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How Russia's Invasion of Ukraine is Changing Europe

Thursday, October 26, 2023 at 12:00pm to 1:15pm

Uris Hall, G08
Central Campus

Mitchell A. Orenstein, Professor of Russian and East European Studies at the University of Pennsylvania, will discuss how Russia's full-scale invasion of Ukraine on February 24, 2022 changed Europe.  It shattered any remaining illusions that the EU could achieve peaceful coexistence with Russia through greater integration and united Europe instead around NATO.  While Europe quickly reshaped its energy strategy and imposed unified sanctions on Russia, the invasion revealed Europe's continuing reliance on the United States for basic security and initiated a period of soul searching about Europe's lack of "strategic autonomy."  Central and East European states that had long warned of Russia's violent intentions rose in importance, while France and Germany saw their influence diminished after decades of accommodating Russia.  European leaders had to admit that they had been wrong to ignore the warnings of front-line states.  In addition, the invasion reignited European Union and NATO enlargement, with Finland and Sweden joining NATO and Ukraine and Moldova offered EU candidate status.  The result of these trends is a more geopolitical Europe with a sharper dividing line between an internal zone of integration and an external zone of power projection.  

About the speaker

Dr. Mitchell Orenstein is Professor of Russian and East European Studies at the University of Pennsylvania and Senior Fellow at Foreign Policy Research Institute. His sole-authored and co-authored works on the political economy and international affairs of Central and Eastern Europe have won numerous prizes. His most recent book, Taking Stock of Shock (Oxford University Press, 2021), co-authored with Prof. Kristen Ghodsee, evaluates the social consequences of the 1989 revolutions that ended communism in Central and Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union. Orenstein is also the author of The Lands in Between: Russia vs. The West and the New Politics of Hybrid War (Oxford University Press, 2019), a study of how intensifying geopolitical conflict has shaped politics in the lands in between Russia and the West.


Institute for European Studies
Judith Reppy Institute for Peace and Conflict Studies

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Mario Einaudi Center for International Studies, Reppy Institute for Peace and Conflict Studies, Government, Institute for European Studies

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Public Engagement, Research


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Mavis Amegah-Dorr

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Dr. Mitchell Orenstein

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the University of Pennsylvania

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Dept. Web Site

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The Public

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