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Statement on the Russian Invasion of Ukraine

Let me begin by offering my thanks to the Davis Center and the Ukrainian Research Institute, its co-sponsors, and our panelists. Universities are built to bring people together, and technology has increased our capacity to draw audiences from around the world. This gathering exemplifies our convening strength—and its tremendous value.

On Friday, I wrote the director and executive director of the Harvard Ukrainian Research Institute of my deep concern about the capricious and senseless invasion of Ukraine. Since then, the situation has deteriorated further. Over the weekend, members of our community rallied at the heart of our campus and spoke clearly and forcefully against the crisis.

Now is a time for all voices to be raised.

The deplorable actions of Vladimir Putin put at risk the lives of millions of people and undermine the concept of sovereignty. Institutions devoted to the perpetuation of democratic ideals and to the articulation of human rights have a responsibility to condemn such wanton aggression.

Harvard will continue to support in whatever ways we can members of our community who face grave uncertainty. We will continue to share knowledge of Ukraine and advance understanding of its culture, history, and language. And we will continue to speak against cruelty, and to act with compassion as we hold to hope for resolution—and for liberation. 

Today the Ukrainian flag flies over Harvard Yard.  Harvard University stands with the people of Ukraine.

Thank you.

Opening remarks at the Davis Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies and Ukrainian Research Institute at Harvard University event, Rapid Response Panel: Ukraine Under Attack.