War has arrived in Europe once again, as this week Russia launched its military invasion of the Ukraine. Russian scientists have drafted an Open Letter condemning the senseless offensive and warning of its ramifications for the Russian scientific community and their international collaborations. Already on the second day since its publication, the letter has attracted over 600 signatures by Russian scientists.
To salute the brave signatories and authors of the letter, the Chair of the EU Science Diplomacy Alliance circulated the letter to its members along with a short message of solidarity with the Ukrainians, Russians and Europeans mourning this tragic and disorienting transgression.
The present situation of unjustified aggression against the Ukraine may lead us to doubt the meaning of our actions. How can we invest hour after hour in our research and academic exchanges when war is in Europe? I am writing these few lines to share with you the sense of disarray and my determination to overcome it. Our work, however small it may seem in such a context, is not in vain.
Science diplomacy seems derisory in the face of the brutality and cynicism deployed against our eastern neighbours in the last few days. Many questions arise and we may feel discouraged. However, it is precisely in such periods that it is necessary, more than ever, to affirm the strength of dialogue and exchange, the strength of science and cooperation. Believing and continuing remains for our collective the only option, whatever the sadness, the anguish and the feeling of powerlessness that at times can penetrate us.
Our Russian colleagues show us the way: the letter they have just signed and distributed, with admirable courage, was communicated to us by French colleagues Jean Radvany, Philippe Comte and François-Xavier Nerard. I attach this text to my message, in Russian and in a French translation.
By making our voices heard, InsSciDE and the EU Science Diplomacy Alliance will contribute on its own scale to make our initiatives known, with the hope that women and men of science will be empowered to contribute to a solution to the present tragedy.
French: Lettre ouverte de chercheurs et journalistes russes contre la guerre en Ukraine
English: An open letter from Russian scientists and science journalists against the war with Ukraine