Ukraine Conflict in the Spotlight as Cazenovia Forum Hosts Top Foreign Affairs Expert

13 Apr

CAZENOVIA, NY – The conflict in Ukraine will be the focus of the next Cazenovia Forum lecture and discussion, as one of America’s leading experts on the region presents an in-depth look at the Ukrainian government’s struggle with pro-Russian separatists and their backers in Moscow.

The presentation by Adrian Karatnycky, Senior Fellow at the Atlantic Council of theU.S., will take place on Friday, May 1, at 7pm in the Morgan Room of Hubbard Hall at Cazenovia College.  Please note this is a change from our usual venue.  The event is free of charge and will be followed by a reception, at which audience members will have an opportunity to further engage the speaker.

The topic of Karatnycky’s presentation will be “The Conflict in Ukraine: Civil War or Russian Aggression?”

The crisis in Ukraine began with anti-government demonstrations in November 2013 when pro-Moscow President Viktor Yanukovych’s government abandoned a deal with the European Union in favor of stronger ties with Russia.  The street protests led to Yanukovich’s resignation and the formation of a new government, following which Russia invaded and annexed the Crimean Peninsula, a move largely condemned by the international community.  Since then, and despite a recent ceasefire agreement, fighting between Ukrainian government forces and Moscow-supported separatists has continued in the eastern part of the country, with more than 6,000 people dead and more than 1.5 million displaced.

The co-author and editor of more than 20 books on East European and human rights topics, Karatnycky is widely regarded as one of the nation’s top analysts on the situation in Ukraine.  His writings regularly appear in Foreign Affairs magazine, The Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, New York Times and other periodicals. He also appears regularly on the PBS Newshour and on MSNBC’s The Last Word with Lawrence O’Donnell.

For more than a decade he was president of Freedom House, major pro-democracy and economic reform organization, where he headed its widely-known survey of Freedom in the World and developed and supervised the Nations in Transit survey that annually monitors the post-Communist transition.  He had earlier served as Assistant to the President of the AFL-CIO, where in the 1980s he was responsible for coordinating assistance to Poland’s Solidarity and other underground opposition movements of Central and Eastern Europe that were ultimately successful their efforts to break free from the Soviet Union.

Karatnycky has also served as co-director of the U.S. Council on Foreign Relations Task Force on the US and the United Nations (2003-4), as co-director of the first World Forum on Democracy (2000), and was a member of the United Nations Blue Ribbon Commission on Ukraine (2005).

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