The Continuing Conflict between Russia and Ukraine: Multiple Perspectives


Two years after the occupation of Crimea, the conflict between Russia and Ukraine remains unresolved. Millions of internally displaced persons, deepening humanitarian crisis in Eastern Ukraine, continued “hybrid” warfare, multiple economic and social hardships – these are just few of the consequences of this frozen, festering conflict. On the eve of the 30th anniversary of Chornobyl, it is vitally important to consider the current situation from multiple perspectives, to pre vent it from reaching similar catastrophic proportions.

Olena Nikolayenko, Fordham University
Adrian Karatnycky, Atlantic Council
Natalia Arno, Free Russia Foundation (FRF)

Mary Holland, Director of the Graduate Lawyering Program, NYU School of Law


NYU School of Law, Vanderbilt Hall, Room 210 – 40 Washington Square, New York City, NY 10012View Map

Mary Holland (moderator) is the Director of the Graduate Legal Skills Program at New York University School of Law. Educated at Harvard and Columbia Universities, Holland has worked in international public and private law. Prior to joining NYU, Holland worked for six years at major U.S. law firms, with three years based in Moscow, Russia. She also worked at a major U.S. human rights advocacy organization as Director of its European Program. After graduating law school, she clerked for a federal district court judge. She has taught international law courses at Columbia Law School and has served as a consultant to the Aspen Institute Justice and Society Program.

Olena Nikolayenko is an Associate Professor of Political Science at Fordham University. She received her PhD in political science from the University of Toronto in 2007 and held a SSHRC post-doctoral fellowship at Stanford University’s Center on Democracy, Development, and the Rule of Law in 2007–2009. Her research interests include comparative democratization, social movements, political behavior, and youth, with a regional focus on Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union. In her first book, Citizens in the Making in Post-Soviet States, she examined political attitudes of adolescents in Russia and Ukraine. Her second book project focuses on nonviolent youth movements in Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Serbia, and Ukraine. Her publications also include articles in Canadian Journal of Political Science, Comparative Politics, Europe-Asia Studies, International Political Science Review, Youth and Society, and other journals.

Adrian Karatnycky is a Senior Fellow at the Atlantic Council (U.S.), where he co-directs its Ukraine in Europe Program. He also serves as director of the Ukrainian-Jewish Encounter. He is a Managing Partner of Myrmidon Group LLC, a private sector consultancy that advises investment banks, hedge funds, and companies on developments in Eastern Europe. From 1993 until 2004, he was President of Freedom House, during which time he developed programs of assistance to democratic and human rights movements in Eastern Europe and the Middle East and devised a range of long-term comparative analytic surveys of democracy and political reform. For twelve years he directed the benchmark surveyFreedom in the World and was co-editor of the annual Nations in Transit study of reform in the post-Communist world. From 1984 to 1993, he served as Assistant to the President of the AFL-CIO, the U.S. labor federation, where his responsibilities included international relations and assistance to Solidarity and other underground democratic opposition movements in Eastern Europe. He is a frequent contributor to Foreign Affairs, the Washington Post, the Wall Street Journal, the Financial Times, the New York Times, the Atlantic Monthly, and many other periodicals. He is a co-author of three books on Soviet and post-Soviet themes and a co-editor of over 25 other volumes.

Natalia Arno is the President and Founder of the Free Russia Foundation (FRF), a U.S.-based NGO that coordinates pro-democracy Russian communities abroad, assists Russian political opposition and civil society and informs U.S. and European policy makers about the events in Russia. Among FRF’s activities are the assistance to the legal teams of Nadia Savchenko, Marina Litvinenko and Boris Nemtsov’s family, translation and distribution of reports “Putin’s War,” proving Russia’s direct engagement in military operations in Eastern Ukraine and “A threat to national security” about the Chechen President Ramzan Kadyrov and his regime, production of reports “Russia’s bad example” about the repressive legislation that is borrowed from Russia by other countries and “The impact of western sanctions on the Russian population and business elites.” From 2004 to 2014 Natalia worked at the International Republican Institute until she fled the Russian Federation due to persecution.

Organized by VOLYA Institute for Contemporary Law and Society; Co-Sponsored by Hauser Global, Law School Program, Law Students for Human Rights, and Self Reliance NY FCU. Media sponsor: International Law Society



VOLYA Institute for Contemporary Law and Society is a newly formed international think tank organization dedicated to generating and promoting intellectual leadership in the fields of civil society, human rights and the rule of law through rigorous and relevant research that informs scholarship, policy making, advocacy and practice. Organizational activities focus on creating strategic and sustainable solutions to specific societal issues related to Ukraine, in local, regional, and global contexts. Contact: