At Library, lecturer says negotiation will end Ukraine war

Apr 26, 2023

Henry Quinlan doesn’t have much faith in what Americans are hearing about the ongoing war in Ukraine.

“The big casualty in this war is truth,” said Quinlan, a resident of West Wareham and an enthusiast of Russian-Ukrainian geopolitics. “I don’t believe anything the Russians put out, I don’t believe anything the Ukrainians put out and I don’t believe anything the Americans put out.”

Quinlan gave his perspective on the war to around 20 people at the Wareham Free Library on Wednesday, April 26. 

Quinlan lived in Moscow for five years in the 1980s, and has traveled back and forth to Russia (then the Soviet Union) more than 60 times. He also had a long relationship with the late Russian ambassador to the United Nations, Vitaly Churkin.

Quinlan now runs the publishing company Omni, which publishes the “So, You Think You Know the South Coast?” and “So, You Think You Know Cape Cod?” trivia books. (Quinlan also wrote both books). 

Quinlan said that the level of corruption in both the Russian and Ukrainian government make it difficult for outside countries like the U.S. to support Ukraine’s war effort financially or militarily.

The talk also delved into the economic and human impact of the war. 

After the talk concluded Quinlan was asked how he sees the war ending, to which Quinlan simply answered “negotiation.”

He elaborated that Russian President Vladimir Putin will never back down, and for that reason, negotiation is the best option. However, he does not see Russia taking over much more of Ukraine than they already have. 

Library Director Patrick Marshall, who knew Quinlan from his book on the South Coast, thought that the subject of his talk was a timely and important one.

Marshall said the library doesn’t endorse the views of its speakers, but appreciates “an opportunity to at least start a conversation.”

“It gave me things to think about,” Marshall said of Quinlan’s lecture, “even though a lot of the things he talks about, I’m not surprised by.” 

The talk was sponsored by the Friends of the Wareham Free Library.