Politics & Policy

Propaganda, Sanctions and NATO: A Dive Into the Russia-Ukraine Crisis

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In February, Russian President Vladimir Putin launched a full-scale military invasion of Ukraine, creating massive destruction and an ongoing refugee crisis. Across the globe, many have protested the Russia-Ukraine war and Putin’s acts of violence, but the president remains undeterred in his mission to overtake the country.

While international media coverage of the war echos a message of condemnation, communications from Putin, Russian state-run media and Russian-owned automated social media accounts — bots — have been disparate and confusing.

In the U.S., President Joe Biden imposed multiple sanctions on business and trade with Russia, which include an exportation block on technology in an effort to hinder Russian efforts to grow its military and aerospace sector. The U.S. has also frozen assets of Russian banks with domestic locations and the assets of wealthy families connected to the Kremlin, removing major Russian banks from the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication (SWIFT).

In this seminar, experts from the USC Center on Public Diplomacy at USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism discuss Russia’s information war and state-run propaganda, sanctions and potential intervention by NATO.

Who Will Benefit

– Those looking to understand the impact of the U.S. sanctions placed on Russia and its economy
– Political strategists seeking to know how NATO will react to the Russian-Ukraine war
– Those hoping to uncover how other countries’ involvement may impact Russia’s response

About Our Featured Faculty

Willow Bay was appointed dean of the USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism and holder of the Walter H. Annenberg Chair in Communication in July 2017. A veteran broadcast journalist and a leader in digital communication, Bay was previously the director of the USC Annenberg School of Journalism (2014–17). Bay came to USC Annenberg from her post as senior editor and then senior strategic adviser of The Huffington Post, where she managed editorial content and growth initiatives for the pioneering on-line news site. In addition, she was a special correspondent for Bloomberg TV and host of Women to Watch, a primetime program that profiled the next generation of women leaders in various industries.

Her prominent broadcast experience includes reporting and anchoring for ABC News’ Good Morning America/Sunday and serving as a correspondent for Good Morning America and World News Weekend. The first woman to co-anchor CNN’s flagship daily financial news program Moneyline News Hour, Bay also anchored Business Unusual and Pinnacle. At NBC, she co-hosted NBA Inside Stuff, the NBA’s weekly magazine show, and served as a correspondent for the Today Show morning program. Bay is the author of Talking to Your Kids in Tough Times: How to Answer Your Child’s Questions about the World We Live In (Warner Books, 2003). She earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Pennsylvania and an MBA from New York University’s Stern School of Business.

Nick Cull is a historian of the role of mass communication in foreign policy. He is originally from the U.K. and received his BA (international history and politics) and PhD (history) from the University of Leeds. He also studied at Princeton as a Harkness Fellow of the Commonwealth Fund of New York. He taught at Birmingham University and at University of Leicester where, as one of the U.K.’s youngest full professors, he launched the Center on American Studies in 1997.

Moving to USC in 2005, he was the founding director of the master’s program in public diplomacy and part of the team recognized by the Department of State with the Benjamin Franklin Award. From 2004 to 2019, Cull served as president of the International Association for Media and History. He has provided advice and training in public diplomacy to a number of foreign ministries and cultural agencies around the world including those of the U.S., U.K., Canada, Mexico, Switzerland and the Netherlands. His many books include Public Diplomacy: Foundations for Global Engagement in the Digital Age (Polity, 2019).

Robert English is an associate professor of international relations, Slavic languages and literature and environmental studies at USC Dornsife. Professor English studies Russia, the former USSR and Eastern Europe, with a focus ranging from general issues of regional relations to specific questions of ethnicity, identity, and nationalism. He is presently working on a book-length study entitled Our Serbian Brethren: History, Myth, and the Politics of Russian National Identity. He formerly worked as a policy analyst for the U.S. Department of Defense and the Committee for National Security. He is the recipient of National or International Prize in Discipline, Marshal Shulman Prize, American Association for the Advancement of Slavic Studies and recipient of National or International Prize in Discipline, Harold D. Lasswell Prize, American Political Science Association.

Jay Wang is director of the USC Center on Public Diplomacy and an associate professor at the USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism. He previously worked for the international consulting firm McKinsey & Company, where he advised clients on matters of communication strategy and implementation across a variety of industries and sectors. Wang has written widely on the role of communication in the contemporary process of globalization. He is co-editor of the newly published book, Debating Public Diplomacy: Now and Next. He is the author of Shaping China’s Global Imagination: Nation Branding at the World Expo and several other books. He serves on the editorial board of the International Journal of Communication.

Charles F. Zukoski is the provost and senior vice president for academic affairs at USC. He holds the Shelly and Ofer Nemirovsky Provost’s Chair. As the university’s second-ranking administrator, he oversees 23 other professional schools and academic units, in addition to USC’s museums, and the divisions of student affairs, libraries, research, student religious life, and enrollment services. Zukoski received his PhD in chemical engineering from Princeton University and his bachelor’s degree from Reed College. Zukoski served as Provost and executive vice president for Academic Affairs at the University at Buffalo from 2012-2019. The University at Buffalo is a premier research university that encompasses the largest and most comprehensive campus of the 64 higher education institutions within the State University of New York system.