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2023 Dolowitz Lecture in Human Rights

About the 2023 Dolowitz Lecture in Human Rights

"A War on Civil Society: Making Sense of Putin's Attack on Ukraine" with Speaker Serhy Yekelchyk

Thursday, March 23, 2023 - 12:30-2:30 - Okazaki Meeting Rooom in the Goodwill Humanitarian Building of the College of Social Work

The Russo-Ukrainian War is often seen as grounded in history, in different interpretations of the two countries’ shared past. President Putin’s refusal to see Ukrainians as an ethnic group separate from the Russians is also cited as the source of the conflict. This talk will advance an alternative explanation of the antagonism, one that is based on the opposite trajectories of Russian and Ukrainian societies since the collapse of the Soviet Union. As Ukrainian civil society grew stronger in the political battles of the 2000s that culminated in two democratic revolutions, Putin’s regime in Russia was suppressing freedom of speech and the political opposition. The all-out invasion of Ukraine in 2022 was meant to eliminate the political and social model that the Russian dictator considered threatening;it was an extension of his war on Russia’s own civil society. Explanations legitimizing Putin’s rhetoric about the alleged NATO threat to Russia miss a crucial point: It is not the Western military that he fears but thedemocratic strivings at home and in Ukraine, which he viewas a dangerous example for his own citizens. 


About the Dolowitz Lecture in Human Rights  Lecture Archive

Last Updated: 2/28/23