Academician Volodymyr Dubovyk has published articles on US-Ukrainian relations, regional and international security, and Ukrainian foreign policy.
Photo: Davis Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies, Harvard University
Volodymyr Dubovyk lives in Odessa. Just three days ago his city was bombarded with missiles, but the attacks have not been as brutal as those of Mariupol and Kharkov. He attributes it, perhaps, to the fact that it is an area where Russian sympathizers live, although he does not finish explaining why in those urban centers, where such support also exists, the story is different. “I do not feel safe. No one here feels safe,” said the professor, who is director of the Center for International Studies at the Odessa II Mechnikov National University, one of Ukraine’s leading educational institutions.
“As an academic, it is my duty to speak about the crisis my country is experiencing. We are suffering in many ways, but we feel no guilt. We have done nothing to deserve this”, he adds in a briefing organized by the Embassy of United States in Guatemala. In the middle of the meeting, which brought together journalists from Mexico, Nicaragua and Colombia, among other countries, he assured that Ukraine fears being left alone in this war. “These battles are not just for us, they are in the name of defending the integrity of the territories, the defense of free elections and human rights.”
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Dubovyk spoke in a personal capacity and from there warned that although Russia is a bigger country, with more weapons and resources, he underestimated the Ukrainian response. affirming that Vladimir Putin is appealing to the language of war and hard power, he warns that “Russian troops expected a quick war and to overthrow the government of Volodimir Zelensky. However, they have not succeeded. The only city that remains controlled by the Russians is Kherson”. Precisely for this reason, because of the trait of resistance that he attributes to his compatriots, is that he considers that “the attacks against civilians have become a systematic strategy to intimidate us and break our will. This is not an isolated event, it is the course of the war.”
Sanctions against Russia and skepticism surrounding negotiations between the government and the Kremlin are among his concerns. Dubovyk believes that the economic measures taken against the Kremlin should be strengthened, recognizing that the purchase of Russian resources by other countries is a problem for it. When asked if he believes that the other countries are doing enough, he affirms that “the sanctions are working, but not quickly, and they are not designed for it. Sanctions have to be strengthened, especially in light of the killings of civilians.” Furthermore, in the context of what happened in Buchabelieves that the Ukrainians are not ready to continue negotiating.
In the coming weeks, he believes that the fighting will intensify in the Donbas and although he sees that some countries do not seem to have the intention of completely isolating Russia, especially due to the interest in resources, specifically gas and oil, he considers that “Putin is an outcast.”
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