Univ. of Iowa professor from Russia talks about watching the war unfold

Published: Mar. 29, 2022 at 6:14 PM CDT
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IOWA CITY, Iowa (KCRG) - Finance Professor at the University of Iowa, Dr. Art Durnev was born in Russia, but has four citizenships. As he watches the war unfold between Russia and Ukraine, he along with many of his friends and family members from there, are feeling a sense of responsibility.

“Subsequently, it just took several weeks just to absorb the initial shock and in terms of how we feel about this, especially Russians living here supporting Ukraine and having this feeling of guilt. We had the opportunity to change things. We probably didn’t work hard enough on that,” said Dr. Durnev.

He wants people to know that he and his Russian colleagues support the people of Ukraine and have compassion for Russian citizens who don’t want war.

“I have two children, two teenage boys that don’t speak my language, Russian. But they fully support Ukraine, they wear the t-shirts, and there’s a lot of understanding,” said Dr. Durnev.

Political Science Professor, Dr. William Reisinger, teaches about Democracy and Soviet Policy - his curriculum seems made for this moment.

“The question of perspective is important, you know if there’s going to be blame then put the blame where it belongs,” said Dr. Reisinger.

And as Dr. Durnev continues his public affirmation for Ukraine, he also continues to check in with the people he knows are still in Russia. He can tell, they fear some of the consequences of this war too.

“People are not talking. You can read between the lines what they say over the phone, what they write, but they are not talking.”

Like many others, Dr. Durnev tells me he can’t begin to imagine when this war might end. But in the meantime he’s grateful to be here in Iowa surrounded by the people here and be able to demonstrate his support for Ukraine.

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