On the 24th of February 2022, the Russian Federation launched a large-scale invasion of Ukraine, starting the largest interstate conflict in Europe since the Second World War. This aggressive action is the latest and most extreme decision taken by President Putin towards former Soviet states; it follows the invasion of Georgia in 2008, the illegal annexation of Crimea in 2014, and ever-increasing interference in the politics of Belarus, Kazakhstan and other CSTO members. The conflict has developed steadily with Ukraine putting up a stout defence and holding Kyiv and other major cities against all expectations but the end is far from within sight.
How will the crisis develop? It is clear that this event will come to define the next decade; the effect it has already had on the thinking of individuals across the world is more than apparent. It is also clear that this is an issue that has resonated with the Oxford Community and with our members. We thus feel that we have a duty to facilitate a discussion on the Russian Invasion of Ukraine, the build-up to it, its geopolitical significance, and what we in the United Kingdom should be doing to help.
We are therefore delighted to announce that at 14:00 on Wednesday 2nd February, we will be hosting a Panel Discussion on Ukraine with several guest speakers:
• Mr Robert Brinkley CMG (Formerly HM Ambassador to Ukraine and Head of the Ukrainian Institute)
• Professor Neil MacFarlane (a world expert in the international relations of the Former Soviet Union and a professor at St. Anne’s College)
• Further speakers are clarifying their availability and will be announced on our Instagram in the coming days.
This panel will be followed by an ‘Open Despatch Box’ discussion where we encourage all members to give their thoughts on the unfolding crisis. There will be a collection in aid of charities supporting the Ukrainian government and refugees throughout the event. We encourage any member to get in touch with us with ideas for how we can support the Ukrainian people at this time and how best we can discuss the matter at hand.
The Ukrainian people remain in our thoughts and prayers, The Standing Committee of the Oxford Union Society