Unprovoked invasion of Ukraine

March 3, 2022

Dear Johns Hopkins community:

Over the past week, we have all watched with considerable alarm as Russia launched an unprovoked invasion of Ukraine, precipitating a tragedy that has upended lives and displaced hundreds of thousands of Ukrainians, and is destabilizing the international order.

Yet as distressing as the invasion has been, so many of us have also been awed by the stories of courage and compassion that have emerged from this moment. The Ukrainian teachers who have dropped their lessons to learn tactical movements. The Polish families who have invited scores of refugees into their homes. The doctors and nurses who created makeshift hospitals in bomb shelters and basements in order to continue providing care for their patients. And the thousands of Russian citizens who have put their own personal safety at risk to protest this unjust war. And we have been no less moved by the actions of people within our own community—those with personal ties to Ukraine and Russia who wanted to make sure there is support for students of both nationalities, the students who are organizing a vigil, and the faculty and staff who are mobilizing to help their students and colleagues who fear for family and friends caught in the crossfire.

These acts—great and small alike—are reminders that our academic community, along with communities across the globe, are knit together by a common set of democratic values and ideals: that reasoned debate and dialogue are better than bloodshed, that every person should have the opportunity to flourish without fear of violence, and that our pursuit of knowledge is fueled by a commitment to serving the common good.

In this moment of uncertainty and upheaval, my deepest sympathies are with those impacted by this crisis, and with every member of our Hopkins community whose families, friends, and loved ones are in harm’s way.

Sincerely,

Ron