#No Ukrainian panels without Ukrainian voices

Even though many international organizations arrange panels and discussions about Russia’s war on Ukraine, few of them include Ukrainian voices. Given Russia’s war against Ukraine and mass Russian propaganda, one must be sensitive to this issue. Ukrainian researchers and experts must become equal partners to Western scholars. We appeal to Western academia to avoid “russplaning” and “westplaining”. How can you respect Ukrainian agency and intellectual sovereignty? Below we provide you with simple guidelines.

Tips how to name your panel

It is not a “Ukrainian crisis”, it is an invasion and a war. Consider naming your panel something like “Russia’s war on Ukraine”, “Russia’s invasion”, or “Ukraine in the face of war”.

10 tips how to organize a panel

  1. Prioritize voices from Ukraine. Dozens of Ukrainian scholars (political scientists, historians, economists, sociologists) are on the ground in Ukraine.At the Kyiv School of Economics, we have scholars who have published in top-5 flagship journals including Econometrica and American Economic Review. Our experts work with international organizations and advise on sanctions, international trade, and agriculture. Our professors hold PhDs from top universities throughout the US and EU, and our management has served in high-level government positions.
  2. Search for Ukrainian experts via international organizations. Contact your offices of international affairs, Fulbright, and student exchange programs. They can direct you to Ukrainian scholars immediately. 
  3. Search for Ukrainian experts via leading academic organizations and associations such as Harvard Ukrainian Research Institute, PONARS, The Center on Democracy, Development and the Rule of Law (CDDRL) at Stanford University, and others.
  4. Consider the expertise of scholars. Invite economists to discuss economics, historians to discuss history, and policy makers to discuss policy. 
  5. Do not invite Russian intellectuals who have publicly supported the Russian invasion (e.g., via letters or petitions) or who have  not publicly condemned the war to speak at your panels.
  6. Consider best practices. Follow the example of PONARS Eurasia, which proposes that  panelists in their events confirm commitment to the  following statement: “By participating in this event, organizers, speakers, and chairs affirm that they condemn Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and the unbearable loss of life it has caused and that they call for Russia to end this war and restore Ukraine’s sovereignty”.
  7. Do not discriminate. It is okay to invite people with different perspectives and to give voices to those Russians who stand against Putin’s regime. Ukrainian scholars are capable of presenting on the same stage with Russian scholars, as long as there is a basic consensus on the condemnation of the war.
  8. Intellectual sovereignty matters. Do not invite only Russian scholars or experts on Russia to discuss Russia’s invasion and suggest exclusively Russian narratives to explain the war on Ukraine. If you want to invite someone from Russia, then pair them with someone from Ukraine. 
  9. Do not invite Ukrainian scholars and experts only as eyewitnesses. It is wrong to give Ukrainian guests 3-5 minutes to talk about their “personal experiences on the ground” and then turn to local experts talking about Ukrainian economy or policies. Instead, give Ukrainian researchers and policy makers a floor to discuss research, data, policy, strategies, etc. 
  10. Manage your expectations. Do not forget about the time difference. Mind that Ukrainian researchers may be broadcasting from shelters, and may be dressed in warm clothes or speaking from unusual locations (parking lots or bathrooms). Ukrainian scholars prefer t-shirts over suits, just like our President.

List of KSE speakers

  1. Tymofiy Mylovanov is President of Kyiv School of Economics and an advisor to Ukraine’s presidential administration. During his professional career, he has taught at a number of European and American universities, including Rheinische Friedrich–Wilhelms–Universität Bonn, the University of Pennsylvania and University of Pittsburgh.  Tymofiy’s research interests cover such areas as game theory and institutional design. He has been published in leading international academic journals including Econometrica, American Economic Review, the Review of Economic Studies.
  2. Nataliia Shapoval is the Chairman of the KSE Institute and Vice President for Policy Research.  She has guided and conducted policy research on public procurement, the costs of HIV disease, the financial burden of health care costs, and private-sector driven growth strategies. She has served as a contributor to the Ukraine reform monitoring project of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. Shapoval is also a member of the Editorial Board of VoxUkraine.
  3. Oleg Nivievskyi is an Assistant Professor and Vice-President for economics education at Kyiv School of Economics. Oleg has more than 15 years of international experience in applied research in agri-food product and factor markets and value chains, as well as in agri-food and regulatory policy impact. His country experience covers Germany, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Uganda, Tanzania, and Ukraine. Oleg received his Ph.D. in Agricultural Economics and Applied Statistics from University of Goettingen.
  4. Anna Bulakh is an expert on international security and technology. Currently she is part of the Hybrid Warfare Task Force at Kyiv School of Economics and Ukrainian tech community. Anna has 10 years of experience in security and defence policies. She is a former Research Fellow at the International Centre for Defence and Security in Tallinn and Prague Security Studies Institute. Since 2019 she has also been part of the IT community in AI, cyber and information security.  Anna was a policy adviser to Reface, an AI powered app on synthetic media.  Anna is a Co-Founder of Capture, a start-up funded by the Startup Wise Guys accelerator program, and former Program director at Disinfo.Tech. Both companies focused on developing solutions to help combat online threats and disinformation. In her work she is dealing with issues such as tech impact of national security, information and cyber security, broader national security policies and resilience building.
  5. Tymofii Brik is the Head of Sociological Research at the Kyiv School of Economics. In 2018, he received the N. Panina “best young sociologist of Ukraine” award. He received his Ph.D. in social science at the University of Carlos III (Madrid) and obtained a Master’s degree in Sociology and Social Research from Utrecht University. In 2018 and 2019-2020 he was a visiting researcher at Stanford University and New York University, respectively.
  6. Hanna Vakhitova is an Assistant professor at KSE and a Senior Economist at KEI. Hanna received Ph.D. in  Economics at University of Kentucky in 2006, having previously obtained a Master’s degree in Economics at the Economic Education and Research Consortium in 1999. Her fields of specialization are migration and labor economics, education and development. Drawing on her scientific areas of expertise she provides consultations on issues connected with migration, labor market and social assistance system. Hanna has been  awarded numerous grants from the World Bank, the International Labour Organization, and the Ministry of Social Protection of Ukraine, as well as fellowships from  University of Kentucky and Eurasia Foundation.
  7. Yegor Stadnyi. Former vice-minister of education of Ukraine, head of educational programs at KSE

#GlobalMinds4Ukraine

Watch our conversations with global minds supporting Ukraine here

List of speakers  include General Petraeus, Ambassadors Pickering and McFaul, Andrew McCabe, Paul Krugman, Kate Brown, Jason Stanley,  Susan Carol Stokes, Thomas Rid, Eliot A. Cohen, Norman Naimark, Anna Grzymala-Busse,  Kelebogile Zvobgo, Timothy Snyder and others.

Links to media publications