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Russian rectors support war in Ukraine

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The association of rectors of Russian universities stands fully behind President Putin’s decision to invade Ukraine. In a previous statement, the association had been more non-committal.

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On March 4, the rectors wrote a joint statement (link in Russian, Ed.) saying that Russia had decided “to put an end at last to the eight-year confrontation between Ukraine and Donbas, so as to bring about the demilitarisation and denazification of Ukraine and thereby protect itself against increasing military threats”.

According to the rectors, it is extremely important to support what is “perhaps the most difficult decision our president has ever had to make”. They see it as their fundamental duty “to teach young people to love their motherland”.

Peace
In the view of the rectors, now that Russia is suffering “economic and information attacks”, Russian universities need to “stand behind our president more than ever before, give our young people an example of optimism and belief in the force of reason, and instil hope that peace will be declared soon”.

Platform University World News points out that the rectors are therefore clearly taking a harder line than the one adopted in a previous statement, published on 2 March (also in Russian, Ed.). There, they emphasised that Russian universities should not sever their international ties. They also stated that Russian students in other countries and international students in Russia deserved special attention.

In that same week, the EU and various countries, including the Netherlands, announced they would be putting their formal collaboration with Russian universities on hold.

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