NORFOLK, Va. — Old Dominion University faculty members held a Zoom discussion Friday afternoon about the war in Ukraine.
Many topics were discussed, one being how the rest of the world should react as Russian troops continue to advance.
Russian forces continue their push towards the Ukrainian capital of Kyiv.
The professors participating in this event tell us peace in Ukraine has been shattered, calling Russia’s attacks a violation of international law.
“From the standpoint of international law, this is a direct assault, essentially, on the law itself,” said Dr. Maass, an associate professor of political science and geography at ODU.
The panel of ODU professors specializing in political science, geography and history met to discuss the invasion.
“The way he justified his attack just the night before he launched the invasion, is he finally made it very clear that Russia does not recognize Ukraine, Ukraine as a state,” said Dr. Regina Karp, another associate professor of political science and geography At ODU.
“Ukraine does not have sovereign independence. And therefore, he can lay claim to it because he couldn't then rely on historical references that Ukraine actually was always an should always be part of Russia.”
For the second day in a row, loud explosions were reported in Ukraine.
These attacks happening as Russian troops continue their march toward Ukraine’s capital.
“The powerful countries will interpret international law in different ways and kind of bend the rules to suit their interests in many contexts,” said Dr. Maass. “But that usually extends to manufacturing pretexts, for to claim self-defense or collective self-defense on behalf of others beyond their own states. In this case, it's about as clear cut of a case of an armed attack.”
Images coming out of the country show a war zone - debris scattered everywhere, civilians terrified of further escalation with thousands trying to flee.
Those who can’t are attempting to shelter where possible.
The experts on the panel say that in addition to sanctions, a ceasefire is the best option Ukraine has instead of returning the attacks.
“I think we should think in terms of de-escalation and clear signaling, continuing to make clear that Russia understands that, for us, the red line is member states of the Alliance,” said Dr. Karp.
The president of Ukraine sent a message to his people, telling them to stand their ground because the fate of Ukraine as a country is being decided right now.