University Of Rhode Island Prof In Ukraine

Mar 4, 2014

A University of Rhode Island Professor is an eye-witness to the political upheaval in Ukraine where he's living on a Fulbright research grant.

Professor Nicolai Petro is safe, but paying close attention to the ongoing crisis.

University of Rhode Island

Petro is studying the role of religion in regional politics in the coastal city of Odessa.

It’s about an hour’s flight from the country’s capital Kiev, and several hours from the pro-Russian region of Crimea. Petro says things are calm in Odessa, which is a predominantly Russian speaking area of the country, and has no plans to leave any time soon.  He says U.S. officials have already sent home all Peace Corps volunteers.

“But they’re letting us fulbrighters decide how we feel about staying. And the situation is really different from region to region.  In our region where it’s relatively quiet people have said, I’m fine I think I’ll stay," said Petro.

Petro says southern Ukrainians want a seat at the table as the government rebuilds, but he sees no threat of immediate violence in his region.

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