TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (WIAT) — As people around the world watch what is going on in Ukraine, one local history professor is sharing her perspective on the crisis.  

Dr. Margaret Peacock is a Russian History associate professor at the University of Alabama. She says her heart is heavy for the Ukranian people who are putting up a good fight against superior Russian military forces who invaded the country Thursday.

“Obviously, this is a terrible invasion and incursion into their national sovereignty that’s unforgivable,” Peacock said.  

Peacock says she is hoping that pressure and international sanctions coming from NATO countries will force Russia to stop the war.

“I think the hope of the world at this point is that all this international pressure and sanctions will force Putin and his military to back down. That is the great hope,” she said. “Putin’s end game is to orchestrate a regime change in Ukraine and I hate to say it, even with all the great resistance, Ukraine will not be able to stand up to overwhelming Russian military power.”

The UA professor teaches several students who are from the regions where the fighting is taking place.  One student is from Russia and the other is from Ukraine.  

Peacock says the crisis has been difficult for both students.

“I think it’s difficult for all of them, how they are managing to get through school and to get on with their work is difficult to even understand, and we sympathize with them,” she said. “In fact neither of them came to class last week.”

The two students did not want to be interviewed.