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Russian invasion sparks Locke and Key discussion

ALEX HAMMEKE / ANTELOPE STAFF The Locke and Key Society examined US sanctions and the increasing tension in Ukraine.

An ample crowd was on hand at Copeland Hall on Thursday night for a discussion from the Locke and Key society about Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Expected to be a conversation over the building tension, the discussion rapidly changed less than 24 hours before the event because of the Russian invasion and attacks within the region. As a result, discussion questions were required to be rewritten the hour before the event.

Roughly 20 students were in attendance, including UNK political science professors Dr. Joan Blaukamp and Dr. Charles Rowling. Haley Mazour and Tanner Butler, moderators of the discussion, said that this was the largest turnout for one of Locke and Key Society’s monthly discussions.

“The last couple of years Locke and Key has been a bit of a smaller organization. Earlier last semester we talked about FIJI (UNL Fraternity) and we had about ten [attendees]. We’re always welcoming new people and are really glad so many people showed up tonight.” Mazour said.

The discussion was rather light on the first two questions, which were the initial thoughts of why Russia decided to invade and Russia’s justifications for invasion. The crowd opened up when the topic was brought up about the response from the international community.

The crowd was fully warmed up when US economic sanctions were discussed. There was consensus amongst some that the sanctions did not go far enough, with one member of the discussion stating that the US needed to “lay the hammer down” with tougher sanctions.

International military and diplomatic bodies were questioned as well. With Russia being the chair of the UN Security Council this year, the sticky situation begins on how to punish Russia at the UN level, especially when Russia is the chair of the UN’s biggest council in terms of importance.

Should Russia choose to expand their borders westward, they could be invading NATO members and NATO would then find themselves under attack on their own soil, a situation not seen in quite some time. 

The internal response within Russia was also discussed, with protests happening in larger cities in Russia against their own country’s military actions. Alongside that, the impending refugee crisis was a topic, as many Ukrainians are fleeing the country into mainland Europe and the continent has been a safe haven for refugees within the past decade.

The UNK Department of Political Science will have further discussion about this situation with a Fireside Chat this Friday at 12:20 p.m. The chat is open to the public. For more information, contact Department Chair Dr. William Aviles at 

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