FAIRMONT, W.Va. – Fairmont State University is keeping its students up to date on the ongoing conflict between Russia and Ukraine.  

On Tuesday, students heard from a panel of professors from the social sciences department about the history of tensions between the countries and what is currently happening in the war. The panel also spoke about Russian President Vladimir Putin’s rise to power. 

The panel (WBOY Image) Left to right: Dr. Todd Clark, Fairmont State Associate Professor, former Deputy Senior Defense Intelligence Expert for Russia/Eurasia and Defense Intelligence Agency, Dr. Nenad Radulovich, Fairmont State Assistant Professor, Long-time Expert in Russian and East European history, with particular focus on Soviet and Russian relations with the countries of the Balkan Peninsula and Dr. Robert Papp, an Assistant Professor at Fairmont state, a former U.S. Navy officer operations officer and a former Central Intelligence Agency senior executive.

Dr. Robert Papp, an Assistant Professor at Fairmont State, former U.S. Navy officer operations officer and a former Central Intelligence Agency senior executive, said he thinks this war is the most significant crisis of our time and it’s a danger that all people must be aware of. 

“For many of our students, our young students in their teens and twenties, this is really the first introduction they’ve had to a world in which there is significant conflict. We’ve long had terrorism, we’ve had local wars, we’ve had regional wars, we’ve had different crises around the world and security, but this is a full-blown war that has significant consequences for the world and will into the foreseeable future,” Papp said.

Papp believes there isn’t a short-term solution to the war in Ukraine and fears severe battles in the near future. 

“There will be high causalities. There will be further destruction of cities. There will be more refugees,” Papp said.

Dr. Todd Clark explaining where Russian forces have spread to already in the war (WBOY Image)

During the panel, Papp expanded on the fact that Russia was not as successful as it wanted to be when the initial invasions of Ukraine began. But, now that Russian forces have reassessed, Papp feels we are entering a “very dangerous new phase.” 

“The Russians are now using some of the tools they simply didn’t use before. The strategic aviation, the ship-launched missiles. They’re hitting the logistics cars. They’re hitting the training centers for Ukrainians. They’re hitting the sites where missiles are stored,” Papp said during the panel.  

Papp doesn’t see a negotiation succeeding between the two countries in the near future but still holds hope a means is found to end the war.