Open Letter to the Russian Academy of Sciences
In these gloomy times we join the appeal of the Australian National University concerning the situation in Ukraine.
We express our wholehearted solidarity with our Russian colleagues who, from inside Russia, have recently expressed a strong protest against Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
As of Thursday March 3, nearly 7,000 Russian scientists and academics have signed an open letter to the Russian President Vladimir Putin in which they say, inter alia: “We, Russian scientists [scholars] and science journalists strongly protest against the military invasion of Ukraine launched by Russia. This disastrous course of action has caused enormous casualties and human suffering, and undermines the foundations of the international rule-based order. The responsibility for unleashing a new war in Europe is entirely Russia’s. It is obvious that Ukraine does not represent any threat to the security of our country. The war against Ukraine is unjust and absolutely senseless.”
The letter also speaks of the consequences of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine for science (in the broad sense of word, including the humanities and social sciences). It says that unleashing the war Russia “sentenced itself to international isolation” and has earned for itself the status of “a military aggressor and a rogue state”. “Humanist values are the foundation on which science is built". As an example, the letter points out that “the many years spent strengthening Russia’s reputation as a leading centre of mathematics have been completely scuppered” and that the International Congress of Mathematicians which Russia had been scheduled to host in July, has been cancelled due to the invasion.
The members of Australia’s learned academies are aware that all signatories of the open letter to President Putin are risking jail after the Russian parliament passed a bill that would toughen the punishment for criticising the war in Ukraine.
We wish to express our outrage at the atrocities that we now watch in news reports every day and our strongest support for our Russian colleagues. We share and applaud the appeal with which their letter ends: "We demand an immediate end to all military actions against Ukraine. We demand respect for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the Ukrainian state."