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Oberlin Club of Washington, DC: The Russia-Ukraine Conflict: Understanding the Big Picture

Oberlin Club of Washington, DC: The Russia-Ukraine Conflict: Understanding the Big Picture

"The Russia-Ukraine Conflict: Understanding the Big Picture"

A Zoom Discussion with Professor Ron Suny, Lynn Rusten ’80, and James Wilson ’77; with Michael Duffy ’80 Serving as Moderator


In response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, we have been outraged and overwhelmed by the loss of life, destruction, and daily reports of human rights abuses. The news cycle has been dominated by speculation over Putin’s intentions, the course of combat, and outside response.

What is the context for this conflict and what might have prevented the Russian invasion? How confident can we be that the risk of a wider and “cataclysmic” conflict has been averted? Who has “energy leverage” and how are countries and the markets likely to adjust? Join an expert panel to consider the “big picture” of the situation through an exploration of historical angles, political leadership, the nuclear threat dimension and Euro-Atlantic security implications, and energy-related issues stemming from sanctions, supply interruptions, and market adjustments.

For information contact Clyde Owan ’79:

Featured participants:
Ronald Grigor Suny is the William H. Sewell Jr. Distinguished University Professor of History and Professor of Political Science at the University of Michigan and Emeritus Professor of Political Science and History at the University of Chicago. His intellectual interests have centered on the non-Russian nationalities of the Russian Empire and the Soviet Union, particularly those of the South Caucasus (Armenia, Azerbaijan, and Georgia). He taught at Oberlin College from 1968-1981. He will participate in our program from Munich, Germany.

Lynn Rusten ’80 is Vice President for Global Nuclear Policy at the Nuclear Threat Initiative, a non-profit, nonpartisan organization focused on reducing nuclear and biological threats. She has held senior positions in the Executive branch and on the Hill, covering nuclear arms control, nonproliferation, and national security policy. Lynn served as the senior director for arms control and nonproliferation at the National Security Council staff in the Obama administration and has held numerous positions in the Department of State. She also was a professional staff member on the Senate Armed Services Committee. Lynn majored in Government at Oberlin, and holds Master’s Degrees from the University of Michigan and the National War College.

James Wilson ’77 is an economist and independent consultant with over 35 years of consulting experience in the electric power and natural gas industries. His work has pertained to the economic and policy issues arising from the interplay of competition and regulation in these industries, including restructuring policies, market design, market analysis and market power. Jim lived in Moscow from 1991 to 1996 working on projects for the World Bank and USAID relating to the reform, restructuring and development of the Russian electric power and natural gas industries. Jim majored in Mathematics at Oberlin and holds an M.S. in Engineering-Economic Systems from Stanford.

Michael Duffy ’80 is the Opinions editor at large at the Washington Post. Before joining the Post in 2018, he spent 33 years at Time as a correspondent and Editor-at-Large. He is the co-author (with Nancy Gibbs) of two New York Times best-selling presidential histories and served on the board of the Reporters Committee for the Freedom of the Press. Michael majored in English at Oberlin and is married to Demetra Lambros ’81.


Oberlin Club of Washington, DC: The Russia-Ukraine Conflict: Understanding the Big Picture

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