Cambridge Festival to host a series of high-profile talks on Ukraine


The Cambridge Festival, which begins today and runs until the 10th of April, will host a series of high-profile talks focussing on the war in Ukraine.

Escalation of the war in Ukraine has resulted in the tragic loss of human lives but also brought economic suffering to millions of Ukrainians. In the modern interconnected world, the war in Ukraine has a global impact. In Economic aspects of the war in Ukraine (Monday 4th April, 5pm-6.30pm, live stream) a panel of experts discuss the Ukrainian economy. More specifically, the speakers will cover the topics of the economic impact of the Russian invasion of Ukraine and look closer into the financial sector. Speakers include:

Dr Tymofiy Mylovanov, a Ukrainian economist and former Minister of Economic Development, Trade and Agriculture of Ukraine in 2019/20. Currently, Dr Mylovanov serves as President of Kyiv School of Economics and Associate Professor in Microeconomics at the University of Pittsburgh.

Dr Andrei Kirilenko, a Professor of Finance and Director of the Doctoral Programme at the Cambridge Judge Business School, as well as Founding Director of the Centre for Finance, Technology & Regulation (CFTR). Previously, Dr Kirilenko worked in different leadership positions at Imperial College Business School, MIT, US Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) and IMF.

Dr Alexander Rodnyansky, an Assistant Professor of Economics at the University of Cambridge in addition to serving as a Member of the Supervisory Board for the  State Savings Bank of Ukraine (second largest bank in Ukraine). In the past, he was Chief Economic Adviser to the Prime Minister of Ukraine.

Democracy is the focus of the second event, Ukraine vs Russia: War for Democracy (Thursday, 7th of April, 5pm-6.30pm, live stream). This talk is led by Oleksiy Honcharuk, a lawyer and politician, who served as Deputy Head of the Office of the President of Ukraine, Volodymyr Zelensky, and as the youngest Prime Minister of Ukraine from August 2019 until March 2020. Mr Honcharuk will speak about the ideological aspect of the Russo-Ukrainian war and the role of democracy in it.

Speaking ahead of the event, Mr Honcharuk said: “The Western world has forgotten the price of freedom. Too many people in the West, especially politicians, began to think that monstrous wars are in history, which will never repeat itself and their freedom will not be threatened. This is a terrible mistake for which Ukraine is now paying in full.

“Ukraine is currently an example for the entire free world. An example of how one should not be afraid of the darkness and fight for one’s values.

“If the West doesn’t draw conclusions from the example of Ukraine and will not stand by to stop the darkness, the whole world will plunge into this darkness.”

The third event in the series, Sacred Freedom on Your Side: Literature and Ukraine’s National Identity (Friday, 8th of April, 6pm-7.15pm, in person) centres on Ukrainian literature. The talk is led by Dr Rory Finnin, Associate Professor of Ukrainian Studies at the University of Cambridge. His primary research interest is the interplay of literature and national identity in Ukraine. His new book, Blood of Others: Stalin’s Crimean Atrocity and the Poetics of Solidarity, is being released this spring by University of Toronto Press.

In the final event for this special Cambridge Festival series, Dr Olesya Khromeychuk discusses Ukraine’s future during her talk, Ukraine: in defence of the future (Saturday 9th April, 3pm-4.30pm, in person). Dr Olesya Khromeychuk, who is the Director of the Ukrainian Institute London, is a historian of 20th century East-Central Europe, specialising in Ukrainian history. Dr Khromeychuk has previously taught at King’s College London, the University of East Anglia, University College London and the University of Cambridge. She is the author of A Loss. The Story of a Dead Soldier Told by His Sister.

The series of talks, which aim to increase awareness about Ukraine and raise funds for charity to help those affected by the Russian invasion, are part of a programme of over 350 online and in person events at the Cambridge Festival – which begins tomorrow and runs until the 10th of April.

The Festival is the University of Cambridge’s leading public engagement event, covering a wide range of issues, including geopolitical developments such as the rise of Eurasia and a discussion about political innovation in times of crisis. It is the largest event of its kind in the country. Almost all the events are completely free.

For the full programme and bookings, please see the Festival website:   

Keep up to date with the Festival on social media: Instagram @Camunifestivals | Facebook: @CambridgeFestival | Twitter: @Cambridge_Fest

The Festival sponsors and partners are AstraZeneca and RAND Europe. The Festival media partners are BBC Radio Cambridgeshire and Cambridge Independent.