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University of Texas experts weigh in on Ukraine war

"This event really has the potential to reshape global politics – not just for the next few months but for even decades to come."

AUSTIN, Texas — On Wednesday, University of Texas students, professors and staff gathered to discuss the current war in Ukraine. 

All panelists agreed on one thing.

"This event really has the potential to reshape global politics," said Sheena Chestnut Greitens, UT LBJ School of Public Affairs professor, "not just for the next few months but for years and even decades to come. An invasion of a sovereign country unprovoked is a very, very serious crime in international politics."

UT professor William Inboden agrees. 

"This is the first time since World War II that we've seen one country invade another in Europe in this way," said Inboden. "So, this is not just a mere conflict or disagreement or a civil war skirmish, this is a profound disruption to the postwar order that was created in the aftermath of World War II."

Inboden said Russia President Vladimir Putin invaded Ukraine because he never accepted its existence as an independent country. One thing Putin didn't count on was resistance from Ukraine and the involvement of other countries.

"Putin has also been surprised at the overwhelming economic response from Europe, the United States, even some Asian countries, such as Japan," he added, "imposing really unprecedented, crippling economic sanctions, which are crashing the Russian economy."

On Wednesday, Texas state representatives met in hopes that Texas takes economic measures against Russia

"Texas is the ninth-largest economy in the world," said Rep. Rafael Anchia, Texas House Committee on Pensions, Investments and Financial Services chair. "This is a moment of action. It's a moment of emergency, and Texas is a leader on the global economic and energy stand stage, and we have a duty to urgently respond."

In the meeting, representatives stressed Texas has a responsibility to support Ukrainians. They hope to implement economic sanctions against Russia.

There are already several sanctions that continue to impact Russia's economy. Because Putin has to pay his soldiers, buy bombs and tanks, his cash reserves are rapidly diminishing. 

"Some of the hardship the Russian people are going to be suffering is from their economy crashing and especially the drain on his resources from the war," added Inboden. "He's certainly in much worse shape financially than he was a few weeks ago."

Now, all we can do is wait. The world is now left to wonder what Putin's plans are.

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