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Utah News

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

Professor Anna Pechenkina
Anna Pechenkina
/
USU
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.