This February, we mark the second anniversary of Russia's full-scale invasion of Ukraine and a decade since Russia violated international law by occupying Crimea and starting the war in eastern Ukraine. The panel will explore possible developments in Ukraine’s ongoing defence of its statehood, assess the implications for European security and global democratic processes, and explore the role we collectively play in shaping the outcomes of the war.
- Rory Finnin
- Nataliya Gumenyuk
- Christina Lamb
- Pedro Serrano
- Melinda Simmons
- Olesya Khromeychuk (moderator)
Rory Finnin is University Associate Professor of Ukrainian Studies at the University of Cambridge. He launched Cambridge Ukrainian Studies in 2008. He is former Head of the Department of Slavonic Studies (2014-18) and former Chair of the Cambridge Committee for Russian and East European Studies (CamCREES) (2011-18). Rory Finnin is a trustee of the Ukrainian Institute London.
Nataliya Gumenyuk is a Ukrainian journalist and author specialising in foreign affairs and conflict reporting. She is the CEO of the Public Interest Journalism Lab and Co-Founder and Lead Journalist of The Reckoning Project, which documents war crimes in Ukraine. Gumenyuk is the author of several documentaries and books, including The Lost Island: Tales From The Occupied Crimea, and Maidan Tahrir. Nataliya regularly writes for The Guardian, The Washington Post, The Rolling Stone, Die Zeit, and The Atlantic. She also provides commentaries for CNN, MSNBC, Sky News, Monocle. Gumenyuk was the co-founder and head of independent Ukrainian media Hromadske TV and Hromadske International for five years and is currently a Board member. Gumenyuk is a Member of the Council for Freedom for Speech Under the President of Ukraine, as well as the Independent Media Council.
Christina Lamb OBE is Chief Foreign Correspondent at The Sunday Times and one of Britain’s leading foreign journalists as well as a bestselling author. She has reported from most of the world’s hotspots from Afghanistan to Ukraine after an unexpected wedding invitation led her to Karachi in 1987 when she was just 21, and won numerous awards including six times being named Foreign Correspondent of the Year. She has authored ten books including Our Bodies Their Battlefields, What War does to Women and co-writing I Am Malala with Malala Yousafzai. She is a Global Envoy for UN Education Cannot Wait, an Honorary Fellow of University College Oxford, on the International Board of the Institute for War and Peace Reporting and an Associate of the Imperial War Museum.
Pedro Serrano is the EU Ambassador to the United Kingdom. Chief of Staff to the European Union’s High Representative for foreign affairs and security policy and EC Vice President Josep Borrell Fontelles until October 2022, his previous roles include that of Deputy Secretary General for Common Security and Defence Policy and Crisis Response at the European External Action Service (EEAS) and Diplomatic Advisor to the President of the European Council Herman Van Rompuy. Pedro Serrano was also the first EU Ambassador to the United Nations, in New York, after the entry into force of the Lisbon Treaty. Born in Madrid, Spain, Pedro Serrano is married and has two daughters.
Dame Melinda Simmons was the British Ambassador to Ukraine until September 2023. She began her career in international sales and moved from there to work for an NGO specialising in conflict prevention and resolution in war torn countries. She progressed to the Civil Service and worked for the Department for International Development in several policy roles, including a tour overseas in South Africa as well as heading up the Middle East and the Europe Departments. She also worked for the National Security Secretariat at the Cabinet Office, setting up and running a cross government fund focused on prevention and resolution of violent conflict, before transferring to the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office. Before taking up the role in Kyiv Melinda was head of Conflict Department, and among her work there campaigned for justice for crimes of sexual violence against women and girls in wartorn countries. She also specialised in United Nations peacekeeping and peacebuilding.
Olesya Khromeychuk is the Director of the Ukrainian Institute London. She is a historian and writer. She has taught the history of East-Central Europe at several British universities, and has written for The New York Times, The New York Review of Books, Der Spiegel, the Los Angeles Review of Books, Prospect and The New Statesman. Khromeychuk is the author of The Death of a Soldier Told by His Sister (2022) and “Undetermined” Ukrainians. Post-War Narratives of the Waffen SS “Galicia” Division (2013).