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

Abstract: Brian D’Agostino’s presentation examines 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. The discussants will also consider some historical and other factors that played a role in the Ukraine/Russia conflict.


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 an American citizen who believes that U.S. and NATO policies are causing great harm to Ukraine, Europe, the United States, and the Global South. 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, including war trauma. Ben Abelow 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 was translated to multiple languages and praised by progressives and conservatives.

Inna Rozentsvit, M.D., PhD, MSciEd, is a neurologist, neurorehabilitation specialist, and educator, trained in psychoanalysis in functional medicine, who is involved in transdisciplinary research, teaching, and publishing. She is a founder and the CEO of the Neurorecovery Solutions, a non-profit organization that helps neurologically impaired individuals and their families, as well as the Programs Director at the Object Relations Institute for Psychotherapy and Psychoanalysis, the Associate Director of Psychohistory Forum, and an Associate Editor of Clio’s Psyche, a psychohistorical publication.