“Nobody is going to break us”
A History of Russian Aggression in Ukraine

Amber Nickell

2022-2023 Rabbi Gedalyah Engel Lecturer
Assistant Professor of History, Fort Hays State University

Freedom is our Religion

Co-sponsored with Hays Holocaust Remembrance Committee at Ft. Hays State University.

On February 24, 2022, Russia escalated its imperial war of aggression in Ukraine, occupying Chornobyl, dropping bombs on major urban centers, and participating in the mass rape and execution of Ukraine’s population. While this rapid increase in violence shocked Ukrainian studies scholars, we always understood this to be a potential outcome of Russian imperialism. Indeed, the rapid escalation of Russian violence towards the Ukrainian peoples fits the historic patterns of Russian-Ukrainian relations. For centuries, the Russian Empire and its successor states treated the peoples and lands of Ukraine as tools to be used and abused in their imperial schemes. In this presentation, Dr. Nickell will examine the long history of the Russian Empire, the Soviet Union, and the Russian Federation’s imperial aggression, demonstrating that systemic violence, cultural erasure, and Russian chauvinistic rhetoric are part and parcel of historical Russian imperialism in Ukraine.

Watch Presentation on YouTube

Dr. Amber Nickell Dr. Amber Nickell is an Assistant Professor of History at Fort Hays State University. She earned a Ph.D. in Central and Eastern European history from Purdue University (2021). She also holds an MA in American history and a BA in European history from the University of Northern Colorado. She is an editor and board member for H-Ukraine, A Great Plains Fellow at the Center for Russian, East European, and Eurasian Studies at Kansas University, and a Podcast Host for New Books Network’s Jewish Studies, Ukrainian Studies, and Eastern Europe channels. She has presented her work at numerous local, national, and international conferences, workshops, and symposia and received a number of awards for her writing, research, service, and teaching. Additionally, she is a recipient of several research grants and fellowships, including the Saul Kagan Fellowship for Advanced Shoah Studies, the Auschwitz Jewish Center Fellowship, Title VIII fellowships, and the Fulbright Fellowship (Ukraine). Amber is, first and foremost, a publicly engaged scholar and teacher. She is dedicated to public Human Rights and Holocaust education and awareness in her community.

February 28, 2023, 5:00 - 6:30 PM EST
University Hall, Room 217, Purdue University


Statement regarding Ukraine

The GLHRC fully supports the following statement issued by the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum (USHMM), and we stand with the Ukrainian people in their defense of their sovereignity: The USHMM strongly condemns Russia’s outrageous attack on Ukraine and is deeply concerned about threats to civilians and loss of life. In justifying this attack, Vladimir Putin has misrepresented and misappropriated Holocaust history by claiming falsely that democratic Ukraine needs to be “denazified.” Equally groundless and egregious are his claims that Ukrainian authorities are committing “genocide” as a justification for the invasion of Ukraine.

Mission Statement

The goals of the Greater Lafayette Holocaust Remembrance Committee, initiated by Rabbi Gedalyah Engel and the Mayors of Lafayette and West Lafayette in 1981, are to continue awareness of the Nazis' War against the Jews from 1933-1945, to honor the victims and survivors of the Holocaust, and to promote individual, community, and media responsibility for combating the forces of prejudice, hatred, and discrimination today.

Contact us: info@glhrc.org

© 2023 Greater Lafayette Holocaust Remembrance Conference Committee.
Archive: Past Conferences