On 24 February 2022, the armed forces of the Russian Federation launched an invasion of Ukraine, a war of aggression that continues Russia’s illegal military breaches of Ukraine’s internationally recognized territorial integrity. For the first time since the Cold War, a nuclear superpower has threatened to use its arsenal in a first-strike capacity. This war is a threat to the sovereignty and self-determination of Ukraine and its people; to the OSCE and UN-backed security system established in Europe to prevent such conflicts; and to the world through the spectre of nuclear annihilation.

Along with the rest of the world and the many voices of dissent in Russia, IRES strongly condemns this war of aggression and the destruction of human life and safety, economic livelihood, unique cultural heritage, and the natural environment that it is causing.

Many of the staff and students at IRES are directly affected, with relatives, colleagues, friends, and acquaintances caught up in the war as civilians or defending their homes. The human tragedy unleashed by this war will be enormous; it is therefore imperative that we maintain human dignity and help our fellow people in need in any way we can. Common humanity is a basic underpinning of Uppsala University and IRES and the work it does.

At the same time, IRES will continue the active pursuit of a better understanding of the societies in Ukraine, Russia, Belarus, and the rest of the region, through academic research that strives for the highest standards of scholarship. This will involve resisting the forces of disinformation and polarization that are always present in times of war. We will do our utmost to contribute and promote knowledge and insights for the greater good and the peaceful resolution of the war and the remedying of its consequences.