Series 3 Episode 3 – St Andrews shares expertise in Ukraine

Lauren Sykes
Monday 24 July 2023

Senior staff members from the University visited Ukraine recently to meet with key figures in the country’s government and military.

In this podcast, Professor Phillips O’Brien, Chair of Strategic Studies and Head of the School of International Relations, and Professor Stephen Gethins, Assistant Vice-Principal (International), talk to the University’s Chief Legal Officer Mike Gettinby about their recent visit to Kyiv where they met with key figures in the Ukrainian government and military, amongst others.

Professor O’Brien said the visit, supported by the University’s Impact Fund, allowed the St Andrews International Relations team to meet with some of those working at the highest level in the Ukrainian government, parliament, non-governmental (NGO) sector, national media, and the country’s academic community.

In this discussion, Professor O’Brien, who has been documenting the situation on social media and on Substack since Russia’s full-scale invasion, said face-to-face meetings were crucial to learning more about Ukrainian strategic thinking, what Ukraine feels it needs to win the war, and how Ukrainians see the future of their own country. 

Crucially, Professor O’Brien also talks about the importance of the St Andrews team – which also included Professor Sir Hew Strachan and Senior Lecturers Dr Marc De Vore and Dr Kristen Harkness – gaining a deeper understanding of the pressures the Ukrainian people and their government are working under in a state at war, facing missile strikes, and having first-hand experience of death and destruction.

Listen to the podcast.

Watch the video on YouTube.

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