Panel: Understanding the Ukraine War (continued)
• Panelists: Brian D’Agostino, Ben Abelow, and Inna Rozentsvit (60 min)


This panel will examine the different facets of the Russia-Ukraine conflict from three complementary perspectives.

Brian D’Agostino will examine conflicting narratives about the Ukraine war, what caused it, why it continues, and how it can be ended. In one common view, for example, the 24 February 2022 invasion was unprovoked, and the Russian imperialism that motivated it poses an ominous security threat to European and world security. In contrast, the invasion was an act of aggression under international law but was primarily a response to threats to Russia’s own security posed by NATO expansion, and most likely would not have occurred had the US and NATO made peace with Russia in the years following the end of the Cold War. This presentation evaluates such theories considering the available evidence and assesses alternative scenarios for ending the fighting and rebuilding security in the post-war world.

Benjamin Abelow will focus his presentation on debunking false narratives that underlie the war. He will present and discuss evidence that the widespread narrative propagated by Western governments and media, that Russia invaded Ukraine to expand its territory and, in some sense, to reestablish the Russian or Soviet Empire, is incorrect. Correspondingly, he will show that the “NATO-provocation thesis” and related explanations provide the correct understanding of the origins of the war. He will present the view that correctly understanding the origins of the war is essential if we wish to bring the war to an optimal conclusion.

Inna Rozentsvit, originally from the former Soviet Union, and who spent her childhood in Ukraine, then studied medicine in Russia, will bring to this discussion her lived and transgenerational experience of Ukro-Nazism. This topic of Nazism in modern Ukraine is treated as an elephant in the room, and it is avoided by western media, and even dropped from the agenda of negotiations that happened at the beginning of the Russian “special operation” in Ukraine. Some psychohistorical data about the “specialness” of Nazism in Ukraine will be presented, highlighting the fact that although no official Nazi party exists in Ukraine currently, and there is no Fuhrer, Ukro-Nazism is more dangerous than it was in Nazi Germany.


Brian D’Agostino, PhD, is President of the International Psychohistorical Association, and editor of Disarmament Times. He is the author of peer reviewed research in political psychology, numerous articles on psychohistory and public affairs, and The Middle-Class Fights Back: How Progressive Movements Can Restore Democracy in America. Visit his website at

Benjamin Abelow, M.D., is the author of How the West Brought War to Ukraine: Understanding How U.S. and NATO Policies Led to Crisis, War, and the Risk of Nuclear Catastrophe, which has been translated into seven languages. He previously worked in Washington, DC, on nuclear arms issues. He has a B.A. in European history from the University of Pennsylvania and an M.D. from the Yale School of Medicine, where he also served as Lecturer in Medicine. His other areas of interest include the study of trauma.

Inna Rozentsvit, M.D., PhD, MSciEd, is a physician-neurologist, neurorehabilitation specialist, and educator, trained in psychoanalysis in functional medicine, who is involved in transdisciplinary research, teaching, and publishing. She is the Associate Director of Psychohistory Forum, and an Associate Editor of Clio’s Psyche, a psychohistorical publication. Her psychohistorical research is focusing on transgenerational transmission of trauma and resilience, parenting and parenthood, and introduction of psychoneurobiological lens to study human condition.