New Haven, CT – January 2023 – Professor Jeffrey Sonnenfeld hosted the Ukrainian Ambassador to the United Nations, Sergiy Kyslytsya for an in-person visit to Yale School of Management on Thursday, January 26th to discuss the Russian invasion of Ukraine and his outlook for the path forward.
The Ambassador's full-day visit started in the morning with an interactive question and answer session with a packed, standing-room-only crowd of 120 select Yale students, faculty, and staff, with 500 additional applicants unable to be seated for this short-notice opportunity. The interactive Q&A session, which was the basis of media reporting, provided students the opportunity to personally engage with Ambassador Kyslytsya on topics such as the situation on the battlefield in Ukraine; the prospects for Ukrainian victory this year; the economic pressure campaign against Russia; current challenges at the United Nations; the genesis of Russian aggression and disregard for sovereignty; financing and governing the reconstruction of Ukraine; the continued unity of the international coalition in support of Ukraine; and Ambassador Kyslytsya's own career path as a veteran diplomat and respected international statesman.
Ambassador Kyslytsya also expressed his warm gratitude to the students working with his friend Prof. Sonnenfeld for their leadership on the economic pressure campaign against Russia, including their efforts to encourage western companies to exit Russia as well as their work documenting the debilitating effect of sanctions and business retreats on the Russian economy, and their most recent work on how the world economy no longer needs Russia for energy and other raw commodities.
Ambassador Kyslytsya then joined a special off-the-record lunch session with senior faculty members and dignitaries where the Ambassador briefed the group on confidential developments from the battlefield in Ukraine and his candid assessment of the diplomatic, military, and economic outlook for the months ahead, including challenges and opportunities for both Ukraine and Russia, as well as his personal analysis of the current set of issues and personalities at the United Nations in New York City.
In the afternoon, Ambassador Kyslytsya joined Professor Sonnenfeld's renowned Strategic Leadership Across Sectors course alongside Hermitage Capital Founder and anti-Putin activist Bill Browder, former Under Secretary of State Bob Hormats, and journalist Roya Hakakian, where the Ambassador engaged in spirited debate with his fellow panelists about the road ahead for Ukraine.
Ambassador Kyslytsya's visit followed Professor Sonnenfeld's prior events at Yale School of Management including President Volodomyr Zelenskyy's interactive Q&A session alongside Yale President Peter Salovey and US Senators Richard Blumenthal and Lindsey Graham last October as well as President Zelenskyy's conversation with top US business leaders at the Yale CEO Summit last June, where Ambassador Kyslytsya accepted the Yale Legend in Leadership award on President Zelenskyy's behalf from Yale political historian Timothy Snyder, former Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd, and former CEO of Siemens and Alcoa Klaus Kleinfeld. These opportunities have provided Yale SOM students with unique opportunities to engage directly with the top levels of the Ukrainian government amidst the Russian invasion of Ukraine.