STATEMENT IN SUPPORT OF ACADEMICIANS OF UKRAINE

Abstract

In 2017, I was invited by Dr. Zayachkivska, Chair of the Physiology Department in Danylo Halytsky Lviv National Medical University, to participate in a scientifi c conference at your institution in Lviv. I had the pleasure of discussing the neurobiology of PTSD, evaluating the work of your young scientists, and, of course, meeting many of you, I very fondly recall our time together in your beautiful city. Since then, we have maintained contact. I’m honored to be editor and reviewer for the Proceedings of the Shevchenko Scientifi c Society nowadays.

Today I would like to express my unequivocal solidarity with you and with all Ukrainians, who are resisting the unprovoked, totally unjustified and brutal war being waged against you by the Russian Federation. Along with the rest of the civilized world, I recoil in horror at the indiscriminate bombing of hospitals, schools, and homes and the murder of so many innocents, including women and children. Know that I, and countless others like me, are with you in our thoughts and in our actions. We condemn the brutal and illegal acts of Putin’s regime.

I call on members of the global academic community to recognize that, as scientists, we cannot sit idly in our laboratories or offices while war crimes are being committed in front of our eyes. We have a moral obligation to end this wanton killing and destruction. Let us urge our respective governments to continuously increase economic and political pressure on the Russian Federation to immediately stop the war. In the interim, we need to demand a no fly zone to allow those who wish to leave safe passage and allow humanitarian aid to reach those living under siege in basements and bunkers, often without food, water, and medical assistance. In parallel, our countries need to be prepared to receive refugees and to provide financial support to Ukraine as she fights for her existence.

In addition, I call on all my colleagues to personally and through their institutions suspend all academic activity with scientists and institutions in the Russian Federation, with two exceptions. We should continue collaborations that impact direct clinical care. We cannot descend to the abject evil practiced by those who have lost their humanity. We should also recognize and reward those colleagues in the Russian Federation who declare their opposition to the systematic and wide-ranging violence their government is engaged in. The suspension of academic contacts must continue until the killing stops and the armed forces of the Russian Federation leave every part of Ukraine’s territory.

I also have this appeal to academics and scientists in the Russian Federation. We know that Russia’s descent into its present autocracy has been gradual. We also know that many of you are quietly opposed to the ongoing crimes against humanity. There is no animus towards Russians as a people. There is, however, revulsion and righteous anger at the actions of the Russian Federation, which is supported actively or tacitly by many. Yes, I recognize that if one or two scientists or academics voice an objection, they may be demoted, fired, or even imprisoned. However, if thousands of you stand up at the same time, nothing will happen. Putin’s regime knows that Russia cannot function without its scientists and academics. Today, everything is transparent. When this nightmare Russia is trying to impose on the world ends, as it inevitably will, it will be apparent to all who profited and actively supported a criminal regime, who sat on their hands and waited, and who spoke out boldly against a totally unnecessary but increasingly brutal war that is being waged ostensibly in their name. If you all speak in a mighty voice together, Putin and his regime will be paralyzed. They need you. You do not need them.

Let all of us, in academic institutions, hospitals and laboratories around the world work together for the cause of truth and justice and demand respect for the rights accorded to each person on our earth.

In closing, I speak again to you, my dear Ukrainian colleagues. I pray that the war ends swiftly and that all of you, along with family, friends, and the entire Ukrainian nation, prevail. May the day soon arrive when we can meet, discuss science, plan possible collaborations, linger over a coffee, and just enjoy each other’s collegiality in your most wonderful country.

March is the month of commemoration of the poet Taras Shevchenko. It is fitting to recall his words.

“Fight – you’ll win the fight.” Glory to Ukraine! Glory to Herous! Slava Ukraini! Heroyam Slava!

https://youtu.be/Q_f-aKUtAEY

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Published
2022-06-27
How to Cite
1.
E. Jaskiw G. STATEMENT IN SUPPORT OF ACADEMICIANS OF UKRAINE. Proc Shevchenko Sci Soc Med Sci [Internet]. 2022Jun.27 [cited 2022Oct.7];66(1). Available from: https://mspsss.org.ua/index.php/journal/article/view/642