The Russian Union of Rectors (RUR) has issued a strong statement supporting the Russian army and President Vladimir Putin’s decision to take military action in Ukraine, and underlining a commitment to “instil patriotism in young people”.
The statement (in Russian) reported by Tass on 5 March is dated 4 March, the day the European Commission announced a suspension of science cooperation with Russia.
It repeats Putin’s position that the invasion of Ukraine is a “special military operation” required to “achieve the demilitarisation and denazification of Ukraine”, end the conflict in Donbass and protect Russia from “growing military threats”.
It says: “The long-term tragedy in the Donbass resonates with particular pain and bitterness in our hearts.
“It is very important these days to support our country, our army, which defends our security, to support our President, who, perhaps, made the most difficult, hard-won but necessary decision in his life.
“It is important not to forget about our main duty – to conduct a continuous educational process, to instil patriotism in young people, the desire to help the Motherland.”
The statement says Russia’s universities have always been the backbone of the state.
“Our priority goal is to serve Russia and develop its intellectual potential. Now more than ever, we must demonstrate confidence and resilience in the face of economic and information attacks, effectively rally around our President, by our example strengthening the optimistic spirit and faith in the power of reason among young people, instilling hope for an early peace.”