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The Hoover Institution Library & Archives, in partnership with the Center for Russian, East European and Eurasian Studies, presents Life and Death in the Donbass, 2014-2021: New Archival and Library Sources at the Hoover Institution. with Rose Gottemoeller, Andriy Kohut, Steven Pifer, Anatol Shmelev, and Amir Weiner on Wednesday, February 9, 2022 from 1:00 pm - 3:00 pm PST.

In the spring of 2014, after Vladimir Putin ordered Russian troops to take control of the Crimea, more Russian-backed 'volunteers' spread into areas of Eastern Ukraine in what became a separatist movement controlled by Moscow. Today certain areas of Eastern Ukraine exist in a no-man's land as 'unrecognized states,' alternating between proposed independence and annexation by the Russian Federation, while the Ukrainian government struggles to return this territory to its control.

The Hoover Institution Library and Archives has been collecting printed and archival materials from the conflict region, colloquially known as the 'Donbass', encompassing parts of the Donetsk and Luhansk regions of Ukraine so that researchers will be better able to understand the sources and development of the conflict.

Rose Gottemoeller, Andriy Kohut, and Steven Pifer will discuss the current situation in the region and its significance for international politics, given that tensions have risen to a level affecting US relations with the Russian Federation, including the potential for military conflict as Putin places more troops at the border. The panelists will discuss the prospects for escalation or pacification, and what the current tensions bode for the present and future of relations between the US, NATO, the Russian Federation and Ukraine.


Watch the Livestream

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About the Speakers

Rose Gottemoeller, is a research fellow at the Hoover Institution. She also serves as the Steven B. Hazy Lecturer at Stanford University's Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies. Before joining Stanford, Gottemoeller was the deputy secretary general of NATO from 2016 to 2019, helping to drive forward NATO’s adaptation to new security challenges in Europe and in the fight against terrorism. Prior to NATO, she served for nearly five years as the under-secretary for arms control and international security at the US Department of State, advising the secretary of state on arms control, nonproliferation and political-military affairs. As assistant secretary of state for arms control, verification and compliance in 2009–10, she was the chief US negotiator of the New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (New START) with the Russian Federation. Prior to her government service, Gottemoeller was a senior associate with the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, with joint appointments to the Nonproliferation and Russia programs. She served as the director of the Carnegie Moscow Center from 2006 to 2008 and is currently a nonresident fellow in Carnegie’s Nuclear Policy Program.

Andriy Kohut, Director of the Sectoral State Archive of the Security Service of Ukraine. He received his Ph.D. in History from the Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv, and his M.A. in History from Ivan Franko Lviv National University. Kohut’s research and professional interests cover a range of issues related to the Soviet deportation, the history of communist secret services in the 20th century, the politics of memory, and cultural diplomacy. He also has professional experience in NGO’s (Ukraine, Eastern Partnership and EU). Former Head of the “Digital Archive of the Ukrainian Liberation Movement” (avr.org.ua) project. Author, co-author and co-editor of a series of books, such as (all in Ukrainian) Chernobyl KGB Dossier; The Crimean Tatar National Movement in 1917–1920 According to the Archives of the Communist Secret Services; The Great Terror in Ukraine: The German Operation, 1937–1938: A Collection of Documents; KGB Archives for Media Handbook. Kohut’s most recent articles are focused on the Stalinist deportations from Western Ukraine.

Steven Pifer, the William J. Perry Research Fellow at the Center for International Security and Cooperation and senior fellow, Brookings Institution. Former US Ambassador to Ukraine. He is the director of the Arms Control and Non-Proliferation Initiative at the Brookings Institution, where he also works on Ukraine and Russia questions. He frequently comments on these issues in the media, and his articles have appeared in the New York Times, Washington Post, and National Interest, among others. He is co-author of The Opportunity: Next Steps in Reducing Nuclear Arms. A retired Foreign Service officer, his more than twenty-five years with the State Department included assignments as deputy assistant secretary of state with responsibilities for Russia and Ukraine (2001–2004), ambassador to Ukraine (1998–2000), and special assistant to the president and senior director for Russia, Ukraine, and Eurasia on the National Security Council (1996–1997). He also served in Warsaw, Geneva, Moscow, and London.

Anatol Shmelev, is a research fellow at the Hoover Institution, Robert Conquest Curator of the Russia and Eurasia Collection at Hoover’s Library & Archives, and the project archivist for its Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty Collection. Shmelev’s book Vneshniaia politika pravitelstva admirala Kolchaka, 1918–1919 (The foreign policy of Admiral Kolchak’s government, 1918–1919) was published by the European University Press in St. Petersburg in 2017. In the Wake of Empire: Anti-Bolshevik Russia in International Affairs, 1917–1920, an expanded study of the foreign policy of the Anti-Bolshevik movement as a whole, was published by the Hoover Institution Press in 2021. In addition, Shmelev has written articles and reviews on various subjects connected with the Russian Civil War (1917–1922) and the post-revolutionary emigration.

Amir Weiner, Director of CREEES and Associate Professor of Soviet History. Amir Weiner’s research concerns the interaction between totalitarian politics, ideology, nationality, and society. His first book, Making Sense of War, analyzed the role and impact of the cataclysm of the Second World War on Soviet society and politics. His latest book, forthcoming, is a history of the Soviet security services entitled KGB: Ruthless Sword, Imperfect Shield. His next project, “Wild West, Window to the West” engages the territories between the Baltic and Black Seas that were annexed by the Soviet Union in 1939-40, from the initial occupation to present. Professor Weiner has taught courses on modern Russian history; the Second World War; the Origins of Totalitarianism; War and Society in Modern Europe; Modern Ukrainian History; and History and Memory.  

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