“They say that generals are the last ones who want to go to war because, unlike politicians, they know what it leads to.”
Ukrainian capital Kyiv is invaded by Russian forces 2-24-2022, move to "decapitate" political leadership
About 7 years ago, I worked with a Fulbright researcher at the University of Redlands, who had left Ukraine to pursue her career opportunities. The country had been divided politically and economically for years, and Putin's advances on both fronts have been unrelenting.
Dr. C has, along with her husband, continued to have success in her career pursuits, some in Ukraine and the most recent in Germany. Back in those days, she told us about how the western part of the country is more westernized, and the eastern regions more tied to their Russian roots, culture, and politics. West = more cities and population centers, diverse industry and booming economy; East = more agrarian and less dense population centers, not as much economic growth.
Dr. C guest lectured in my Marketing Management course for MBA students one day at my invitation. The cohort's challenge that day was to listen to Dr. C's lecture on potential growth sectors in Western Ukraine, do a quick study of the economic profiles she presented, research additionally online using their laptops in class, and report back by the end of the class session their ideas for consumer products within emerging or growth industries that "the people would want" and that would continue to bolster the thriving western economy.
It was an excellent exercise to see these Southern California-based students, most of them working adults in the mid-careers, stretching outside their usual purviews to imagine the lives and aspirations of the Ukrainian people.
Those 25 or so MBA students based in Redlands, California, were able to make a real, human connection to a young professional from Ukraine. I am sure their hearts, like mine, go out to the people of Ukraine.