By SUSAN JONES
The attack on Ukraine by Russia is dominating discussions inside and outside academia, and Pitt is no exception.
Since the war started on Feb. 24, the University has hosted a teach-in about the historical contexts of the conflict, issued a statement condemning the invasion, reached out to a Pitt colleague who is in Ukraine, held a rally in the Ukrainian Nationality Room and much more.
“I applaud the visible and invisible efforts of our Pitt colleagues to assist their Ukrainian academic and professional colleagues, their Ukrainian family and friends and their efforts to bring awareness to what is happening,” Senate President Robin Kear said at the March 16 Faculty Assembly meeting.
Probably the most visible of these colleagues has been Tymofiy Mylovanov, an associate professor at Pitt and the founder, president and chief professor of the Kyiv School of Economics. He also briefly served as Ukraine’s Minister of Economic Development, Trade, and Agriculture in 2019-20
Mylovanov, who returned to Kyiv before the start of the war, has helped raise nearly $1 million through the Kyiv School of Economics to help humanitarian relief efforts. Donations can be made through the Kyiv School on its website.
He continues to teach Pitt students remotely from a safer venue in western Ukraine, and at night, he leads fundraising efforts — much like he did amid during the Crimea conflict of 2014 — to bring medicine and much-needed blood transfusions to injured Ukraine citizens and soldiers. He does this mostly dealing in crypto currency and NFTs and faces considerable supply-chain logistics. Plus, he is still an adviser to the presidential administration of Volodymyr Zelensky.
Read more about him in Pittwire and a compelling Twitter interview with a Bloomberg columnist.
Kear noted that many at Pitt have professional and personal ties to Russian and Ukrainian scholars. People with questions about those ties, from how to put projects on pause or how to help those scholars, can reach out to the University Center for International Studies and the Center for Russian, East European & Eurasian Studies.
Jennifer Murtazashvili, associate professor in the Graduate School of Public and International Affairs and director of the Center for Governance and Markets, has hosted three conversations on Twitter in the past month with Mylovanov, along with other Ukrainian scholars, many who are now in Kyiv.
“We want to demonstrate that Ukraine has agency. It’s a sovereign country, it’s been underestimated. We are independent, proud people. We will survive and we will resist,” Mylovanov said at the Feb. 28 panel discussion on Twitter.
Listen on Twitter to the discussions on Feb. 26 and Feb. 28 and March 13.
Where to donate
Pittsburgh-based Brother’s Brother Foundation is focusing on getting medical help — both physical and mental — to Ukraine. Several other organizations are collecting money to help Ukrainian refugees and people still inside the country.
PittServes has collected a list of Pittsburgh-based humanitarian aid efforts, as well as other organizations.
PittServes also has a list of upcoming events on campus, including a rally outside the Cathedral of Learning at 1:30 p.m. March 18. It also recommends news sources and social media to follow, along with how to get involved through social activism.
Pitt stands against invasion
Pitt issued a statement on March 1 from Ariel Armony, vice provost for global affairs and director of the University Center for International Studies, condemning the invasion.
“The University of Pittsburgh stands with those across higher education in condemning Russia’s invasion of the independent and democratic nation of Ukraine,” the statement read.
“Pitt has a rich history of working with colleagues and students from and within Ukraine, with long-standing research and academic relationships. We stand in solidarity with the Ukrainian people, and for the scholarly and research communities there: We are deeply concerned both for their safety and their ability to exercise the ideals of free speech and inquiry at the heart of our shared mission.”
Some colleges and universities in the U.S. have moved to divest from any investments they have in Russia. Pitt said in a statement that “The University of Pittsburgh’s endowment has no direct investments in Russian companies.”
Pitt said it was committed to supporting students, faculty and staff who have been impacted by these events, especially community members from Ukraine and Russia. Students seeking support can reach out to email@example.com. Faculty and staff support is available through Life Solutions.
The next session of the teach-in on the war in Ukraine, sponsored by the University Center for International Studies and the Center for Russian, East European & Eurasian Studies, will take place at noon March 23. It will focus on Europe and NATO’s role in the war, including the prospects for Ukrainian membership in the European Union or NATO. Register here.
The European Studies Center will host Juan Luis Manfredi Sánchez, visiting professor of international relations at Georgetown University, for a hybrid event March 24 on “Disinformation and Diplomacy: EU, Russia and the Battle for Facts.” The talk will be online and at 4130 Posvar Hall. Register here.
Susan Jones is editor of the University Times. Reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org or 724-244-4042.
Have a story idea or news to share? Share it with the University Times.