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University of Iowa marks one-year of Russia's war in Ukraine with panel discussion Friday

A still image of Kiev as air raid sirens went off on 2/26/2022.
A still image of Kiev as air raid sirens went off on 2/26/2022.
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Friday marks one year since Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

The University of Iowa (UI) is hosting a panel of experts on Friday, Feb. 24, to discuss the conflict with Russia and how it's affecting the rest of the world.

“Russia’s aggression against Ukraine has shaken Europe to its core and set off a global humanitarian crisis,” said Marina Zaloznaya, director of the European Studies Group and associate professor of sociology and political science at UI. “The future of this conflict will have a profound impact on millions of people around the world - by shaping their access to food, affecting their ability to exercise their political freedoms and resurrecting the fears of nuclear escalation. Here, in the Midwest, we are lucky to have some of the leading thinkers on the sociological-political situation in the former Soviet Block.”

The hope is that the UI panel can help people learn more about the war and the impact it's had on the flow of information out of the region.

Monday, Iowa's News Now spoke with Prof. Zaloznaya about the propaganda surrounding the conflict.

"There is a lot of fake news, there is a lot of, in Russia and China, a lot of propaganda, so I think this is the right time to question how we know what we know," Professor Zaloznaya said.

Secretary of State Antony Blinken revealed over the weekend that China is actively considering aiding Russia in its war against Ukraine.

Russia has repeatedly tried to justify the attack by falsely claiming Ukraine is full of Nazis.

"The history of the second World War is extremely raw and alive in eastern Europe, specifically in Russia, because of the amount of loss of life and damage that the second World War has inflicted," Prof. Zaloznaya said. "It really connects with people who live there. So if people don't get any other information and they hear this one narrative from the TV, or day in and day out, and the narrative connects with something that's been told to them for years, it's easy to see why they might buy it."

Prof. Zaloznaya said it was easier at the beginning of the war to help Ukrainians, since you could send things like food and clothes.

Now, she said it's more about putting political pressure on U.S. lawmakers to help bring an end to the conflict.

"The trend is for wars either to end in a matter of months, or last for years, and this war's clearly entering that second pathway unfortunately."
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Friday's panel discussion titled “A Year of War: Commemorating the Anniversary of Russia’s Invasion of Ukraine,” will be held from 5:15 – 6:30 p.m., in the Iowa Theater, room 166 inside the Iowa Memorial Union (IMU).

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