Apr 3, 2014
07:12 AMConnecticut Today
Russia Has a Bull's-Eye on Ukraine, Former Ambassador Says at Yale
Peter Hvizdak/New Haven Register
Valery Kuchinsky, former Ukranian ambassador, speaks at Yale Wednesday.
Former Ukrainian Ambassador Valery Kuchinsky told a Yale University audience Wednesday that Western diplomatic and economic sanctions prevented Russia from occupying other parts of his country.
“If it were not for those sanctions, from a strong, unanimous rebuff, the Russians would already have invaded the eastern and southern portions of Ukraine,” Kuchinsky said.
An adjunct professor of international relations at Columbia University, Kuchinsky was at Yale to deliver the keynote address during a symposium on the crisis in Ukraine. Other panelists at the event included Yale political scientist Stathis Kalyvas, William Hill of the National Defense University, Hannah Thoburn of the Brookings Institution and international energy expert Ed Chow.
In his speech, Kuchinsky vowed Ukraine will hold its presidential election on May 28. He also speculated that Russian President Vladimir Putin has used the recent annexation of Ukraine’s Crimea region as a bargaining chip for other things Russia wants to do in that area.
“It is absolutely clear what the Russian goals are,” Kuchinsky said. Namely, he offered, Russia wants to disrupt Ukraine economically, politically and militarily.