We are teachers of Russian language and culture as well as other languages and cultures of Europe. Vladimir Putin’s launching of war on Ukraine, which has been condemned by the United Nations as a flagrant violation of the UN Charter and by the US government as an unjustified and unprovoked attack, places a burden of responsibility on us to respond.
For some of our GNS+ faculty and students, Russia and Ukraine are birthplaces, places where family members and friends live, and countries of citizenship. Almost all of us who are part of the department’s large and distinguished Slavic program have long-term ties with both Russia and Ukraine.
As citizens and educators, we join our voices to those of the UN, US government, and wider international community in condemnation of this war and of the Russian political regime that made it possible. As educators, we know that this aggression will change forever the shape of the region we teach, how we teach it, and how we conceive of it in our scholarship.
As our thoughts go to the people of Ukraine whose lives are threatened by this war, and to the people of Russia who protest the war, we underscore our commitment to inform our students on this complex and painful situation and to help build greater understanding among our students and the wider public about the cultural, political, and social forces at work in this tragic situation.