Statement by Palacký University Rector Martin Procházka on the situation in Ukraine

Graphic: UP
Saturday 26 February 2022, 7:44

The war in Ukraine is not just the fight of the inhabitants of this sovereign state gratuitously attacked by the Russian aggressor – it is also our fight and our war. In my position as Rector of Palacký University Olomouc, I categorically condemn the Russian attack on Ukraine. This is a wanton advance by Russia, with the forced occupation of a foreign country as its aim. The political agenda of President Putin disqualifies the Russian Federation in the eyes of the whole civilised world and defines him as a war criminal.

I have given my voice in agreement with the statement of the Czech Rectors’ Conference, and I am observing with deep disappointment and concern how the Russian Federation is trampling international law. I have great fears – not only for the citizens of Ukraine – but also for the values upon which contemporary democratic governments in the countries of the European Union and the entire world are founded. I fear that not only the people of Ukraine but also all democratic states are now facing a very difficult trial.

Palacký University joins in expressing solidarity with the people of Ukraine, with Ukrainian universities, and their students and employees. Our thoughts are with our Ukrainian students currently studying in Olomouc – and with their families. Palacký University is ready to provide immediate help and to use all the means at its command. We are taking steps to ease the difficult existential situations of Ukrainian citizens, especially our students and employees – but also students, colleagues, and friends from partner universities in Ukraine.

I’m convinced that Russia’s decision has severely eroded Czech-Russian academic alliances. This act of Russian aggression has irrevocably made inroads into the relationships between our two countries, not only regarding cooperation in university education and science. We are an internationally-oriented university – and the current situation is one which is unacceptable to us. Our own history and experience allow us to understand, better than anyone else, the desperate situation Ukraine and its people now find themselves in. Thus our NO! to the attempted usurpation by Russia should resound all the more strongly. We stand together with Ukraine; we stand together with our fellow European citizens.

Martin Procházka

Rector, Palacký University Olomouc


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