KU CREES announces 2024 Laird Essay Contest winner

LAWRENCE — A University of Kansas undergraduate student’s paper about supply chain sanctions against Russia is the winner of the 2024 Roy D. and Betty Laird Essay Contest, sponsored by the Center for Russian, East European & Eurasian Studies (CREES).

John Lubianetsky
John Lubianetsky

John Lubianetsky, from Kansas City, Missouri, is the author of “Unprecedented Without Any Exaggeration: The Effectiveness of Semiconductor Chip Sanctions Against Russia After the Start of the Russo-Ukrainian War." He writes, “Lessons learned from how the United States and its allies incorporated structural advantages against vulnerabilities in the Russian supply chain, particularly toward semiconductors, can provide the foundations for future frameworks to further dissuade authoritarian states from engaging in wars of aggression during times of peace and limit their military capacity during times of war.”

A committee of three REES faculty read and independently rated the anonymous essays submitted for the contest, now in its 30th year. Members unanimously granted the award to Lubianetsky, who will receive a $250 cash prize.

According to the committee, Lubianetsky’s eessay combined an impressive amount of research with an easily readable writing style.

“We also found its conclusions to be appropriately cautious, given the stakes of the subject matter,” the committee wrote. “At a time when Ukraine remains in need of maximum international support, the efficacy (or lack thereof) of sanctions against Russia could not be more relevant.”

Lubianetsky is majoring in Chinese language & literature, global & international studies, political science, and Russian, Eastern European & Eurasian studies with a minor in intelligence & national security studies. His academic interests are in East and Central Asian security and in international nonproliferation. In the future, he said he plans to take a gap year before attending graduate school to study international relations.

The essay contest is named after the late Roy Laird, a longtime member of the Russian, East European & Eurasian studies and political science faculties, and Betty Laird, whose support makes this prize possible.

CREES is a designated National Resource Center (NRC) for the study of Russia, Eastern Europe and Eurasia by the Department of Education and receives Title VI funds for educational events and outreach activities.

Tue, 05/14/2024


Megan Luttrell

Media Contacts

Megan Luttrell

Center for Russian, East European & Eurasian Studies