Meet the Leader: Ukraine

Image MTL Ukraine Ambassador on stage

His Excellency Mr Vasyl Myroshnychenko

The University of Adelaide welcomed His Excellency Mr Vasyl Myroshnychenko, Ambassador of Ukraine, to our North Terrace Campus on Wednesday, 11 May 2022. The Ambassador was accompanied by Mr Frank Fursenko, President of the Association of Ukrainians in South Australia.

The recently appointed Ambassador met with the Vice-Chancellor & President of the University of Adelaide, Professor Peter Høj AO, Dr Jessica Gallagher, Deputy Vice-Chancellor (External Engagement), Professor Jennie Shaw, Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic) and Professor Jacqueline Lo, Pro Vice-Chancellor (International) to briefly discuss the current situation in Ukraine and the challenges the country is facing. The Vice-Chancellor reinforced the University’s support for Ukraine, Ukrainian universities and students.

The Ambassador also delivered an oration in Elder Hall as part of the Meet the Leader series, which features Ambassadors and prominent public figures speaking to students, staff, and the public about international relations and foreign policy.

His Excellency shared a moving account of his personal flight with his family from Ukraine to Romania, via Moldova. The Ambassador provided the audience with a brief recap of the two countries’ shared history, which goes back more than a thousand years, and the tense relations and centuries of conflict between Russia and Ukraine. He highlighted several historical incidents, including a famine (Holodomor) caused by Stalin’s policy of collectivization, the annexation of western Ukraine in 1939-1944, Russia’s annexation of Crimea in March 2014 and the Minsk Accords, that have set the stage for today’s conflict.

The Ambassador also touched upon the geopolitical effects of the current conflict, highlighting three sectors that are likely to be heavily impacted: energy, food, migration and regional stability.

He reiterated that the situation in Ukraine is very dire and the outlook grim, stating: ’If the Russians stop fighting, it is the end of the war. If the Ukrainians stop fighting; it is the end of Ukraine’.

Image MTL Ukraine Group shot

(L-R Professor Jacqueline Lo, PVCI, Professor Peter Høj, Vice-Chancellor and President, HE Mr Vasyl Myroshnychenko, Ambassador of Ukraine, Dr Jessica Gallagher, DVCEE, Professor Jennie Shaw, DVCA, Mr Frank Fursenko, President of the Association of Ukrainians in South Australia)

Following the oration, the Ambassador and Mr Fursenko attended an academic roundtable with experts in security, trade, health and migration.

A recording is also available here

Meet the Leader: Ukraine was hosted by the Deputy Vice-Chancellor External Engagement, and the student-led Politics and International Relations Association (PIRA) at the University of Adelaide.

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