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Local Op-ed appears in Polish news magazine

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - Wszystko Co Najwazniejsze, a news magazine in Poland, just published an op-ed written by Mark Juergensmeyer, Interim Director of the Orfalea Center for Global and International Studies at the UCSB.

"I've posted the English text on my website," Juergensmeyer told News Channel 3-12.

(COURTESY: Professor Mark Juergensmeyer, UCSB)

The renowned expert is well versed in global and religious conflicts and resolution. He has written more than 300 articles and essays in multiple languages and published more than 30 books.

Juergensmeyer's latest essay focused on the atrocities committed by Russian forces in Ukraine over the past six weeks and devastating evidence that attacks specifically targeted civilians.

"There are parallels to what Russia did to Chechnya and what Russia did in Syria, and that is just by bombing the hell out of people. The idea is that you can force compliance. I don't think this is going to work in Ukraine for a couple of reasons. One is the Ukrainian people have a kind of resolve that's just remarkable, that hasn't really been seen to quite the same elsewhere. They don't run away, they stay and fight. And also, you have the international community behind them in a way that, unfortunately, was not the case with Syria and Chechnya."

The semi-retired Global Studies professor also wrote about President Zelenskyy's claim that Russia has become a "terrorist" state and tied in the subject of war crimes, something Juergensmeyer said is "easier to prove" as standards are set by international law.

As Russia's war on Ukraine steamrolls into another month, Juergensmeyer believes Ukraine will survive.

"Russia is not going to get away with it. Yeah, they can keep on bombing and they can keep on bombing into submission but what will be left is a lot of rubble and a lot of heartbreak, a lot of pain, a lot of destruction and, geographical territory that nobody would want. Russia will not be able to rebuild. It would certainly not be able to rebuild with the people who were there before. But Ukraine will survive and Russia, I'm afraid, may have had a mortal injury in this foolish attack to try to do away with one of its neighbors."

He shared a recent conversation he had with a Global Studies graduate student, seeing the situation first hand.

"He said before the occupation, Ukraine really was just a mishmash of different ethnic groups and different political groups and, there wasn't much sense of unity or much sense of national pride. But, the Russian invasion and particularly the leadership of Zelenskyy has changed all that."

Juergensmeyer seemed pleased to hear that.

"There's nothing like an assault from the outside to suddenly join people together in a way that makes them feel united. So, Russia has achieved exactly what it didn't want to achieve, that is, a united, spirited Ukraine that is determined to resist."

Article Topic Follows: Santa Barbara - South County

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Beth Farnsworth

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