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CSUSB professor discusses Russia’s invasion of Ukraine
Feb. 28, 2022
Luba Levin-Banchik, assistant professor of political science at Cal State San Bernardino, was interviewed for a segment about Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Born in Belarus, she is of Russian Jewish heritage and her husband, who is also Jewish, is from Ukraine. Both are in contact with family in Belarus, Ukraine and Israel as they constantly follow the news, she said.
That Russia put its nuclear forces on high alert “is a really, really dangerous” move, Levin-Banchik said. Moreover, she said she was deeply concerned about a recent referendum in Belarus that allows Russian President Vladimir Putin to place nuclear weapons in her native country.
“That is really concerning because those are not weapons you need to place (there). That looks like the worst possible scenario becoming much more real than one can imagine,” she said.
As for news that Belarus may also be participating in the invasion with Russia, she said that it may not have had a choice. Its president, Alexander Lukashenko, is a staunch Putin ally who is not popular in Belarus – the latest election that kept him in power was widely protested because many believed he stole it, which resulted in anti-government and pro-democracy protests a year ago. Levin-Banchik said that if pro-democracy demonstrations had succeeded in Belarus as they did in Ukraine, the country may have also found itself in a similar situation as Ukraine.
As for Putin’s false justification that Russia’s invasion was aimed at ridding Ukraine’s government of neo-Nazis, Levin-Banchik said it was such a claim was unbelievable since Ukraine’s president, Volodymyr Zelenskyy, is Jewish.
More concerning, however, is the possibility of a new wave of anti-Semitism sweeping Europe and worldwide because of Putin’s false claims. She said that could be counter-balanced with the way Zelenskyy, who is seen as a hero in Ukraine, is standing up to Putin and the invasion.
Listen to the segment at 17:44 KCRW-FM (Radio).
CSUSB professor writes on ‘How We Became So Divided and Lonely’
March 1, 2022
In the final installment of a three-part series for his “Art of Living Free” blog, Anthony Silard, CSUSB associate professor of public administration, wrote on how social media has divided society.
He wrote, in part, “Don’t get me wrong: I’m all for plurality of expression and democratic thought; yet this form of democracy has produced unprecedented polarization, a new nadir of distrust and a current level of loneliness unlike anything we’ve ever experienced before in our global society.
“We have dug ourselves into this hole by allowing extremists to bury the middle in our political discourse. Before we continue another step—or, rather, tap, click or hover another moment—we must remember that fanatics don’t listen, whether they are religious zealots, racists, sexists, or political extremists.”
Read the complete article at “How We Became So Divided and Lonely."
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