UB to host panel discussion on war in Ukraine

Release Date: May 3, 2022

Avto Kharchilava head shot.

Avto Kharchilava

“It is absolutely devastating to see this happening again, on such a large scale, in Ukraine. The people of Ukraine need our continued support. ”
Avto Kharchilava, professor of physics
University at Buffalo College of Arts and Sciences

BUFFALO, N.Y — A multidisciplinary group of University at Buffalo experts will host a panel discussion on May 11 to discuss the war in Ukraine.

The event, which is free and open to the public, will take place from 5:30 to 7 p.m. in Room 109 of Knox Hall on UB’s North Campus. After 3 p.m., permits are not required for many nearby parking lots.

Spearheaded by Avto Kharchilava, PhD, professor of physics, and Katherine Zubovich, PhD, assistant professor in the Department of History who studies Russian history, the event will delve into the war from a variety of academic disciplines.

The goal, Kharchilava says, is to open a dialogue that holistically examines the war, which began more than two months ago when Russian forces invaded Ukraine.

“We know many people are busy with the semester ending and upcoming graduation ceremonies, but we wanted to convene this panel to make sure there is continued discussion of the war, which is tragically affecting so many people,” he says.

In addition to Kharchilava, the panelists include:

  • Collin Anderson, PhD, clinical assistant professor of political science, who will discuss Russia’s use of propaganda.
  • David Castillo, PhD, professor of Romance languages and literature, director of UB’s Humanities Institute and co-director of UB’s Center for Information Integrity, who will discuss disinformation and the erosion of democracy.
  • Aaron Epstein, MD, surgical resident in the Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences at UB, who will discuss the medical mission he recently led in Ukraine.
  • Harvey Palmer, PhD, associate professor of political science, who will discuss why democracies tend to be more effective in war, as opposed to autocracies.

For Kharchilava, the Russian invasion of Ukraine is hauntingly familiar.

In 2008, he was visiting his native Georgia with his wife, Ia Iashvili, PhD, also a professor of physics at UB, and their then-5-year-old son, when Russian forces invaded the nation. The family safely returned home after a harrowing week of uncertainty.

In conjunction with the panel discussion, the Center for the Arts, which is nearby on North Campus, will be lit in the colors of the Ukrainian flag the evening of May 11.

Media Contact Information

Cory Nealon
Director of News Content
Engineering, Computer Science
Tel: 716-645-4614
Twitter: @UBengineering