Queen's Policy Engagement

War in Ukraine

Professor Alister Miskimmon, Head of the School of History, Anthropology, Philosophy and Politics at Queen's reflects on the current conflict in Ukraine.

War in Ukraine

We are witnessing an immense tragedy unfold since the Russian Federation commenced its war on Ukraine. An unprovoked slaughter of Ukrainians, the mass displacement of Ukrainian citizens and the destabilisation of the Ukrainian state are all resulting from Putin’s aggression. Reflecting here on these unfolding events, it is becoming painfully clear how destructive Russia’s actions are for the people of Ukraine, and how they present real and ongoing limitations on hopes of ending enduring divisions in Europe.

I have been involved in research projects on Ukraine funded by the European Union led by my colleague Prof Natalia Chaban of the University of Canterbury, New Zealand, bringing together researchers in Ukraine, the Baltic States, the UK and across the EU. Our aim was to understand better how young people in schools, universities and public life in Ukraine understood the challenges facing them and how they speak about their desired futures.

Overwhelmingly they displayed considerable pragmatism. They focused on the steps Ukraine still needed domestically to take to reinforce its political, economic and legal system. For some time, Ukraine has been dogged by corruption, hindering the development of the state. Many young people we talked with between 2018-2020 spoke of their desire to one day in the future join the European Union when Ukraine could play a full and active role. This longer term and cautious perspective of Ukraine’s possible EU and NATO membership was reflected in interviews we carried out with officials in Brussels and the Baltic states as well as with elites in Kyiv.

To continue reading please click here.

Article originally appeared on the website of the George J Mitchell Institute for Global Peace, Security and Justice at Queen’s University Belfast.


The featured image has been used courtesy of a Creative Commons license.  Photo by Tina Hartung on Unsplash  

Professor Alister Miskimmon
Posted by

Professor Alister Miskimmon is Head of the School of History, Anthropology, Philosophy and Politics at Queen's University Belfast. His research interests are primarily in the areas of strategic narratives, German, European and global security issues and European integration.

1 Comment


Wake up NATO, Wake up EU, Wake up USA!

What Ukraine needs today is not just your prayers and words of courage, but weapons! Weapons to enforce the No Fly Zone, since everyone seems to be too scared of Putin to enforce even the bare minimum of the No Fly Zone over human corridors to evacuate the civilians, women, children & the elderly.

What is happening in Mauripol is genocide and ethnic cleansing of Ukrainians. 80% of the city had been destroyed and the Russians are actively bombing the civilian targets, while refusing to let them evacuate. This is the most evil, the most deliberate murderous action against the civilian population since the WW2!

Ukraine immediately needs those Mig29 fighter jets, S-300/S400 anti air systems, more drones, more anti-tank/anti-armor systems, smart artillery systems and the Biden administration would do a lot if the US will start to transfer the Patriot missiles to the Ukrainian Defense forces. The Ukrainian forces need anti-artillery radar systems, to be able to identify and geo-locate the artillery fire, since this had been the #1 killer of the Ukrainian civilians: artillery & rockets from the Russian Mir!

The civilized world has to wake up and wake up now! Prayers and kind thoughts are welcome, but they don’t kill the Russian invaders. Bullets & missiles do! More weapons to Ukraine immediately!

Slava Ukraini! Glory to Ukraine!
As a Georgian citizen, I proudly stand 100% with my Ukrainian brothers & sisters!

David Dzidzikashvili
Ph.D. Candidate
Business & Technology University – BTU
Tbilisi, Georgia

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *