The Panel Discussion on the Causes of the Conflict between Russia and Ukraine took place on June 9, 2022 in the Astoria Hörsaal in Jena. The event was opened by Prof. Dr. Rafael Bierman n by providing background information for the audience about the current situation in Ukraine and introducing the other participants of the discussion: Moritz Gathmann , the Chief Reporter and Ukraine Correspondent for Cicero Magazine and Dr. André Haertel , a researcher at the German Institute for International and Security Affairs.
Both guests have long-standing interest in Ukrainian politics and foreign affairs and extensive, however, distinct on-the-ground experience working in Ukraine in journalism and academia, respectively. The panelists provided their views on the underlying causes that led first to the annexation of Crimea and the emergence of the secessionist republics in East-Ukraine in 2014 and second, the factors that contributed to the escalation of a full-blown war between Russia and Ukraine in 2022. The guests then answered several questions of the audience touching upon topics among others such as the weight of Putin's personal ideas about Russian imperialism and the validity of Ukrainian statehood in the formation of Russian foreign policy towards Ukraine or the extent of popular support for the war in the Russian public.
The panel ended with an open discussion between the participants about the potential minimal goals Russia is likely to want to achieve and conditions that might be sufficient for the Kremlin to consider entering into talks about ceasefire or a peace deal.