PLEASE: Let us support the opposition in Russia by maintaining ties with Russian colleagues in Research and Cultural professional contexts and intl collaboration.
Read here below the English Translation of Elena Stein‘s post:
“Russia has brutally and unlawfully attacked Ukraine. From one moment to the next, millions of Ukrainians found themselves in a situation where the struggle for life and freedom has become a terrible reality.Elena Stein
I am writing this appeal from Russia, where I arrived about three weeks before the declaration of war by Vladimir Putin, as part of my many years of project work in the country, among other things to support civil society.
I expressly support the reactions of the democratic countries in recent days and would have liked to have taken decisive steps against the growing dictatorship earlier. The sanctions and other restrictions, but also the supply of weapons and military equipment to Ukraine, are primarily aimed at saving the lives of Ukrainians. The Moscow leadership has chosen the path of isolation of Russia. To create this isolation is in the war situation, one of the central defensive strategies of the EU in it also Germany.
Since I am still in the land of the aggressor, I also see the collateral damage of isolation. I must therefore also talk about it. We in the EU should absolutely avoid collectively punishing our Russian colleagues, partners and like-minded people with the sanctions and restrictions. Regardless of the outcome of the war in Ukraine, the leadership in Russia embarked on a course of repression at home many years ago, which will affect these people in particular.
That is why they need our European support now more than ever and we should also act counter-cyclically. The cancellation of joint educational programs, scientific and civil society initiatives and cooperations, as well as the restriction of entry to Germany, will only support the isolationist policies of Putin and his government and put democratically minded civil society and intelligence under additional pressure.
Even if it is currently difficult to imagine and could even be seen as naïve, as a Russian citizen living in Germany, I would like to believe in a good democratic future for Russia. This is what the very diverse civil society in the country stands for.
I therefore ask that relations with the Russian activist community not be severed and that no sanctions or restrictions be imposed on Russian citizens whose activities are aimed at building a democratic society in the country. Above all, I would like to ask that persecuted people should not be banned from entering the EU. I am in no way concerned with trivializing the suffering of Ukrainians – but I ask you to also take into account the suffering of my partners in Russia, who are also victims of Putin and are at the mercy of his current seemingly infinite power.”
If you would like to express your support or know of initiatives to support both Ukrainian and Russian scholars, let us know in the comments or contact us directly.