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Spotlight on Ukraine: History, Politics, and the Path Forward

April 25, 2023 - 6:00pm to 8:00pm
University Library - Jack & Florence Ferman Presentation Room
Chyrkin Dmytro
Dmytro Chyrkin

The conflict between Russia and Ukraine officially "broke out" in February 2022, and since then the media has daily brought us images and stories of stands taken, cities overrun, and lives lost, Join us as Professor Donal O'Sullivan (Department of History) leads a discussion of the historical underpinnings of this struggle and its significance to the survival of Ukrainian culture and memory. Professor O'Sullivan will be joined on the panel by Dmytro and Nataliia Chyrkin, who fled Ukraine with their family.

A question and answer session will follow the panel discussion. Moderated by Robert Gohstand, Professor Emeritus, Department of Geography. Sponsored by the Friends of the University Library.


Dr. Donal O’Sullivan, Department of History

Born in Cologne, Germany, Donal O’Sullivan graduated with an MA from the Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms University in Bonn in 1989, just as the Berlin Wall came down He pursued his studies with a PhD in 1995 on British and German views of Soviet Russia in the 1920s and 1930s. Dr. O’Sullivan joined CSUN in 2007 and teaches classes in Russian and German history. In 2011, he was invited to the Hoover Institution’s Summer Archives workshop, where he studied documents of the former KGB in Lithuania. He is currently working on a study of historical forgeries and the recruitment of former Gestapo officers by Allied services (see full bio).

Chyrkina Nataliia
Nataliia Chyrkin

Dmytro and Nataliia Chyrkin

Before the war, Dmytro, 38, and Nataliia, 36, lived in Odessa with their children, 9 and 11. Odessa is the third most populous city with a major seaport and trading hub located in the southwest of Ukraine, on the northwestern shore of the Black Sea. Dmytro worked as a licensed attorney practicing in civil litigation. In March 2022 Natalia and the children departed Ukraine for Germany. Their journey from Odessa to the small village of Lauschied took approximately 7 days. Dmytro followed a month later. After submitting documents for the program “Uniting for Ukraine,” the family arrived in the U.S. on August 6, 2022. Currently Dmytro works as a law clerk in a litigation law firm and Natalia works for a government program assisting refugees and immigrants.

Time Activity
5:30 PM – 6:16 PM General welcome and refreshments
6:15 PM – 6:20 PM Welcome by Dean Mark Stover
6:25 PM – 6:30 PM Introduction to Friends of the Library and the guest speakers by Dr. Bob Gohstand
6:30 PM – 6:40 PM Opening personal story by Dmytro Chyrkin
6:40 PM – 7:10 PM Lecture on Ukraine by Dr. Donal B. O’Sullivan
7:10 PM – 7:25 PM Panel Q&A with Dr. O’Sullivan, the Chyrkins, and Dr. Gohstand as moderator
7:25 PM – 8:00 PM Networking Activity

Please RSVP Below

Assistive Services

Requests for accommodation services (e.g., sign language interpreters or transcribers) must be made at least five (5) business days in advance. Please e-mail in advance of the event.