Tuesday, February 10, 2015,
Pushkin House, 5a Bloomsbury Square London, WC1A 2TA, UK
On February 20, 2014, some 100 Maidan participants armed with wooden sticks and shields made of thin sheets of metal or plywood, lost their lives in a street battle on Institutska street in Kyiv. President Yanukovich fled, together with most of his entourage, and the country had what it called a “revolution of dignity”.
Now, one year later, Ukraine is at war with Moscow-backed separatists and Russian forces in the East. The Crimea has become Russian, the economy is in a shambles, thousands of citizens have been killed and close to a million Ukrainians are refugees either inside or outside the country.
Does an independent Ukraine have any future? How have the recent events there affected Russia? What position should the West have taken then and take now? And how dangerous is the situation for stability and freedom in Europe?
In his talk Robert van Voren will tackle these questions, give some answers and provide an inside view of what is happening on the ground.
Robert van Voren (1959) is Professor of Soviet and Post-Soviet Studies in Kaunas, Tbilisi and Kyiv. He has been a USSR-orientated human rights activist since 1977, focusing especially on the political abuse of psychiatry. He has worked in Ukraine for more than twenty-five years, mainly in the fields of human rights and mental health. He was actively involved in Maidan and its aftermath and is currently working on the development of trauma care in the country and an oral history program about Maidan.