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Former State Department official on the Russia-Ukraine war; Charlotte Ukrainians speak out

 Ukrainians in Brussels protest the Russian invasion
Ukrainians in Brussels protest the Russian invasion

Russia’s unprovoked invasion of Ukraine continues to take a deadly toll as it enters its third week. An untold number of civilians have been killed and more than two million people have fled the country in what the United Nations has called the fastest-growing refugee crisis since World War II.

What is Russian President Vladimir Putin’s objective with this deadly war? What role do the U.S. and NATO play, and what recourse do world powers have in dealing with Putin? We hear from a former State Department official Daniel Hamilton, now a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution’s Center on the United States and Europe to get his take.

Then, we meet two Ukrainians living in Charlotte to hear their stories about their country and the impact this war is having on their loved ones. Plus, a Charlottean who was performing with a Russian dance company in St. Petersburg — who left quickly when the war began.


Daniel Hamilton, senior fellow at the Brookings Institution’s Center on the United States and Europe. He has previously held a variety of senior positions in the U.S. Department of State, including Deputy Assistant Secretary for European Affairs

Slava Ohnov, Ukrainian swimmer and student athlete at Wingate University

Mariya Stetsyna, Charlotte resident from Ukraine. She and other Ukrainians in Charlotte have been volunteering, collecting supplies and aid to send to Ukraine.

Emma Knowlson, ballet dancer from Charlotte who was performing with a ballet company in Saint Petersburg, Russia when Ukraine was invaded.

Our guests today would like to share the following ways listeners can help Ukrainians:

Slava Ohnov is raising money to support his family in Ukraine through his GoFundMe page.

Mariya Stetsyna is supporting the following efforts with fellow Ukrainians in Charlotte (she can be contacted on her LinkedIn page):

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Erin Keever is Senior Producer of WFAE's Charlotte Talks with Mike Collins. She has been with the show since joining the station in 2006. She's a native Charlottean.