An apartment block in Kyiv after shelling by Russian forces, in the invasion of Ukraine, February 25, 2022. Photo: Kyiv City Council/Wikimedia Commons, CC BY 4.0
“Our fathers, grandfathers, and great-grandfathers fought together against Nazism, and 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.”
This is what a group of more than 4,000 scientists and science journalists have written in a letter addressed to the country’s President Vladimir Putin, over his decision to wage war on Ukraine in a stated effort to “demilitarise” and “danazify” the country. The letter’s words and sentiment reflects popular opposition in Russia to the invasion of Ukraine, which began in the early hours of February 24, 2022. Until February 27, according to one estimate, Putin’s government had arrested 5,250 anti-war protestors in the country, including 2,114 on that day.
We, the undersigned Russian scientists and science journalists, declare our strong opposition to the Russian hostilities launched against the Ukrainian people. These hostilities are incurring huge human losses 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. Obviously, Ukraine poses no threat to the security of Russia. The attempts to use the situation in Donbass as a pretext for launching a military operation are totally contrived. The war against Ukraine is unjust and frankly nonsense.
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, and 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 the Ukrainian statehood, which rests on the ideals of a democratic institution. We are sympathetic to the orientation of Ukraine toward the European Union. We are convinced that all of the problems in the relationships between our countries could have been resolved peacefully.
Having unleashed the war, Russia has doomed itself to international isolation. It has devolved into a pariah country. This means that we, Russian scientists and journalists, will no longer be able to do our job in a normal way because conducting scientific research is unthinkable without cooperation and trust with colleagues from other countries. The isolation of Russia from the world means cultural and technological degradation of our country with a complete lack of positive prospects. The war with Ukraine is a step to nowhere.
It is bitter to realize that our country, which has made a decisive contribution to the victory over Nazism, has now instigated 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.
Let’s make science, not war!