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Students target UChicago political scientist for sharing Ukraine opinion

He accurately called the 2014 violent removal of the president a coup

Students at the University of Chicago are not happy with Professor John Mearsheimer – and they want the school to “remedy” the “problem” of his comments.

Professor Mearsheimer, known for his work on the realist approach to national security issues, has argued that problems in Ukraine are the fault of the West.

He gave a speech in 2015 that called the violent 2014 removal of President Viktor Yanukovych a “coup.” He also referred to fighting between two groups of Ukranians in the Donbas region a “civil war.”

The same views were described in a 2014 Foreign Affairs article he wrote.

He has also continues to hold these positions to this day. Mearsheimer’s stance is not pro-Putin, but instead he argues the United States has used Ukraine as a pawn and given it false hope that it could compete with Russia.

That’s not how a handful of students see it.

The letter (below) to President Paul Alivasatos implores him to take up their fight to “identify and condemn those who are actively engaged in the spread of Putinism.”

The students, Daryna Safarian, Edita Kuberka, Iryna Irkliyenko, Darya Kolesnichenko and Sergiy Kuchko, were “pained” to find out that Mearsheimer had referred to in-fighting between Ukrainians as a “civil war.” They took issue with his labeling of the 2014 removal of Yanukovych as a “coup.”

Mearsheimer’s actions did not just hurt the students – they were “detrimental” to the country. His statements were “not substantiated by any meaningful historical or scholarly evidence,” the students alleged.

They demanded he disclose any funds he has received from Russia and a clear statement on his beliefs on “Russian aggression in Ukraine.” It also wants the university to condemn Mearsheimer’s statements by extension, through a public announcement that clarifies the university “does not condone[s] anti-Ukrainian ideology on campus.”

Their “suggestions would remedy a problem,” the students claim.

MORE: 74% of professors targeted for speech end up punished

IMAGE: University of Chicago/YouTube

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About the Author
Associate Editor
Matt has previously worked at Students for Life of America, Students for Life Action and Turning Point USA. While in college, he wrote for The College Fix as well as his college newspaper, The Loyola Phoenix. He holds a B.A. from Loyola University-Chicago and a M.A. from the University of Nebraska-Omaha. He lives in northwest Indiana with his family.