Convening 3 February 2022 Online (Zoom & Facebook Live)
Russia-Ukraine: Room for Compromise? 

Thursday February 3, 2022

11am EST/5pm CET/6pm EET – Online Zoom Webinar


Thank you for taking part in a very lively discussion on the Russia/Ukraine crisis.

If you haven’t made it or wish to re-view the debate, you can find the full recording here.

The fruits of the debate are also published in our dedicated Dossier.


A dark air of impending war hangs once again over Eastern Europe. As Russia amasses thousands of troops on the Ukrainian border and brings its demands for NATO “security guarantees” to a new level, there is fear that the situation on the ground may escalate at any time into open military confrontation. That is certainly the consequence of an increasingly aggressive posture by Vladimir Putin’s regime, but also the result of a number of historical misunderstandings between Russia, Ukraine, and the West.

This panel, featuring world-renowned experts on post-Soviet geopolitics, will seek to unpack those very underlying conditions, and find out if and how there is any room to be had for political compromise. A compromise that would be able to safeguard Ukraine’s sovereignty and integrity while opening up a new confidence-building path between Russia, NATO and the West at large. At stake are the peace and security of millions of citizens.



–> Andrea Graziosi (Università di Napoli)

–> Nataliya Gumenyuk (Public Interest Journalism Lab)

–> Alexander Motyl (Rutgers University – Newark)

–> Frank Sysyn (University of Alberta)

Chair: José Casanova (Georgetown University)




Andrea Graziosi is professor of history at the Università di Napoli Federico II and a past President of the Italian Society for the Study of Contemporary History (2007-11) as well as of Italy’s National Authority for the Evaluation of Universities and Research (2014-2018). An associé of the Centre d’études des mondes russe, caucasien et centre-européen (Paris) and a fellow of Harvard’s Ukrainian Research Institute and Davis Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies, he has taught at Yale, Harvard, the EHESS, and at the MGU.


Nataliya Gumenyuk is a Ukrainian author and journalist specializing in foreign affairs and conflict reporting. She is the co-founder and CEO of the Public Interest Journalism Lab, which aims at popularizing best practices for public interest journalism in the digital age. Prior to that, she run the independent TV-channel – an initiative of Ukrainian journalists to create public broadcasting in Ukraine – as well as Hromadske International  – a news outlet explaining the Eastern European geopolitical storm in English and Russian. As an independent, international correspondent, she has reported on major political and social events from nearly 60 countries. She covered the revolution and later Russian-Ukrainian war from the field: Maidan, Crimea, Donbas. She is a member of the Council for Freedom of Speech chaired by the President of Ukraine and of the Independent Media Council.


Alexander J. Motyl (Ph.D., Columbia University, 1984) is professor of political science at Rutgers University-Newark. He served as associate director of the Harriman Institute at Columbia University in 1992-1998 and of the Division of Global Affairs at Rutgers (1999-2008). A specialist on Ukraine, Russia, and the USSR, he is the author of seven academic books and the editor or co-editor of over fifteen volumes.


Frank E. Sysyn is director of the Peter Jacyk Centre for Ukrainian Historical Research at the Canadian Institute of Ukrainian Studies (CIUS), professor in the Department of History, Classics and Religious Studies at the University of Alberta, and editor in chief of the Hrushevsky Translation Project, the English translation of the multi-volume History of Ukraine-Rus’  (12 volumes ). He is head of the executive committee of the Holodomor Research and Education Consortium (HREC) at CIUS, a member of the editorial board of Harvard Ukrainian Studies and East-West: A Journal of Ukrainian Studies, and head of the advisory board of the Ukrainian Program at the Harriman Institute.  He has taught at the University of Alberta, Harvard University, Columbia University, Stanford University, and other institutions.


José Casanova is a professor in the Departments of Sociology and Theology at Georgetown University and senior fellow at the Berkley Center, where his work focuses on globalization, religions, and secularization. He is also member of the advisory board of Reset DOC. He has published works on a broad range of subjects, including religion and globalization, migration and religious pluralism, transnational religions, and sociological theory. His best-known work, Public Religions in the Modern World (1994), has become a modern classic in the field and has been translated into several languages, including Japanese, Arabic, and Turkish. In 2012, Casanova was awarded the Theology Prize from the Salzburger Hochschulwochen in recognition of his life-long achievement in the field of theology.



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