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Russian scientific community towards aggression on Ukraine

By 19. März 2022Juli 6th, 2022No Comments

Media reported on a letter of rectors of Russian universities supporting the invasion:
Less is probably known about the resistance of the scientific community against the war, which was supposed to be counterbalanced by the above letter. Already on the day the war broke out, an open letter condemning the war appeared, initiated by Mikhail Gelfand, professor of biology at Lomonosov University in Moscow, on his trv-science portal. The portal seems to have been blocked, but the letter is still available for signature on a Russian exile portal:

Signatures continue to pour in, despite the sanctions threatened for anti-war activity, and there are now over 7,900, including over eighty members of the Russian Academy of Sciences.
An analogous letter is being signed by staff, students and alumni of St Petersburg University: currently over 2,500 signatures:

Both letters bear the signatures of my Russian friends and colleagues. Some of them have also signed a separate letter of staff, students and alumni of Moscow University and a petition initiated by the well-known Russian human rights activist Lev Ponomaryov, which has already gathered more than one million signatures.
At the current stage of aggression, severe repression is being threatened for this type of activity. At the Institute of Geological Sciences of the Russian Academy of Sciences that I know of, employees who take part in the protests have been threatened with dismissal. Bearing the above in mind, it seems that, while the suspension of institutional contacts should take place as part of the sanctions, this should not apply to individual contacts with people critical of this war.

This testimony of the mass resistance of the Russian scientific community against the war and the knowledge of who is who seem to me to be extremely important, especially for the future, when, after the end of the war, we will have to recreate the broken programs of scientific cooperation or, more broadly, reintegrate Russia into the civilized world. The dissemination of knowledge about this resistance also seems important today as an element of influence on Russian public opinion, which traditionally has respect for science. Therefore, I appeal to send the above information, especially the link to Mikhail Gelfand’s protest, to friends and colleagues in Russia, and as widely as possible to friends and colleagues in the world, with the request to direct this information to friends and colleagues in Russia. Everyone can contribute in this way to the war against Putin’s propaganda. An effective method of action is the use of mailing lists of scientific societies.

Jan ?rodo?  14 March 2022