Rally, ‘teach-in’ planned as Whatcom residents react to the Russian invasion of Ukraine

As the Russian invasion of Ukraine enters its second week, Bellingham-area residents are standing in solidarity with people of Slavic descent by demonstrating for peace, and scholars are helping make sense of the war.

To help Whatcom County residents understand the roots of the conflict and its implications, Western Washington University is hosting a “teach-in” from 3-4:30 p.m. Friday, March 4, at 138 Miller Hall and via the Zoom online meeting app. One of the scheduled speakers is WWU associate professor Susan Costanzo, who studies social and cultural change in post-Stalinist Russia.

Costanzo said Ukraine has resisted Russian influence for decades, dating to World War I and most recently after ousting pro-Russian president Viktor Yanukovych, who opposed closer ties with the West. “So it’s no big surprise that there are Ukrainians resisting Russia again. It’s gotten to be not exactly what Russia expected,” she said.