Solidarity with people in Ukraine

Solidarity with people in Ukraine

With immediate effect, the Alliance of Science Organisations in Germany freezes scientific cooperation with state institutions and business enterprises in Russia. Also, a call by hundreds of Russian scientists and science journalists against the war of the Russian regime came online. 

February 28, 2022

The Alliance of Science Organisations has published a statement on solidarity with partners in Ukraine and the consequences for science.  The Alliance of Science Organisations is an association of the most important science organisations in Germany. It regularly takes a position on important issues of science policy. The German Research Foundation (DFG) is a member of the Alliance and has taken the lead for 2022. Other members are the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation, the German Academic Exchange Service, the Fraunhofer Gesellschaft, the Helmholtz Association, the German Rectors' Conference, the Leibniz Association, the Max Planck Society, the National Academy of Sciences Leopoldina and the German Council of Science and Humanities. Here is a translation of the statement: 

The Alliance of German Science Organisations strongly supports the consistent action of the Federal Government against the belligerent attack by Russia on Ukraine, which is against international law.

The Alliance sees the Russian invasion as an attack on elementary values of freedom, democracy and self-determination, on which scientific freedom and opportunities for scientific cooperation are based. The organisations associated in the Alliance have long maintained a diverse and fruitful scientific cooperation with their partners in Ukraine. Theirs is our full solidarity!

In this spirit, we are determined to continue our contacts and intensive cooperation with our Ukrainian partners at all levels, in student exchanges as well as in the promotion of bilateral research projects and in the development and use of scientific infrastructures. We will offer support within the framework of comprehensive aid programmes to students and scientists who have to leave their country as a result of the Russian aggression.

In this crisis situation, the Alliance of Science Organisations will coordinate closely amongst each other as well as with the Federal Government and other political decision-makers to discuss further steps. Decisions will then have to be made by the individual organisations individual organisations or member institutions. Already at this point, however, it is recommended that scientific cooperation with state institutions and commercial enterprises in Russia be frozen with immediate effect until further notice, that German research funds no longer benefit Russia, and that no joint scientific and research policy events take place. New cooperation projects should not be initiated at this time. The Alliance is aware of the consequences of these measures and, at the same time, deeply regrets the consequences for science. Many research projects are planned for years and will be massively impaired by the current war situation. We live in a multidimensional world, and only with the help of close international scientific cooperation can the crises facing humanity, such as climate change, species extinction or infectious diseases, be overcome. Therefore, our solidarity also goes out to our long-standing Russian cooperation partners, scientists who are themselves horrified by Russia's invasion of the Ukraine.

Open letter from Russian scientists against the war

Russian scientists take a firm stand against Russia's war in Ukraine and published an open letter on the web on 24 February. A translation of the letter from Russian (Source:  

We, Russian scientists and scientific journalists, strongly protest against the hostilities launched by the armed forces of our country on the territory of Ukraine. This fatal step leads to huge losses of human life and undermines the foundations of the established system of international security. The responsibility for unleashing a new war in Europe lies entirely with Russia.

There is no rational justification for this war. Attempts to use the situation in Donbass as a pretext for launching a military operation are not credible. It is clear that Ukraine does not pose a threat to the security of our country. The war against it is unfair and, frankly, senseless.

Ukraine has been, and remains, a country close to us. Many of us have relatives, friends and colleagues living in Ukraine. Our fathers, grandfathers and great-grandfathers fought together against Nazism. Unleashing a war for the sake of the geopolitical ambitions of the leadership of the Russian Federation, driven by dubious historiosophical fantasies, is a cynical betrayal of their memory.

We respect Ukrainian statehood, which is based on really working democratic institutions. We treat the European choice of our neighbours with understanding. We are convinced that all problems in relations between our countries can be resolved peacefully.

Having unleashed the war, Russia has condemned itself to international isolation, to the position of a pariah country. This means that we scientists will no longer be able to do our work properly: scientific research is inconceivable without full cooperation with colleagues from other countries. The isolation of Russia from the world means a further cultural and technological degradation of our country, in the complete absence of positive prospects. War with Ukraine is a step to nowhere.

We are bitterly aware that our country, which made a decisive contribution to the victory over Nazism, has now become the instigator of a new war on the European continent. We demand an immediate halt to all military operations directed against Ukraine. We demand respect for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the Ukrainian state. We demand peace for our countries.

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