2022 address of the Russian Union of Rectors

On 4 March 2022, the Russian Union of Rectors [ru] signed an address in support of the 2022 Russian invasion of Ukraine. The letter was signed by heads of over 260 higher education institutions in Russia. It was highly publicized inside Russia, but internationally it only led to further isolation of Russian educational institutions.


The Russian Union of Rectors [ru]' address speaks of the military threat to Russia coming from Ukraine. Then it speaks in support of Russian invasion of Ukraine. It states its aims as the "demilitarization and denazification of Ukraine." The address deliberately evades the word "war", which is outlawed in Russia in this context by the fake news laws.[1] Instead, it says:

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.

Next, the address calls for continuity of the educational process, says that "Universities have always been the backbone of the state" and that one of their main duties is "to instill patriotism in young people". It ends up with a call to unite around the figure of Putin.

Novaya Gazeta notes that the "hard-won but necessary decision" is an intended omission brought about by the fake news law, which forbids calling a war a war.[2]


The address was widely covered in the Russian media. A number of signatories echoed the style and rhetoric of the address in their comments in the media[3][4][5][6] or their individual addresses.[7][8]

Abroad, the address provoked a sharply negative reaction and led to further isolation of Russian universities.[9][10] The European University Association suspended the membership of 12 Russian universities, whose rectors had signed the address.[10] France Universités suspended their ties with the Russian Union of Rectors.[11] For Universities UK, the address of the Rectors' Union served as a crucial argument to condemn Russia's invasion of Ukraine.[12]

Ukrainian universities stripped the signatories of the address of their honorary academic titles.[13] [14]

In Ukraine, seven rectors of medical universities who signed the address got the status of suspects in violation of the territorial integrity of Ukraine. Prosecutor General Iryna Venediktova stated that measures will be taken to put the signatories on the international wanted list for the purpose of their arrest and extradition to Ukraine. [15] [16]

On March 16, 2022, the Free Russia Forum included all signatories in its sanctions "Putin List".[17]

Students, teachers, and graduates of Moscow State University published an open letter to Rector Viktor Sadovnichiy demanding to revoke his signature.[18]

According to Novaya Gazeta, the appeals formulated in the address were subsequently used by universities to expel students detained at protests against Russia's invasion of Ukraine.[2]


Signatories of the address Sadovnichiy, Kropachev, and Eskindarov

Famous signatories include:

See also


  1. ^ Лиханова, Татьяна (2022-03-10). "Живые и мертвые пишут Путину". Новая газета.
  2. ^ a b Лиханова, Татьяна (2022-03-10). "Живые и мертвые пишут Путину". Novaya Gazeta.
  3. ^ "Руслан Кочкаров поддержал обращение Российского Союза ректоров по поводу ситуации на Украине". Республиканское информационное агентство «Карачаево-Черкесия». 2022-03-09.
  4. ^ "Обращение Российского Союза ректоров подписали хабаровские вузы". Губерния Онлайн. 2022-03-09.
  5. ^ "Руководители волгоградских вузов написали письмо в поддержку президента". Волгоградская Правда. 2022-03-11.
  6. ^ "В ЛГТУ поддержали обращение Российского союза ректоров в поддержку спецоперации на Украине". Донские Вести. 2022-03-06.
  7. ^ Nilsen, Thomas (2022-03-02). ""Liberating Ukraine from nationalist dirt is our historical duty," says Arctic University rector Elena Kudryashova". Barents Observer.
  8. ^ Douglas, John (2022-04-08). "Ukrainian Universities Damaged or Destroyed". LAP Progressive.
  9. ^ O’Malley, Brendan (2022-03-06). "Russian Union of Rectors backs Putin's action in Ukraine". University World News.
  10. ^ a b Lem, Pola (2022-03-07). "Russian rectors' union echoes Kremlin propaganda on Ukraine". The World University Rankings.
  11. ^ Walsh, Jason (2022-03-16). "French university chiefs cut ties with Russian peers". Research Professional News.
  12. ^ Naujokaitytė, Goda (2022-03-10). "Russian rectors' support for Putin prompts UK universities to cut links". Science. Business.
  13. ^ Никитин, Андрей (2022-03-15). "В Днепре за поддержку армии Путина ректора МГУ лишили докторского звания". Відкритий.
  14. ^ "Харківський університет Каразіна позбавив почесного звання ректора МГУ". Суспільне Новини. 2022-03-16.
  15. ^ Захарова, Алена (2022-03-17). "Офис Генпрокурора сообщил о подозрении руководителям вузов Российского Союза ректоров". 24 Канал.
  16. ^ Полищук, Марьяна (2022-03-17). "Ирина Венедиктова обратилась к ректорам российских вузов и сообщила, что семь из них стали в Украине подозреваемыми". КП в Украине.
  17. ^ Санкционный «Список Путина» пополнен ректорами российских ВУЗов, поддержавших войну, Форум свободной России, 16.03.2022
  18. ^ "Студенты, преподаватели и выпускники МГУ попросили Садовничего отказаться от поддержки войны". DOXA. 2022-03-16.

External links

  • Original text of the Address
  • English translation of the Address
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