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Russia, Crimea, Ukraine: riddle, mystery, enigma? (Defence Lecture)

Professor Chris Bellamy, Professor of Maritime Security and Director of the Maritime Institute, University of Greenwich

Date/Time: 6th November 2014

In February 2014, tensions between the Russian Federation and Ukraine rose sharply. Russia seized the Crimea using Russian forces deployed there under a 1994 agreement with Kiev on Russia's Black Sea Fleet. Civil war broke out in eastern Ukraine, and many feared that 2014 could become a repeat of 1914.

It is possible to argue that Russian actions were, at least initially, understandable and the international community effectively condoned the seizure of Crimea. However, Russia's involvement in eastern Ukraine since then has been widely condemned and, the speaker argues, has done Russia no good.

Speaker biography

Chris Bellamy is Director of the Greenwich Maritime Institute, and Professor of Maritime Security, University of Greenwich. Before joining Greenwich in 2010 he ran the Cranfield University Security Studies Institute at the Defence Academy of the UK, Shrivenham. He is the author of several major books including Absolute War: Soviet Russia in the Second World War, which won the Westminster Medal for Military Literature in 2008.

In a varied career he has been an army officer, a civil servant in the Ministry of Defence and, from 1990-1997, Defence Correspondent of the Independent newspaper, reporting from the 1991 Gulf War, from Bosnia and Chechnya. He is a fluent Russian speaker. He regularly features on TV news channels commenting on security and defence issues.