The conflict in Ukraine continues to change on a minute-by-minute basis, and journalists who are seeking context into the myriad political, historical, social, and economic issues that have arisen as a result of the Russian invasion can turn to the following UNLV experts for insight.

Watch College of Liberal of Arts faculty including historian Paul Werth, political scientist Christian Jensen, and sociologist Dmitri Shalin discuss the historical and political ramifications of the invasion.

History & Political Science

Paul Werth — Professor of History

  • The Russian Empire and the Soviet Union since 1750
  • Problems and practices of imperial rule
  • Religious freedom and tolerance
  • Russian borders and territorial scope

Paul Werth, a professor of history at UNLV, can offer insight on the historical relationship between Ukraine and Russia. According to Werth, at the center of the story is the imperial character of Russia's political formations and its conception of the nation over the centuries and Ukraine's place within them.

In response to the conflict, and to explore the historical roots of the current crisis, Werth is offering a special, five-week course beginning March 4.

Christian Jensen — Associate Professor of Political Science 

  • Comparative politics
  • Political institutions of the European Union
  • Industrial democracies

Christian Jensen, associate professor of political science, can discuss political parties and democratic institutions, especially in the European Union (EU). Jensen can weigh in on the role of EU members and European Parliament in the current conflict, Ukraine’s candidacy for the EU, and the complex and volatile current political climate in Europe.

Tiffiany Howard — Associate Professor of Political Science

  • Migration and refugee policy
  • Gender and race studies
  • International security, conflict, and terrorism

Tiffiany Howard, director of the Center for Migration, Demography, and Population Studies at UNLV, is available to discuss political violence, as well as policies that impact immigrants and refugees. Howard can weigh in on issues that have arisen from people fleeing Ukraine for safety, and reported incidents of racism, hostility, and red tape at the Ukrainian border.

Steven Landis — Assistant Professor of Political Science

  • Conflict processes
  • International relations
  • Climate security

UNLV political scientist Steven Landis can discuss and contrast the motivations and trends of autocracies vs. democracies in conflicts, and offer insight into the foreign policy interests of the countries involved in the Russia-Ukraine conflict. 

Misinformation and Communication

Mary Blakenship — Brookings Mountain West researcher

  • Social media misinformation and disinformation
  • Combating online propaganda

Ukraine native Mary Blankenship is a Brookings Mountain West graduate student researcher who studies misinformation and disinformation on the internet and social media. She is currently analyzing over 12 million tweets pertaining to the discussion of the Ukrainian invasion, and is available to offer insight on the reasons behind the creation of online propaganda and tips to combat it.

Social and Emotional Well-Being and Human Behavior

Stephen Benning — Associate Professor of Psychology

  • Clinical psychology 
  • Emotions
  • Maintaining mental health

Psychologist Stephen Benning directs the Psychophysiology of Emotion and Personality Lab at UNLV and is available to discuss strategies for coping with feelings of anxiety caused by uncertainty and confusion, and tips for remaining calm amid the unfolding crisis. 

Dmitri Shalin — Professor of Sociology

  • Russian society
  • Democratic culture
  • Social health

Dmitri Shalin is a professor of sociology and director of the university’s Center for Democratic Culture. Among Shalin’s research interests is the study of Russian society, and he’s currently teaching a course on Russian society. He can discuss Russian-Ukrainian relations and has published extensively on Russia’s politics, culture, and society.  In 2019, he edited a book on Russian Intelligentsia in the Age of Counterperestroika featuring articles by Russian and American scholars on the fate of intellectuals in Putin’s Russia. Shalin is also editor of the Social Health of Nevada Report.  


Stephen Miller — Professor and Director of Research for the Center for Business and Economic Research

  • U.S. and regional economy
  • Economic impacts of global unrest
  • International finance

Stephen Miller is an economist, professor, and director of research for UNLV’s Center for Business and Economic Research. He can discuss the wide-ranging implications of the war in Ukraine on the U.S. and regional economies, including inflation, energy prices, and food prices. He can also weigh in on the broad impact of the conflict on international financial markets, including SWIFT.

Dan Bubb – Aviation/Travel Expert

  • Domestic and international air travel
  • Airline fuel prices
  • Border crossing impacts

Dan Bubb — a former airline pilot who teaches history and political science courses for UNLV's Honors College — can speak about the conflict’s effect on domestic and international air travel, as well as related fuel price and border crossing impacts. In addition to authoring books on commercial aviation and airport history in the American West, his research areas include U.S., American Western, and world history.