‘Urgent Panel: War in Ukraine’ Discussion features MU Professors


Isabella Robinson, Lead Reporter

On Wednesday Afternoon, Marshall University presented a virtual panel discussion at 2 p.m. with several faculty members entitled “Urgent Panel: War in Ukraine.”

Announced only one day in advance, over 160 virtual attendees listened to the panelists and asked questions about Russia’s attack and how they could help the people in Ukraine.

Dr. Victor Fet, a longtime Marshall Biology professor and a native of Ukraine who grew up in Russia began the panel with his opening remarks to discuss his thoughts and provide insight to listeners.

“Please, do not panic. Ukrainians do not panic they fight,” Fet said. Following the panel, Fet spoke at the candlelight vigil on the Memorial Student Center Plaza at 5 p.m.

Dr. Kateryna Schray has family in Ukraine and believes Russia’s attack on Ukraine is an attack on democracy itself.

The event was sponsored by Marshall Libraries and was initiated by Fet, who still has many friends and relatives in both Ukraine and Russia. Fet’s children and friends overseas attended virtually.

Dr. Anara Tabyshalieva, an associate professor of history with expertise on war and peacebuilding in the Russian, Eurasian and Asian regions, was a panelist. She was born in the Soviet Union and has worked in Russia.

“I think that we should think about peace education at many levels,” Dr. Tabyshalieva said regarding the war. “I saw in the newspapers that recently vandals have damaged Ukrainian cemeteries in Baltimore. This shows that we need to talk more about peace education, and about diversity and tolerance.”

Dr. Kateryna Rudnytzky Schray, a faculty administrator and professor of English, whose family is from Ukraine and who has taught at the university level in that country, also spoke on the panel and at the vigil following.

“Russia is attacking its closest democratic neighbor. Putin’s attack on Ukraine is an attack on democracy,” Schray said. “You cannot have a democracy and Ukraine and not see it in Russia – social media has changed everything so democracy, as flawed as it can be, is attractive and in a democracy, you can get a bad leader but 4 to 8 years later they are out. Putin has been in power for 20 years and Ukraine’s neighboring democracy is a huge threat to that power.”

Schray said that she urges the Marshall community to help and support Ukraine in any way they can.

“People in Ukraine can see social media. This is an amazing situation, there’s communication going back-and-forth all the time,” Schray said. “Make a flag out of yellow and blue paper; put it in your window. You cannot take away these people’s sorrow, but you can make that sorrow less lonely, and it does help.”

Schray says that basic humanitarian supplies such as Band-Aids, raincoats, and surgical gloves are appreciated and can be found on many Amazon wish lists. Below is the information to Schray’s resource accepting tax-deductible donations:

St. Sophia Religious Association

7911 Whitewood Rd, Elkins Park, PA 19027

In memo line: Humanitarian Aid for Ukraine.