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War in Ukraine Marches On

An update from political science professor Yoshiko Herrera on the Russo-Ukrainian War.

Yoshiko Herrera, a professor of political science at the University of Wisconsin–Madison, is pictured in a studio portrait on July 12, 2022. Herrera is expert in Russian politics and a professor of comparative politics and identity. (Photo by / UW–Madison)

As the Russian war in Ukraine continues to destabilize international relations, political science professor Yoshiko Herrera will join The UW Now Livestream on July 11 to discuss recent developments, including the mutiny by the Wagner private military company and its consequences for Russia and the war. An expert in Russian political economy and nationalism, Herrera will also explain how the economic crisis in Russia is affecting domestic support for President Vladimir Putin and the war.

Main Area of Research: 

My main area of research is Russian politics and social identities, including nationalism, ethnic conflict, and what we call a constructivist political economy, or the way that people understand the economy and how that’s connected to social identities. 

On The UW Now Livestream, I’ll Discuss: 

I will talk about the situation in Russia after the mutiny/attempted coup by Yevgeny Prigozhin and his Wagner private military company, and the economic situation in the country and what that means for domestic support for Putin and the war. 

One Thing I’d Like Viewers to Remember Is: 

The economy in Russia is crumbling and the military command is in disarray, but Russia is on autopilot in the war. [The country is] digging in in terms of its defenses and lobbing missiles into Ukrainian cities and killing civilians and significantly damaging civilian infrastructure, including Kakhovka Dam (and next it could be the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant). So, Russia could continue this destruction for some time despite the domestic troubles and lack of any prospect for making offensive gains. Hence the need to end the war now and not wait any longer. 

The war will end when Ukraine gets the necessary weapons and supplies that it needs from Europe and the U.S. The sooner this happens, the sooner the war ends, so I think we need to end the war by significantly upping the supplies to Ukraine as quickly as possible.  

To Get Smart Fast, Read: 

Ukraine: The Latest from the Daily Telegraph is a great source on what is happening in the war and in Ukraine. For news updates on Russia, see Meduza in English. The Journal of Democracy has some good and accessible political science articles about the war, dictatorship, and authoritarianism.  

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