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The situation in Ukraine

President’s blog February 25, 2022

The fact that the Russian invasion of Ukraine has put Europe in a crisis situation, unprecedented since World War II, with devastating consequences for the Ukrainian civilian population, is frighteningly clear – which the Swedish government has also strongly emphasized.

As a university, it is our special task to stand up for fundamental values such as academic freedom and freedom of expression. The universities in Ukraine have now been forced to close due to the invasion, which of course has serious consequences not only for research and education but for individuals and society as a whole. At the same time, in war and crisis, there is a clear risk of misinformation of various kinds, and this is where it is also our task as a university to maintain a high level of critical thinking. 

The ten universities in the CIVIS alliance, of which Stockholm University is a member, have published a statement on the ongoing crisis. Here, the borders in Europe are bridged between east and west, north and south, based on our common mission as European universities.

Like all other higher education institutions, Stockholm University has investigated employees’ and students’ possible connections to Ukraine to be able to offer support if necessary. We are now also prepared, together with Scholars at Risk, to assist colleagues and students as best as we can who have fled the country– and this risks becoming a reality soon.

Astrid Söderbergh Widding

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Astrid Söderbergh Widding
Photo: Eva Dalin