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Christine Metz Howard
KU News Service
785-864-8852

Media Advisory: KU experts can discuss Ukraine's political, economic crisis

Wed, 02/12/2014

LAWRENCE — The University of Kansas has experts who can provide insight into the rising tensions surrounding Ukraine’s political and economic crisis.

Since November, Ukraine has witnessed some of its largest political demonstrations in recent history, with thousands of its citizens rallying in support of the country’s further integration with the European Union. Peaceful protests turned to violent clashes with police when the Ukrainian government announced plans to join an economic union with the Russian Federation, then outlawed most forms of assembly and protest. After three months of protracted political standoff, a peaceful resolution seems remote.

KU’s Center for Russian, East European & Eurasian Studies (CREES) offers one of the country’s leading programs in Ukrainian studies, including the study of Ukrainian language and courses on the country’s history, politics and culture. The following KU professors are available to provide commentary on recent events in Ukraine:

Alexander Tsiovkh, director of Ukrainian studies, can speak to the EuroMaidan movement in Ukraine. Originally from Lviv in western Ukraine, Tsiovkh has given talks on the country’s history and politics. He monitors Ukrainian media on a daily basis. Each summer, Tsiovkh organizes and directs the KU Intensive Ukrainian Language and Culture program in Lviv.

Vitaly Chernetsky, professor of Slavic languages and literatures, has been monitoring the official and unofficial media accounts of events in Ukraine. He recently translated an op-ed piece in the International New York Times by Yuri Andrukhovych, a leading Ukrainian writer and public intellectual. Chernetsky, who is originally from the southern Ukrainian city of Odessa, is an expert in 20th- and 21st-century Russian and Ukrainian literature and film, and he is the current president of the American Association for Ukrainian Studies.

Lidiya Zubytska, a doctoral student in political science and native of Ukraine, specializes in international relations with regional expertise in Ukraine, Russia and the European Union. She is currently researching the influence of mass protests on Ukrainian foreign policy.

To schedule an interview, contact Christine Metz Howard at 785-864-8852 or cmetzhoward@ku.edu.



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