On behalf of Ukrainian mathematicians, we would like to thank the EMS for the statement of solidarity published on March 2. At the same time, we are disappointed by the fact that the corporate membership of the two Russian mathematical societies, Moscow and St. Petersburg, wasn’t suspended.
The full-scale Russian invasion of Ukraine has been going on for almost a month. Every new day brings immense suffering and losses. The Russian troops destroy our country, they bomb hospitals, kindergartens, schools, and universities. The cruelty against civilians leaves us breathless.
We are aware of the individual protests of the Russian mathematicians against the war. We appreciate the courage of those Russian colleagues who expressed their anti-war position publicly. Nevertheless, the majority of the Russian population continues to support the genocide against Ukrainian people. They are being spoiled by the mass media propaganda and cut from credible sources of information. In these conditions, it is important to reach the Russian people by all possible means, especially through the cultural and academic communities who may influence the public opinion in the country.
There are no messages about the war and expressions of solidarity with the victims at the web pages of the Mathematical Societies of Moscow and St. Petersburg. The learned societies in Russia continue to function as if nothing has happened. At the same time, rectors of all Russian universities signed the infamous letter supporting the invasion of the Russian troops in Ukraine. Publicly, the academic community in Russia is demonstrating support for the criminal actions of the Russian government.
On March 6 a number of Ukrainian mathematicians wrote a letter to the leadership of the EMS asking them to suspend the corporate membership of the two Russian mathematical societies. So far only the membership of the Euler International Mathematical Institute was interrupted.
Therefore, we call once again for the suspension of the membership of the Moscow and St. Petersburg Mathematical Societies in EMS and request the EMS Magazine to publish this open letter.
Yuriy Drozd, President of the Ukrainian Mathematical Society
Rostyslav Hryniv, President of the Lviv Mathematical Society
Olena Karlova, President of the Chernivtsi Mathematical Society
Sergiy Maksymenko, President of the Kyiv Mathematical Society
Comment on the above letter
In the last 30 years considerable efforts have been made to unite the European mathematical community, which was very much divided until the iron curtain fell 30 years ago. Unfortunately, with the aggressive politics of the Russian government in the last years, the occupation of the Crimea peninsula and the Donbas region, culminating in the Russian war against the Ukraine, the unity achievements are at stake.
Many mathematicians die in this war or become refugees. The EMS declares full solidarity with the Ukrainian people in their fight against the invasion of their country.
But the EMS is also in solidarity with those in Russia who protest against the war and are arrested or have to leave their country.
We are aware that it is very difficult for those who are bomb-shelled to understand and accept that the continuing cooperation with colleagues and mathematical societies from Russia is still important and necessary, and even if some mathematicians support the Russian government, we should leave the door open for those who despise these aggressive acts and still share the vision that mathematics research and teaching are ideology-crossing and boundary-crossing activities that should not be taken hostage or be used as a political instrument.
Volker Mehrmann, President of the EMS
Cite this article
Yuriy Drozd, Rostyslav Hryniv, Olena Karlova, Sergiy Maksymenko, Letter of Ukrainian mathematicians. Eur. Math. Soc. Mag. 124 (2022), p. 65DOI 10.4171/MAG/90