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This letter was originally published in Russian on February 24, 2022.
We, the scientists, and science journalists of Russia, declare our resolute protest against the military activities launched by the armed forces of our country on the territory of Ukraine. This fatal step leads to an enormity of human losses, and it undermines the foundations of the existing system of international security. It is on Russia’s shoulders that the launching of this new war in Europe rests. There are no reasonable justifications for this war whatsoever. The attempts to use the situation in Donbas as a pretext for the unfurling of the military operation do not inspire credibility. It is quite obvious that Ukraine poses no threat to the security of our country. The war against it is unjust and is manifestly senseless.
Ukraine has been and remains a country close to us. Many of us have relatives, friends, and fellow scientists living in Ukraine. Our fathers, grandfathers, and great grandfathers fought together against Nazism. The launching of the war to fulfill the geopolitical ambitions of the leadership of the Russian Federation which is being driven by dubious historiosophic fantasies is a cynical betrayal of their memory.
We respect Ukrainian statehood that stands on the foundations of democratic institutions working in real-time. We relate with understanding to the pro-European choice of our neighbors. We are convinced that all the problems existing in the relationships between our countries can be resolved in a peaceful manner.
By dint of initiating this war, Russia has doomed itself to international isolation, to the condition of a pariah state. This means that, as scientists, we can no longer do our work in a normal way, for scientific research is unthinkable without full-fledged cooperation with colleagues from other countries. The isolation of Russia from the world amounts to a continued cultural and technological degradation of our country, with a complete lack of positive perspectives in view. The war with Ukraine is a step into nowhere.
It is a bitter realization for us that after having contributed decisively along with the other republics of the former USSR to the victory over Nazism, our country is at present an instigator of a new war on the European continent. We demand an immediate cessation of all military hostility directed against Ukraine. We demand that the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the Ukrainian state be respected. We demand peace for our countries.
Translated from the Russian by an anonymous scholar.