We want to share and endorse the statement issued by our colleagues in the Russian, Eastern European, and Eurasian Center and Slavic Languages and Literatures earlier this week. We join them in expressing our horror and repudiation for the military assault on Ukraine. Many of us have historical and contemporary ties to Ukraine, and we also decry Vladimir Putin’s use of “de-Nazification” as a pretext for war (in a land which was once truly multi-cultural with a vibrant Jewish civilization) and against a democratically elected Jewish president.
We Condemn the Military Assault on Ukraine
The University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign is the home of many scholars and students who have dedicated their lives to the study of Russia, East Europe, and Eurasia. Many people from Russia, Ukraine, and Belarus live and work in our community. We are devastated by the assault on Ukraine ordered by President Putin. We reject the falsehoods and historical distortions used by the Russian government to justify this criminal war of choice. We know that this attack on Ukraine is an attack on humanity, democracy, and the rule of law the world over, and that it poses an extraordinary threat of wider war. We call on leaders and citizens around the world--inside and outside of Russia--to do their utmost to bring this war to an end, and to help those affected by it, first and foremost the people of Ukraine, whose lives and hopes for democratic self-governance have been upended by this vicious assault.