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The world’s attention is focused on the crisis in Ukraine.  As the images of the devastation fill our televisions and computer screens, our hearts break at the loss of life.  Polling shows that Americans broadly support Ukrainians in the conflict.  But how much do we understand about the origins of the war? 

In this talk Dr. Bahry addresses Russian government efforts under Putin since 2000 to reassert control over other former Soviet states; some major internal problems that have shaped Russia’s actions; and some steps by the Ukrainian government in 2021 and early 2022 that were viewed very negatively by the Kremlin.

Dr. Donna Bahry is Professor Emerita, Department of Political Science, Pennsylvania State University.  She received her Ph.D. from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign 1977. Before coming to Penn State in 2003, she was a faculty member at Vanderbilt University, University of California (Davis), and New York University. Her research addresses issues of political attitudes and behavior, ethnicity and federalism in post-Soviet states. She is the author of Outside Moscow: Power, Politics and Budgetary Policy in the Soviet Republics (Columbia University Press, 1987); and of articles in Comparative Politics, the American Political Science Review, The Journal of Politics, Comparative Political Studies, Electoral Studies, Europe-Asia Studies, and other journals. Her teaching included courses in comparative politics and in post-communist transitions, and undergraduate courses on Soviet and post-Soviet politics and on democratization.


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"The Roots of Russia’s War in Ukraine"
Guest speaker: Dr, Donna Bahry, Professor Emerita, Political Science, Penn State University


To create a world in which humanity is spared the scourge of war, human rights are honored, the natural environment is protected and the United States is a constructive member of the United Nations for the well-being of all humankind.