Amid the conflict between Ukraine and Russia, Wichita State University’s Department of Political Science hosted a panel to try to explain the complexity of the ongoing issue.
“This is an extremely difficult and terrible situation that is unfolding around the world, spreading to every country in the world,” said political science chair Neal Allen.
Allen, who was moderating the debate, decided he would take off his tie and stay in his all-black ensemble to mourn the loss of people who have died and who will die.
Currently, scholars view the conflict in Ukraine as a crisis.
“This is where there is a possible path and things get worse, someone does something aggressive, someone also responds to something aggressive and claims it’s a conspiracy “said Michael Hall, associate professor of political science.
This crisis did not happen overnight, but has been developing for some time. There is also no single solution for crises due to different factors and the unique situation.
Hall said no one can really predict what will happen or how the conflict between Russia and Ukraine will end. What analysts can do is suggest possible scenarios.
“There will likely be a lot more fights before the full magnitude of the scenario that we envision because it’s going to unfold,” Hall said.
One factor that will most likely lead to prolonging the crisis will be the struggle for natural resources.
Nord Stream and Nord Stream 2 are gas pipelines connecting Russia to Germany and crossing the Baltic Sea.
“They have immense political power and they strongly determine the future of energy in Europe,” said political scientist Dominick Lett.
The Nord Stream pipeline runs from Russia to Germany, which in turn involves the United States.
This could affect the amount of money Americans spend on natural resources, such as gasoline and propane. The United States has a Strategic Petroleum Reserve, where it has stockpiled oil with its allies in times of crisis.
“But in any major event, there will likely be major global economic ramifications so significant that they could cause a global slowdown,” Lett said.
The sanctions that have been imposed on Russia come from many different countries.
“Historically, economic sanctions have had varying levels of effectiveness and it really depends on the political will of other countries to enforce them,” said Alexandra Middlewood, associate professor of political science.
Middlewood said what we are seeing now is that countries have the political will and power to apply sanctions against Russia.
“Countries are actually seizing or freezing the assets of certain people who are on these sanctions lists, and we’ve never seen this before,” she said.
Although the conflict between Russia and Ukraine is constantly evolving with no certainty of what tomorrow will bring, both countries have suffered many casualties.
Middlewood said Ukrainians will undoubtedly emerge stronger thanks to the patriotism shown by its citizens.
“This war will legitimize a strong Ukrainian state in its aftermath,” Middlewood said.