US and Ukrainian Flag at University Hall

HURI Statement on Russia's War Against Ukraine

The Ukrainian Research Institute at Harvard University unequivocally condemns Russia’s decision to invade Ukraine and turn an eight-year conflict into a full-scale war of unimaginable magnitude. Despite weeks of escalation on top of nearly a decade of violations of Ukraine’s sovereignty, we are deeply shocked and outraged by this callous disregard for international law, human life, democracy, and freedom.

We stand in solidarity with Ukraine’s citizens as they bravely fight for their right to live in a sovereign country and determine its fate; as they endure uncertainty, fear, and concern for their loved ones; and as they upend their lives to escape immediate danger.

As an Institute founded to promote factual information on Ukraine amidst Soviet disinformation and to preserve Ukraine’s intellectual and cultural heritage when its very existence was at stake, HURI urges policymakers and the public to seek authoritative information from experts and reputable sources. We urge citizens to petition their governments to aid Ukraine in its moment of need. We ask for assistance in countering erroneous narratives that seek to justify this assault on a democratic, sovereign state through the erasure of Ukrainian history and identity. We remain concerned for our colleagues in Ukraine, particularly as scholars and intellectuals are targeted for arrest and execution because they stand as obstacles to President Vladimir Putin’s plan to erase Ukraine from the world map. 

We are deeply saddened by the state of affairs and fearful for the future. Yet we have faith in the resolve and strength of the Ukrainian people, who have fought for liberty before and will do so again whenever their democracy and statehood are threatened.

Please join HURI in its support of Ukraine and its peoples, by sharing factual information on Ukraine and the war and offering what support we can to those whose livelihoods and lives hang in the balance.


Harvard Statements of Support for Ukraine

We are grateful to the many centers and schools at Harvard that have expressed support for Ukraine and condemnation of Russia's war.


President Bacow's Message Regarding the War

With the permission of Harvard University President Lawrence Bacow, we are sharing the message he sent to the Ukrainian Research Institute's Director and Executive Director on Friday, February 25.

Dear Serhii and Tymish,
I have been reading the news in disbelief this week, and I wanted to write to let you know that I am thinking about you—and your colleagues and students—as the capricious and senseless invasion of Ukraine continues. Knowing that members of our community are facing grave uncertainty so far from their family and friends is deeply unsettling. Please know that outreach to students began earlier this week and will continue for as long as it is needed. I am sorry that you and others are being made to endure such cruelty. 
You and your colleagues at HURI have done so much to share Ukraine—and its distinct and beautiful culture and language—with so many. Please feel free to forward this note to anyone who might be strengthened by it. I hope your loved ones are safe and well, and I stand ready to offer whatever support the University can provide.