Wednesday, 23 March 2022 07:31

Appeal of Karazin University to the world academic community

V. N. Karazin Kharkiv National University is 217 years of relentless movement forward, painstaking efforts in the domain of science and education well-known both in Ukraine and globally. The University became Alma Mater for three Nobel Prize winners. Karazin University’s graduates has brought its fame to all the continents. Karazin University’s scientists distinguished themselves even in Antarctica — at Academician Vernadsky research station.

Quite recently, in pre-war times, we cooperated with dozens of leading foreign universities, bore hopes and made majestic plans for scientific achievements, breakthroughs, and discoveries. No wonder, Karazin University is the only one that for a long time represented our country in the Top 500 of the most prestigious QS World University Rankings.

The University and its nearly 5,000 employees, including dozens of academicians and corresponding members of prestigious academies of sciences, hundreds of doctors of sciences, professors and thousands of PhDs, associate professors, inspiredly worked for their city of Kharkiv and their country — Ukraine. About 22,000 applicants for higher education studied within the walls of Karazin University — from high school students preparing to be enrolled at the University to graduate and doctoral students. Our work and scientific achievements, which built the intellectual bridges to Europe and the world, promised us a happy future in an independent, democratic, and well-educated European country.

On February 24, 2022, the huge Russian totalitarian state machine fell upon Ukraine with all its devastating military power. Karazinians, like all Kharkiv citizens, were awakened by something that a person of the 21st century couldn’t believe in — explosions. And now, for 19 days, Kharkiv and Karazin University alongside with it have been holding a heroic defense.

We appeal to colleagues from universities — leading and small, famous and less known, and to all colleges throughout the democratic world. Karazin University community, together with the people of this country and the residents of our glorious city, is living through one of the toughest and most atrocious times in its history. Military aggression has rapidly grown into genocide, into the massacre of the civilians — war crimes. Today, there is no university in the world with a long history and a world-famous name like ours that would suffer such losses from the military aggressors’ actions. The Russian army uses horrendous weapons which, in fact, are weapons of mass destruction.

Thousands of Karazinians are in permanent danger, in a direct threat to their lives and health. Thousands of theme have lost their homes or were forced to flee, full of suffering, having to go on insecure journeys far inland and beyond the country’s borders — away from brutal shelling and bombing of civilian neighborhoods, unbearable life in basements and bomb shelters, without lighting, drinking water and heating, in the face of the threat of a humanitarian catastrophe. There are many victims among the Karazinians. It has taken tremendous efforts and much courage to save and evacuate hundreds of foreign students, to provide students in dormitories with the bare minimum of safety and vital living conditions.

For the first time since World War II, the unique University’s research infrastructure has been under a threat of destruction. Both main buildings of the University are significantly destroyed: broken windows and frames, flooded premises of the Museum of Nature, the Central Scientific Library with its unique collection of old books. The shelling destroyed or damaged the buildings of the Karazin Sports complex, the School of Economics and the Educational and Scientific Institute «Karazin Business School», the Educational and Scientific Institute «School of Physics and Technology», dormitories and many other buildings. The damage to laboratories and research facilities has yet to be assessed (which can be done only after the end of hostilities), but even today we see that they are enormous. In our deep conviction, the restoration of the University’s educational and scientific infrastructure is possible only after the end of the aggressive war of the Russian Federation against Ukraine and only with the help of the world community, in particular academic.

Even today, in this adversity, we feel the support and help of our international partners, our colleagues and friends, and we call on you to make this support and assistance of the civilized world to education and science a comprehensive and universal one.

Therefore, the administration of V. N. Karazin Kharkiv National University, on behalf of the entire multi-thousand Karazin University corporation, makes an appeal to all university corporations of the world, to all colleagues in free and democratic countries:

– To support the struggle of our people and our state for independence, direct all social weight to this support, raise your societies in defense of Ukraine, and in defense of the Ukrainian university education and science;

– As for the scientific and educational elite of the NATO member countries — to form public opinion aimed at civil society’s pressure on democratically elected parliaments and governments in order to CLOSE THE SKY OVER UKRAINE — all the terrible destruction of Karazin University was inflicted from the air;

– To form a united front of support to the revival and preservation of Karazin University, create support funds, prepare plans for the provision of scientific equipment, activities for scientific and educational cooperation;

– From now on, to work out the issues of financing scientific research and educational process at Karazin University in the context of the upcoming post-war revival, the provision of technical and scientific assistance with devices, modern equipment, hardware and software systems and software.

Colleagues, friends! Wе call on you to remember that today Ukraine, at the terrible price of the lives of its sons and daughters, is protecting not only the European values, but all of Europe from a terrible invasion!

Glory to Ukraine!

On behalf of the team of V. N. Karazin Kharkiv National University, the administration