UW-La Crosse professor who used to live in Ukraine shares thoughts on Russian invasion

LA CROSSE, Wis. (WKBT) — A UW-La Crosse professor who used to live in Ukraine is sharing her thoughts about the Russian invasion.

Elizabeth Peacock, an anthropology professor, lived periodically in western Ukraine from 2003 to 2016 for research studies and has friends there. During her time there, she found out one of the most important pieces about Ukraine: Life is better together.

Like every other country in this world, Ukraine has a culture.

Peacock describes it as very political, but united.

“They always wanted to have control and their own voice in what kind of a country they wanted,” Peacock said.

Ukraine, which was under Soviet control for decades, has been independent since the early ’90s.

“Most Ukrainians would tell me that they don’t want war,” Peacock said. “They don’t want fighting, but it feels like they have to.”

And once again, that independence is in peril.

“So unapologetically,” Peacock said. “People have kind of expected this, but they never knew when it was going to happen.”

The Kremlin said Friday that Russian President Vladimir Putin is ready to send a delegation to Belarus and have discussions with Ukraine.

But Peacock says she doesn’t believe that is progress.

“We always take Putin with a grain of salt,” Peacock said. “Because we never know what he has in one hand, and what his other hand is doing.”

Citizens, loved ones, are now volunteering to fight back.

“Right now, I don’t know if I can have hope,” Peacock said. “(I’m) seeing people come up and be united in Ukraine for it. But how much of that is going to be a slaughter? They don’t have enough resources. Their military is nowhere on par to be a threat to Russia.”

Her advice for the West: Throw everything they can and increase sanctions toward Russia.

“Best-case scenario would have to be somehow being able to cut Putin and his forces off of the legs,” Peacock said, so that what’s happening in Ukraine ends soon and doesn’t happen anywhere else.

“There’s some fear that, if Ukraine falls, what’s going to stop Putin from continuing his push?” Peacock said.

Peacock said she is telling her friends in Ukraine that her heart weeps for them.

News 8 Now contacted a UWL professor who is from Russia. She did not want to do an interview, but said that “it is very tragic that people’s lives are at stake.”

The Ukrainian military is accepting donations. More information can be found on the links below.

Peacock is also providing credible news sources about the war.

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