Ukraine Briefing: The View from Odessa
July 31, 2014 3 - 4:30PM
Center on Global Interests, 10th Floor, 1050 Connecticut Ave, NW, Washington, DC

On Thursday, July 31, Nicolai Petro – Russian history expert and professor of political science at the University of Rhode Island – spoke at CGI on his experiences living in Odessa through the Ukrainian crisis. He discussed the Maidan protest movement, the annexation of Crimea, the election of President Poroshenko, and the tragic burning of the Odessa trade union building from the perspectives of both an academic specialist and a in-person witness.

Following his year-long Fulbright fellowship in Odessa, Petro described an Odessa that was outwardly calm but with deep divisions under the surface. He was pessimistic about the state of internal Ukrainian politics, noting the necessity for European and American leadership to encourage Ukrainian politicians towards compromise and practical solutions. He concluded that while people formerly represented by the Party of Regions remain disenfranchised (in part self-imposed, as the party declines to participate in the current political process), Ukraine’s governmental stability will be fragile.