Dear colleagues in Ukraine,
Although no words are enough in such times, I want you to know that your Estonian colleagues are deeply saddened and outraged by the Putin’s regime’s actions in your homeland. At the same time, we are proud that both Estonian state and our universities are actively supporting Ukraine and Ukrainian people in these dark times. I hope that some of the information below is even just a little bit encouraging or comforting.
Our parliament has issued an appeal to legislatures in European Union and NATO member states for the imposition of a no-fly zone over Ukraine, and requests states close their ports and airspace to Russian flights and vessels. You can find the full text of the appeal here: https://news.err.ee/
1608532135/riigikogu-passes- communication-calling-for-no- fly-zone-over-ukraine.
University of Tartu (my Alma Mater) has stopped collaboration with Russian universities and last week, the University of Tartu senate decided not to admit new students from Russia and Belarus this year to bachelor’s and master’s studies. At the same time, we welcome colleagues and students from Ukraine and there are also new scholarships available for students from Ukraine. Here you can find the University of Tartu Senate’s address to the people of Ukraine: https://ut.ee/en/node/136870. Furthermore, the Russian scholars working at the University of Tartu have published a declaration where they say that they would like to be proud about Russia, their language and culture, but now, they feel only pain, anger, and shame. (Unfortunately, I was unable to find their declaration in English or Russian.)
Many Estonian sociologist and other social scientist, who have anything to do with communication studies, have been very busy in a couple of last weeks with counselling different institutions about the information war and educating lay people how to recognize Putin’s propaganda. Some other colleagues are volunteering to help Ukrainian refugees who have arrived in Estonia. Together with about 20 Estonian academic associations, Estonian Association of Sociologists will also make an address in support of our Ukrainian colleagues, Ukrainian universities, academic freedom, and of course, Ukrainian people. It is not much but, at least, it is something we can do from the distance to show you our support.
I hope very much that this madness will be over soon, and the Russian war machine will be stopped.
President of Estonian Association of Sociologists