Emergency Statement on the Russian Government’s Invasion of Ukraine
We, the academic staff of Keio University who engage in education and research on Russia, Eastern Europe, and Eurasia, are united in our condemnation of Russia’s military invasion toward Ukraine and demand an immediate cease-fire.
Furthermore, we strongly call on the entire world, in particular both Ukraine and Russia, for refraining from any persecution, discrimination, defamation, and coercion against speakers of the Ukrainian and Russian languages as well as the citizens of Ukraine and Russia. All hateful discourse, individual aggression based on the misconception that identifies the government with its citizen, discrimination against minorities and socially vulnerable groups, and coercion of speech and action are intolerable under any circumstances, let alone violence.
At this moment, Ukrainians and people concerned living in Ukraine and other parts of the world are undergoing sleepless days due to the painful hardship caused by the war. A frequently overlooked cause of this suffering is unthoughtful accusations and the aggressive rhetoric by people around them and on the Internet. There is tremendous complexity in the demographics and the understanding of history in Ukraine and Russia; hence, the citizens’ opinions and positions in the two countries toward the war do not necessarily correspond with the nation that they belong to. In addition, nothing can ever justify the endangerment of lives and jobs based on the difference in identities and beliefs.
Although we are not situated in the war in a direct manner, we are not to remain silent. Rather, we claim that we should seek unbiased information with objective facts and listen to the actual voice of the people involved in the war. There will most likely be deep wounds and gaps in the two countries even after the end of the war. The lost lives and the sorrow of their families will eternally be engraved in history; Ukraine will require a vast amount of time for restoration, and the isolation of Russia in the international community will be ever more severe. Nevertheless, we should never stop thinking about what we can do now for all of us to live together in the upcoming postwar world.
March 2, 2022
The concerned academic staff at Keio University