on Ukraine: Can Putin be Stopped?

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Date and time
Thursday, May 18, 2023
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It's been more than a year since Russia launched its devastating invasion of Ukraine. The conflict has challenged the world order and fueled geopolitical and economic uncertainty around the world. We examine the U.S. role in the War in Ukraine, providing more than $30 billion in military aid since the conflict began, but stopping short of deploying American forces. Panel of experts discusses how to continue to support Ukraine without inching closer to a direct U.S.-Russian confrontation and if we are at risk of World War III. Photo credit : Envato

Alexandra Vacroux is Executive Director of the Davis Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies at Harvard University. Her scholarly work addresses many Russian and Eurasian policy issues and she teaches popular courses on the comparative politics of Eurasia and post-Soviet conflict. As Director of Graduate Studies for the Davis Center’s MA program in regional studies, she has mentored dozens of Harvard’s best and brightest students and regional experts. Alexandra lived in Moscow from 1992 to 2004. While there she held a number of positions, including consultant for the Russian Privatization Agency; partner and head of sales at the Brunswick Warburg investment bank; and active member of the board of United Way Moscow. While completing her dissertation on corruption in Russian pharmaceutical markets she was affiliated with the Center for Economic and Financial Research (CEFIR), a Russian think tank associated with the New Economic School. Prior to joining the Davis Center in 2010 lived in Washington, DC, where she was a Scholar at the Kennan Institute, part of the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars. Alexandra received a Dean’s Distinction Award from Harvard’s Faculty of Arts and Sciences, and was given the Alumni Award from the Education for Public Inquiry and International Citizenship (EPIIC) Program at Tufts. As a commentator, she has been praised as "refreshing," "straightforward," and "quick and to the point." She has appeared on NPR, CNN, Fox News Radio, China Central TV, Hromadske TV (Ukraine), and speaks regularly at community forums at home and abroad. She holds a Ph.D. in Government from Harvard University.
is a scholar of Slavic Languages and Literatures, Manager of Publications at Harvard University's Ukrainian Research Institute, and Chief Online Editor at Krytyka, an independent Ukrainian intellectual journal (www.krytyka.com). Dr. Kotsyuba specializes in Ukrainian, Polish, and Russian 20th century and contemporary literature and culture. He earned a "Degree of a Specialist“ (equivalent to a B.A. degree plus a professional teacher's degree) summa cum laude in German as Foreign Language and German Literature, English Language and Literature, and World Literature at the State (now – National) Pedagogical University of Ternopil, Ukraine, in 2002. In 2006, he graduated from Wayne State University (Detroit, MI) with a Master of Arts degree in English. In 2008, he earned a Master of Arts degree summa cum laude in Comparative Literature, Computational Linguistics, and Computer Science at Ludwig Maximilians University in Munich, Germany. In 2015, he earned a Ph.D. in Slavic Languages and Literatures from Harvard University with a dissertation entitled "Rules of Disengagement: Author, Audience, and Experimentation in Ukrainian and Russian Literature of the 1970s and 1980s." Dr. Kotsyuba's research interests include: * Contemporary Ukrainian literature and culture, especially vis-à-vis Europe and Russia * Ukrainian and Russian literature in the late Soviet and post-Soviet periods; Polish literature of the socialist period and afterwards * Literary process in countries under oppressive, socialist, or authoritarian regimes (Russia, Ukraine, Belarus, Cuba, Venezuela) * Colonial and post-colonial studies, concepts of state and nationhood, especially in former republics of the Soviet Union, including Central Asia * Conceptualizations of literary history in terms of "change," "disruption," and "continuity" * Russian-Ukrainian and Ukrainian-Polish literary, cultural, and political relations * Soviet literature and film, in particular through the lens of sotsrealism * Feminist theory and gender studies in Eastern Europe
Carol R. Saivetz is a Senior Advisor in the MIT Security Studies Program. She is also a Research Associate at Harvard’s Davis Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies and the Harvard Ukrainian Research Institute. She holds an M.I.A., M.Phil., and a PhD from Columbia University in Political Science and a certificate from what is now the Harriman Institute at Columbia. Between 1995-2005, she was the Executive Director of the American Association for the Advancement of Slavic Studies and between 1992-2006 she was a Lecturer in Government at Harvard. She is currently teaching Russian Foreign Policy in the Political Science Department at MIT. Professor Saivetz has consulted for the U.S. Government on topics ranging from energy politics in the Caspian and Black Sea regions, questions of stability in Central Asia, to Russian policy toward Iran. She is the author and contributing co-editor of 5 books and numerous articles on Soviet and now Russian foreign policy issues, including an assessment of the “reset,” Russian policies toward the other Soviet successor states, and current U.S.-Russian relations. Her current research project focuses on security in the Black Sea region and the impact of the way in Ukraine and Russia's policies towards the other post-Soviet states. She has also published opinion pieces on the Ukraine crisis, Russian intervention in Syria, and Russian approaches to the conflict in Nagorno-Karabakh for the Lawfare Blog (Brookings) and commented on Ukraine, Syria, and the most recent US-Russian summit for local radio and TV. She is the co-chair of the MIT seminar series “Focus on Russia,” sponsored by the MIT Security Studies Program, the Center for International Studies, and MIT-Russia.

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