Indiana State University Newsroom

Panel to discuss volatile developments in Ukraine, Russia

April 14, 2014

In Ruth Fairbanks’ morning commute to work recently, she heard two news stories on the radio about Ukraine. Considering her drive-time is just five minutes, it demonstrates how unstable — and newsworthy — Eastern Europe is these days.

It’s also why Indiana State University’s International Studies Program has organized a panel discussion, “From Orange to Red: A Panel Discussion on Developments in Ukraine,” featuring three ISU faculty members with expertise in the region and a Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville professor who is from Ukraine, 6-7:30 p.m. April 21, in the events area of Cunningham Memorial Library on the campus of ISU.

“This is a critical development for the world, and for the U.S., and it’s so confusing with new — and often strange — developments nearly every day,” said Fairbanks, who is a full-time lecturer for ISU’s interdisciplinary programs. “I think the university owes it to our students and our community to share the expertise we have on our faculty to try to make some sense of this.”

Political events are rapidly developing in Ukraine — from public demonstrations in the Maidan, reminiscent of the Orange Revolution, to the dramatic annexation of Crimea by Russia. It also could have far-reaching political and energy implications, including possibly how much Hoosiers pay for natural gas.

The panelists include the following:

- Richard Lotspeich, professor of economics at ISU, who has expertise on comparative economic systems and the Russian economy;

- Lynn Maurer, associate professor of political science at ISU and dean of the College of Graduate and Professional Studies, who has taught courses on Eastern European political systems in transition in the post-communist world;

- Barbara Skinner, associate professor of history at ISU, whose first book was on religious conflicts in Ukraine and Belarus and has travelled there recently;

- Sophia Wilson, assistant professor of political science at Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville, who is from Ukraine.

The event is sponsored by International Studies, Department of History, Cunningham Memorial Library and the Center for Global Engagement. It is free and open to the public. Parking is available on campus at the time of the panel.


Contact: Ruth Fairbanks, full-time lecturer for interdisciplinary programs at Indiana State University, 812-232-4333 or  

Writer: Libby Roerig, media relations assistant director, Office of Communications and Marketing, Indiana State University, 812-237-3790 or