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USU Professor from Ukraine offers her expert perspective on the Ukraine crisis

Assistant Professor of Political Science at Utah State University
Anna Pechenkina
Assistant Professor of Political Science at Utah State University

Anna Pechenkina, Assistant Professor of Political Science at USU says the Russia - Ukraine crisis is often described as the great divorce between the nations. But adds that phrase was used before the war unfolded before the invasion.

In particular, she says in the steps leading up to the invasion the perception that Russia was bluffing was much stronger to the people in Ukraine and Russia, than to those outside of the country such as in the U.S.

"Then I think another interesting aspect of it is the lack of offers on the neutrality status of Ukraine before the war broke out. So, it’s almost like the perception of bluffing was so strong that Ukrainians didn’t even try to appease Russia, says Pechenkina."

It is too soon to predict the outcome of this invasion but Professor Pechenkina explains there are multiple scenarios to think about including a hopeful one, where Ukrainians continue to outperform expectations and keep hold of Kyiv.

"Then I think we will see some sort of peace deal or cease fire. Then I think Russia will or should scale down their demands," says Pechenkina.

She says a less optimistic scenario is a long-term Russian insurgency that would not benefit either country.

"I hope we don’t see a long-term occupation mainly because it is such an unsustainable cost for Russia to pay, but it is possible, says Pechenkin."

Professor Anna Pechenkina presented a talk about the Russian Ukraine crisis on Wednesday, March 2, 2022, at the David B Haight Center at Utah State University.

Sheri's career in radio began at 7 years old in Los Angeles, California with a secret little radio tucked under her bed that she'd fall asleep with, while listening to The Dr. Demento Radio Show. She went on to produce the first science radio show in Utah in 1999 and has been reporting local, national and international stories ever since. After a stint as news director at KZYX on northern California's Lost Coast, she landed back at UPR in 2021.