The war in Ukraine: Information and resources

Author: Nanovic Institute

Lviv statue with flag
Photo by Matt Cashore.

This news feed is a platform for reliable information and resources on the Russian invasion of Ukraine, primarily that shared with the Nanovic Institute by its friends and colleagues in Ukraine. The Nanovic Institute has many close ties to Ukraine, particularly with the Ukrainian Catholic University (UCU) through our Catholic Universities Partnership. This news feed is one expression of our solitary and support.

This page will be updated regularly, with the most recent information posted at the top. 

Statement by Notre Dame President Rev. John I. Jenkins, C.S.C.

Statement by Scott Appleby,
Dean of the Keough School of Global Affairs

Read daily updates from UCU

Resources from the Kroc Institute

Notre Dame and Ukraine

ND + UCU | Solidarity with Ukraine


Archbishop Borys Gudziak: 2022 Commencement Address

Source: University of Notre Dame
Monday, May 17, 2022

Read full speech


Standing in solidarity: Notre Dame expands partnership with Ukrainian Catholic University

Source: University of Notre Dame
Friday, May 13, 2022

University of Notre Dame President Rev. John I. Jenkins, C.S.C., and Metropolitan-Archbishop Borys Gudziak, organizer and president of Ukrainian Catholic University (UCU), entered into an agreement today to significantly expand the existing academic, religious and cultural partnerships between the two universities. The enhancements come in advance of Notre Dame conferring an honorary degree on the archbishop Sunday in its 177th University Commencement Ceremony, where he will also serve as the principal commencement speaker.

“The war in Ukraine is a great global tragedy,” Father Jenkins said. “We stand in solidarity with the courageous people of Ukraine and with our longtime partners at UCU. Notre Dame has for many years, through its Nanovic Institute for European Studies, hosted visiting scholars from UCU here on campus, and in turn our scholars have spent time there.

“Now, as the Ukrainians resist the Russian invasion of their country, the role of UCU and of all Ukrainian universities has never been more important, both in sustaining the work of Ukrainian scholars and researchers and in preparing for the eventual rebuilding of their war-ravaged nation. In dialogue with our colleagues at UCU, we have arrived at a set of initiatives aimed at providing substantive support and deepening our partnership through a wide range of collaborative initiatives.”

Read more


Virtual panel discussion: Legal Challenges Posed by the Large-Scale Russian Invasion of Ukraine

Source: Notre Dame Law School
Tuesday, May 3, 2022

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has caused tremendous human suffering, dislocation, and economic devastation. It is no exaggeration to say the invasion has created the largest humanitarian crisis in Europe since World War II. While the invasion is still ongoing and its outcome is far from certain, it has already created numerous political and legal questions that demand reflection. What, if anything, can the law do to stop the conflict, provide just redress to the victims, and prevent future invasions like this in the future? Does the invasion undermine our belief in the international order and institutions called upon to maintain it? What could we learn at this point about the challenges posed by the invasion, and is reform of global security infrastructure possible, or even needed?

Join the Ukrainian Catholic University and the University of Notre Dame for a set of panel discussions on the legal challenges posed by the 2022 Russian invasion of Ukraine. These discussions are intended to bring together legal scholars from within Ukraine and from abroad in an attempt to map such challenges and articulate the possible pathways to their resolution.

Register on Zoom | More information


Archbishop Borys Gudziak in USA Today

Source: Matthew Matuszak, UCU
Wednesday, April 13, 2022

Earlier this week Rev. Borys Gudziak, Archbishop-Metropolitan and President of Ukrainian Catholic University, shared this opinion article in USA Today. We share this moving Holy Week message with you in its entirety. This Easter, we pray for all those who are suffering in this unjust war, and those who defend Ukraine bravely. We will defeat evil with good and will stand with Ukraine, now and in the future. May the miracle of our Savior’s Resurrection give us all strength during this difficult time. Christ is Risen! Христос Воскрес!

Archbishop Borys Gudziak600x400
Reb. Borys Gudziak, Archbishop-Metropolitan and President of UCU.

We can bring healing amid war in Ukraine, even as genocides past and present haunt us

The mass atrocities in Bucha vividly demonstrate a method of war conducted through murder. The crimes of the Russian invaders are already being compared with the craven cruelty of the Islamic State group. The scenes of brutality have broken our hearts and left many feeling helpless in the face of evil.

During Holy Week, Christians will be contemplating the great mystery of evil as reflected in mass graves, drawing hope from the empty tomb of Easter. Besides prayer, can we somehow contribute to the righting of these wrongs?

There is at least one thing all people of goodwill can do to bring healing in the midst of horror: We can welcome displaced Ukrainians and offer them safe haven.

I have witnessed this transforming compassion in the life of my family. Like millions of Americans, I am the son of refugees. My parents met at St. George’s Church on the lower east side of Manhattan in 1950. As 18-year-olds, they left Ukraine in 1944 as Nazi and Soviet invasions ravaged their homeland forever changing their hometowns. They arrived in America in 1949 and 1950 after years as refugees in Austria and Germany.

My father escaped alone. My mother’s parents left with two teenage daughters. My grandmother died at 45 in a camp in Austria in 1944. A third daughter who joined the Ukrainian resistance movement was killed by the Soviets in 1945 before the war ended.

Refugees flee, not to improve their lives, but to save them.

The last living representative of that quest for safety is my 93-year-old Aunt Stephanie, who lives in Queens. I have visited her regularly since I returned to the U.S. after 32 years of service in Europe. She is housebound and feeble. Throughout her life, she was a worker, not a complainer.

Now, when I visit, she recounts the terror of childhood – at 10, during the first Soviet occupation of western Ukraine, she was scarred by surrounding arrests, deportations and mass executions; at 12, she carried pails of water to help relatives wash and recognize the decomposing bodies piled up in torture chambers. Among the 6.8 million inhabitants of Ukrainian lands killed during World War II were 1.5 million Jewish victims, including Stephanie’s neighbors and classmates.

These stories of genocide, separation and exile still haunt Aunt Stephanie. Because they are happening in Ukraine today to people who became my family through my ministry there, they continue to haunt me.

Without aid, millions would be doomed

How long the Russian invasion in Ukraine will last cannot be foreseen. Thousands of combatants and civilians are killed daily. Already, 4 million refugees and 7 million internally displaced persons are marked by the trauma of leaving home to escape violence. Since about 90% are women and children, the recurring nightmares will include separation from husbands and fathers.

Another 12 million are home in Ukraine but helpless. Many lack food, electricity or clean water. Without humanitarian aid and spiritual support, they are doomed.

In the midst of suffering, however, has come moral clarity. Billions have seen not just a violation of sovereignty, but crimes against humanity. They have decided who is just and joined communal efforts to help.

There are heroic signs of fellowship in Ukraine, where citizens in the western part have embraced, housed and fed the IDPs from the east. In inspiring solidarity, Poland has already hosted 2.5 million refugees, Romania has hosted more than 600,000, and small countries Americans struggle to find on a map – Slovakia, Hungary and Moldova – together accepted more than 1 million. Other European countries and citizens have opened their borders and homes, too.

The United States made its first policy step to welcome 100,000 Ukrainians and others seeking refuge. I know the U.S. will embrace them. For the past month, our chancery has received countless calls from Americans ready to house and sustain those in need. We and other leaders in the Ukrainian-American community have joined the U.S. resettlement coalition Welcome.US. Together we are ready to mobilize at least 100,000 Americans to host, sponsor and support Ukrainians seeking refuge here.

Most displaced Ukrainians fervently want to return home. They call their husbands and fathers, grandparents and neighbors to confirm they are still alive. They are glued to the news and social media to see if their houses in Irpin, Bucha, Mariupol, Chernihiv and Kharkiv still stand. They want to rebuild what was destroyed. The valiant defenders of the innocent manifesting the greatest love, sacrificing one’s life for one’s friends (John 15:13) are doing everything to make this possible.

Welcoming displaced Ukrainians and providing them refuge requires the common effort of the global community. Ukraine needs assistance in reestablishing its sovereignty, territorial integrity and peace.

 A belief in God-given human dignity asks every one of us to do our part, starting with an act of welcome. As in the past, Americans will rise to the occasion. Aunt Stephanie is a witness to the transforming compassion of this country then and, I hope, now.


Myroslav Marynovych on CNN—Why they fight: Ukrainians still remember past Russian oppression

Source: UCU
Wednesday, April 13, 2022

CNN’s Jake Tapper interviews Myroslav Marynovych Vice-Rector of Ukrainian Catholic University about Ukraine's painful history of oppression by the Soviet Union and its impact on their fight today.

“The people of Ukraine, they don’t have to imagine what life would be like under Russian rule, the oppression, the cruelty. They have already lived it. I am absolutely sure that Ukraine will win this war, because we understand the danger that may happen with us if Putin wins.”—Myroslav Marynovych.


UCU Student Stories

Source: UCU
Wednesday, April 13, 2022

The Dean’s Office for Student Life of Ukrainian Catholic University has collected students’ stories from various parts of Ukraine, where each person shares what he or she is doing to bring the country closer to victory. Here are a few moving stories:

“I believe that even the small efforts of each person accomplish something big!”—Sophia, 2nd-year student, UCU Social Work Program

I’m volunteering in my town: I help refugees find lodging, I prepare food… I also volunteer online: I’m helping add to a database of volunteers for work with children. I communicate with foreign friends. I talk about the real state of affairs in our country. I sincerely believe we will be victorious, and I know that a bright future awaits us all!

“I help because people are the most important thing.”—Khrystya, 3rd-year student, UCU Sociology Program.

I volunteer at the railroad station in Lviv: I help refugees find lodging, transport. I pass out food on the platforms and give moral support, as much as I can.

“When I volunteer, I realize that I’m part of a strong rear guard for the defenders.”—Daryna, 3rd-year student, UCU Ethics-Politics-Economics Program

With the start of the war in Ukraine, I became coordinator of a volunteer office in the city of Kalush, Ivano-Frankivsk Region. My main task is to coordinate efforts so that everything works efficiently and effectively. My first feeling the morning of 24 February was fear, very great fear. Fear for my neighbors, fear of the unknown, fear of the uncontrollable. Then I realized that the war is my new reality, and I need to fight with it. I decided to travel home to my parents. I found something useful to do in my town.


Russia’s Genocide Handbook: Evidence of Atrocity and Intent Mounts

Source: Timothy Snyder
Friday, April 8, 2022

This description of Russia’s genocide handbook for its war on Ukraine was originally published on historian Timothy Snyder’s blog Thinking about...

Russia has just issued a genocide handbook for its war on Ukraine. The Russian official press agency “RIA Novosti” published last Sunday an explicit program for the complete elimination of the Ukrainian nation as such.  It is still available for viewing, and has now been translated several times into English.

As I have been saying since the war began, “denazification” in official Russian usage just means the destruction of the Ukrainian state and nation. A “Nazi,” as the genocide manual explains, is simply a human being who self-identifies as Ukrainian. According to the handbook, the establishment of a Ukrainian state thirty years ago was the “nazification of Ukraine.” Indeed “any attempt to build such a state” has to be a “Nazi” act. Ukrainians are “Nazis” because they fail to accept "the necessity that the people support Russia.” Ukrainians should suffer for believing that they exist as a separate people; only this can lead to the "redemption of guilt.”

For anyone still out there who believes that Putin’s Russia opposes the extreme right in Ukraine or anywhere else, the genocide program is a chance to reconsider. Putin’s Russian regime talks of “Nazis” not because it opposes the extreme right, which it most certainly does not, but as a rhetorical device to justify unprovoked war and genocidal policies. Putin’s regime is the extreme right. It is the world center of fascism. It supports fascists and extreme-right authoritarians around the world. In traducing the meaning of words like “Nazi,” Putin and his propagandists are creating more rhetorical and political space for fascists in Russia and elsewhere.

Read more


Statement on Applying the Concept of Genocide to Russian Atrocities in Ukraine

Source: Svitlana Khilyuk, Professor of Legal Theory and Human Rights, UCU  
Monday, April 4, 2022

Svitlana Khyliuk
Svitlana Khyliuk

This statement was shared on the UCU news page as part of an article titled "It is time to start applying the concept of genocide with regard to what Russia has been doing to Ukrainians for the last 8 years." Svitlana Khilyuk is an associate professor and head of the Department of Legal Theory and Human Rights at UCU. In the fall of 2021, she was a visiting scholar at the Nanovic Institute. 

The liberation of the suburbs of Kyiv exposed the atrocities of the Russian army and the armed formations under their control. From a legal point of view, the killing, abduction, torture, and rape of civilians in an international armed conflict are criminal acts at both the international and national levels.

Under the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court, such acts can be considered as war crimes (not to be confused with military ones) and/or crimes against humanity. They do not have a statute of limitations and are increasingly subject to universal jurisdiction (i.e. that a person in one country can be prosecuted for crimes committed on the territory of another country).

Ukraine has not yet ratified the Rome Statute, but it has recognized the jurisdiction of the International Criminal Court on a special statement. Therefore, as of November 21, 2013, the jurisdiction of the ICC extends to the territory of Ukraine (including the occupied Crimea and Donbas) in terms of war crimes and crimes against humanity. This means that under international criminal law, persons who have reached the age of 18 and directly committed, facilitated, incited, as well as commanders who have not stopped these crimes against civilians, should be punished. It should be kept in mind that given the scale of criminal acts against civilians, it is unlikely that the actions of all Russian military men will be considered in The Hague. The main burden of prosecuting the perpetrators will fall on national courts.

According to the current Criminal Code of Ukraine, what we saw in the territories liberated from Russian occupation can be qualified under Art. 438 “Violation of the laws and customs of war,” which provides for punishment including life imprisonment. This crime also does not have a statute of limitations for criminal prosecution. At the same time, Ukrainian lawyers rightly point out that the current version of Art. 438 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine does not cover all possible socially dangerous acts against the civilian population by representatives of the aggressor state. Therefore, Bill 2689 was prepared, which provides for the systematic implementation of international criminal and humanitarian law in the Ukrainian criminal legislature. This bill was adopted by the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine and submitted to the President of Ukraine for signature on June 7, 2021, where it is until now.

The abuse of Bucha and other Ukrainian cities by the Russian occupiers violates the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms, in particular Art. 2 “Right to life”, Art. 3 “Prohibition of torture”, etc. This opens the possibility for dealing with the violated rights also at the European Court of Human Rights. Despite leaving the Council of Europe, Russia is responsible for violations of the Convention committed before September 16, 2022.


Dear UCU Supporters

Source: UCU
Wednesday, March 30, 2022

March 24th marked one full month of war in Ukraine. So many innocent lives have been lost, millions of people have been displaced, and yet Ukrainians, especially our young people, have moved into action to help those who are suffering.

Throughout this horrific month, Ukrainian Catholic University has hosted a number of relief groups who are using UCU as their operational headquarters. These groups are not only working at UCU, but many are also staying on our campus. Our students have supported their efforts by serving as interpreters, volunteering with them, and connecting them with resources such as medical supplies and transportation. Here are their stories.

Team Rubicon, a mobile medical unit of the World Health Organization has deployed its operational headquarters at UCU. The team of 22 specialists includes six doctors and medical staff from the United States and Canada. 

“When you are out in a country that is not your own and trying to do this work... where you stay, where you sleep, where you work is very important and so having such wonderful accommodations helps us be much, much better when we go to the field and are actually applying our skills to those who need it.”—Jamie Brown, Rubicon representative

The 15 person Lviv team from SMART Medical Aid, a medical fund from the UK, currently live and work in one of the Ukrainian Catholic University buildings. The fund delivers equipment, medicine, ambulances, and sends them to the various hot spots all around Ukraine.

Join us in thanking these organizations for their selfless work for Ukraine!


Report on UCU’s Activities during the War

Source: UCU
Monday, March 28, 2022

Ucu Report 600x600
Graph from Ukrainian Catholic University.

Since the beginning of the war, UCU has contributed $1.18 million to Ukraine's victory

“I do not see fatigue in your eyes. on the contrary—the activity is growing."—an excerpt from the appeal of Fr. Bohdan Prach, Rector of UCU, to the university community on March 25, 2022.”

Eight years of Russia’s war against Ukraine. One month since the beginning of Russia’s full-scale invasion of the sovereign state. One month ago, the world faced the greatest historical challenge of the last few decades because of the mad dictator’s whims and the tacit indulgence of the majority of Russian society. It has been one month since the previously quiet days and nights in Ukraine became filled with air raid sirens, shell explosions, tears of pain, and losses for millions of Ukrainian citizens. Today, there are no half-answers and half-measures for us Ukrainians. There is only an unconditional and dedicated struggle against the Russian invasion, our only chance to preserve our identity and state. Today, Shakespeare’s “To be or not to be” carries a sacred meaning for our country and the entire civilised world. Ukraine and its people have already started a powerful revolution. A new world order is being created – sadly, at the cost of great sacrifices on the part of Ukrainians.

There are thousands of fronts in this struggle, and the most important one is on the line of military confrontation. The heroic Ukrainian army has been defending our land from the Russian occupier for an entire month without rest. At the same time, millions of Ukrainians work on the home front, waging their daily battle against the enemy. The Ukrainian Catholic University is fighting, too, in its own way – through the efforts of its teachers, staff, students, and the incredible support of friends and philanthropists around the world to find a path to our future victory.

A few weeks before the full-scale invasion, the university established operational headquarters to ensure the stability, safety, and development of various scenarios of our institution’s activities in wartime. Today, in cooperation with the heads of the academic and administrative departments of the university, the headquarters ensures the efficient work of the university.

Read the report on UCU activities


Video messages from UCU

Source: UCU
Friday, March 18, 2022

We will defeat evil with good—word of the rector of UCU

 

UCU students address young people from Europe and America


Event: Solidarity with Ukraine

Solidarity With Ukraine 2

Source: Notre Dame Staff of International Descent
Thursday, March 17, 2022

Stop by to share your compassion with the people of Ukraine by the NDSID tables at the Hesburgh Libraries Concourse on March 23. Organized by a couple of NDSID members from Russia, we invite you to make symbolic paper hearts in the colors of the Ukrainian flag and post them up on our board to express your empathy and support. We will be providing information on reliable humanitarian aid organizations, which you may use to help Ukrainian refugees in Europe.

This event is organized by the Notre Dame Staff of International Descent and co-sponsored by Notre Dame International, the Department of German and Russian Languages and Literatures, and the Nanovic Institute for European Studies. 

Sign up to help


Dear Partners of UCU and Ukraine

Source: Students of the Ukrainian Catholic University
Tuesday, March 15, 2022

Stop the justification of the war against Ukrainian civilians and the Ukrainian nation

With this letter, we would like to draw your attention to the acts of open support of the atrocious war in Ukraine by the leading Russian university – Moscow State Institute of International Relations. 

We are concerned that the war is being openly supported by the students of this university, and they are helping spread falsehoods and Russian state propaganda. Here's the link to their open appeal

We believe that in the civilized world, there is no place for public support of war crimes being committed by the Russian forces in Ukraine. The promotion of the “war for peace” cannot be justified by the ignorance of the facts in the world of abundant information.

We ask you to publicly react to such statements by Russian students and academic institutions and help stop the justification of the war against Ukrainian civilians and the Ukrainian nation.

We hope for your support!
Yours sincerely,
Students of the Ukrainian Catholic University

Interview with Professor Yaroslav Hrytsak, historian, public intellectual and professor at UCU

Christophe came to Lviv from France to help Ukrainians

Team Rubicon: how do doctors from the USA and Canada help Ukrainians?


Interview with Myroslav Marynovych, Vice Rector of UCU, for the Ukrainian PEN Center's #DialoguesOnWar project

Source: UCU
Saturday, March 12, 2022

Myroslav Marynovych, vice rector of the Ukrainian Catholic University, took part in the #DialoguesOnWar project from The Ukrainian PEN Center. During the interview, he told Serhii Plokhii, Director of the Harvard Ukrainian Research Institute, about the events in Ukraine during the war. Ukrainian PEN is a Ukrainian non-governmental organization established to protect freedom of speech and copyright, promote literature and international cultural cooperation. It is part of the network of national centers of PEN International. 

Several key theses from Myroslav Marynovych’s talk:

  • Lviv’s railway station now appears as though it is from a film about World War II, and it’s horrible.
  • Taras Shevchenko’s words of wisdom always speak to Ukrainians in difficult times. In prison, Kobzar, a collection of Shevchenko’s poems, revealed its inner depth and meaning to me much more than it did during normal life.
  • When there is a clash between good and evil, Shevchenko’s relevance appears immediately. We, Ukrainians, say that his writings are like another Gospel for us.
  • While Nazi ideology was condemned and forbidden by rule of law, this didn’t happen with communism. Victorious Soviets hid their crimes after the Yalta conference.
  • There were no Nuremberg trials for communist crimes. In modern Russia, the seeds of communism gave springs for the new regime.
  • Putin’s regime is the reincarnation of Stalin. He is still a hero for Putin and many many Russians.  
  • After 1991, Ukraine and Russia went in different directions. When Ukraine started inroads to European democracy, Russia regressed back to its totalitarian past. Ukrainians don’t want to go back as we already have freedom. Putin’s imperial vision for Russia cannot be realized without Ukraine, because his vision is only legitimate with Kyiv. This means we’re fighting for our independence.
  • Putin’s regime uses three forms of evil: lies, hatred, and violence. Ultimately, this approach leads to a dead end
  • Ukrainian identity is a mosaic. Our main challenge is to find a way to properly harmonize all the mosaic differences (after winning the war).
  • Controversies between the Ukrainian and Russian speaking population in Ukraine would have never turned into a violent conflict without Russia having intervened. It is Russia who transformed these differences into the current war.
  • Every nation has the ability to transform itself. The Russian nation also has this ability, but they will need a moral reckoning after the fall of Putin’s regime.


Dear UCU Supporters,

Source: UCU Foundation
Tuesday, March 11, 2022

Hundreds of thousands of Ukrainians refugees have traveled to Lviv seeking shelter. All in the city have opened their homes and hearts to those fleeing, including Ukrainian Catholic University. The university has converted every usable space to help those seeking shelter, and our students, faculty, and staff continue to volunteer their time to help refugees and Ukraine.

Just yesterday, a group of 30 orphans from Dnipro stayed at the university as they prepared to travel to Poland and then on to Sweden to safety. These precious children were greeted with chocolate, compassion, and a safe place to spend the night. Watch below:

UCU Students Organize Initiative to Create Energy Bars for the Hungry


Dear Partners of UCU and Ukraine!

Source: UCU Rectorate and Operating Group
Tuesday, March 8, 2022

Carthaginem esse delendam! / Carthage must be destroyed! 

Dear Partners of UCU and Ukraine! 

People around the world express their admiration about the heroic resistance of Ukrainians to Putin’s killing machine. Ukraine reminded the whole world what the idea of dignity stands for and why it is worth defending it even at the expense of one’s life. World leaders responded with a wave of holy wrath to the outright evil revealed in Russia’s premeditated and unprovoked aggression against Ukraine which keeps inflicting horrible suffering on the Ukrainian people. The West gets united in solidarity by standing for the truth and good against everything evil that has been revealed of Putin’s regime and by what it represents.

Deep in human hearts there is a longing for what is true, good and beautiful however much it is clouded by selfish interests and greed. The Maidan (Revolution of Dignity) that put Ukrainians on the path of pilgrimage to dignity in 2014 and which so irritated and scared Putin is now marching through the world. Dignity matters again. Let’s not forget this moment and remember what its price is. Ukrainians are now literally crucified by the wickedness of Putin’s Russia. When the world renews its spiritual energies, Ukrainians die under Russia’s ruthless assault.

Ukraine surprised the world at the moment of its deepest tragedy. How much more would it be able to surprise the world if it was given a chance of uninterrupted and undisturbed development for at least over two or three generations?! When we hear about institutions in the West celebrating their centennials without any major disruption of their operation, we can hardly imagine what it is like. Because in Ukraine it is nothing short of a miracle. As soon as Ukraine grows its new generation, its professionals in business, engineering, arts, spiritual life, education, etc., it is furiously attacked by the imperially obsessed Russia uprooting Ukraine’s vitality and dreams. Then Ukrainians must begin from scratch, over and over again. Then we keep hearing how disappointing our new steps are, how awkward our attempts at following the path of the developed and matured nations, how frustrating is our performance in democratic growth and how futile all our attempts to get an “A” in a democracy class… Would you like Ukrainians really surprise you? Give us a chance for no disruption for at least two generations, help us protect ourselves from the imperial neighbor.

During the last days we lost young volunteers Ruslan Karpenko, Ivan Zorya and Anastasiia Yalanska who tried to bring food and medicine to people in the towns under siege, a journalist Victor Dudar, a town mayor reaching out to people who cry for survival Yuriy Prylypko, an actor Pavlo Lee, Yulia Zdanovska, teacher and enthusiast of mathematics, and many other men and women whose dreams and talents might have served this Ukraine which could surprise any of us.

There are many lessons to be learned from this drama of human suffering. One of them should be an examination of conscience in the West. What happened to us that we were able to overlook and neglect the growing darkness in Russia?

Russia has never repented for its communist past, has never done moral reckoning with the atrocities that were committed on human lives in the name of bloody ideology. It has never brought dignity back to the victims of the Leviathan by collecting memories and remembering in prayer each innocent life which was taken by state violence. Russia has not only done nothing of the mentioned. It went the path of glorifying the communist past, of manipulating historic memory by reference to succession narratives of the present institutions from the Soviet ones. What could one expect from a country where its secret service (FSB) celebrates its centennial by reference to the establishment of Cheka, Soviet repressive and bloody police organization?! Such examples abound. Well before the war three-quarters of Russians believed that the Soviet time was the best epoch in the history of the country. 59% expressed positive attitude to Stalin and the idea for grand memorialization of Stalin and his epoch through building a monument and a new museum complex near Nizhniy Novgorod won 50% of supporters among those who were born after the breakdown of the Soviet Union. This number was steadily growing from 2005 where only 11% of the same age group were supportive of the idea. 

The deep reflection on and repentance over the Nazism experience made the West alert and careful on not crossing certain lines in public policies and discourse. It made certain ultra-right-wing ideas concerning the experimentation with the human person and society repellent and utterly unacceptable in the civilized society. But the trauma of communism was reflected upon in depth and its tragic lesson was learned by heart neither in Russia nor in the West.

If the West is serious about recognizing itself in the broken mirror of suffering Ukraine, it must conduct its “Nuremberg tribunal” to condemn communism and Russian chauvinism with all the committed atrocities and violations of human dignity. This will eventually help Russian people to resist Putin’s incarnation of communist hubris in its ambition to dominate the world at the expense of respecting and affirming human dignity.

Today we appeal to our Partners not to let the West move from one complacency of comfort at any cost to another complacency of self-righteousness. Ukrainians deserve a chance for peaceful development without any disruptions from imperial Russia. Much moral work should still be done.  

But first and foremost, Carthaginem esse delendam!

We deeply appreciate your attention, partnership and continuous support!

Yours sincerely,
Rectorate and Operating Group


New Online Resources

Ucu Stand With Ukraine

Source: Taras Dobko and Anna Romandash
Monday, March 7, 2022

Ukrainian Catholic University has created two new resources to highlight UCU official statements and student initiatives. Follow the links in the buttons below. The third resource below has been created by volunteers with the intention of sharing messages and information on the war in multiple languages. “Post to Stop War in Ukraine” is also designed to address misconceptions and debunk false narratives about the war.

UCU statements

UCU student initiatives

Post to Stop War in Ukraine


Article by Anna Romandash for Notre Dame Magazine: "Awakening to Russian Aggression"

Anna Romandash
Anna Romandash

Source: Notre Dame Magazine
Friday, March 4, 2022

In an article for Notre Dame Magazine, Anna Romandash, a Ukrainian journalist and Nanovic-supported Master of Global Affairs student in the Keough School of Global Affairs, writes "the invasion of Ukraine must stir the global community to action in support of a besieged nation and the human rights at stake in the fight."  

Read the full article


Daily video updates by Taras Tymo

Taras Tymo
Taras Tymo

Source: Taras Tymo, Ukrainian Catholic University
Friday, March 4, 2022

Taras Tymo, a lecturer in patristics and theology at UCU in Lviv, has been recording daily updates in English since the first day of the Russian invasion on February 24. Tymo is a graduate of the University of Notre Dame, having obtained a Masters in Early Christian Studies in 2006. The videos are available as a YouTube playlist.

View playlist on YouTube


Appeal of Ukrainian Catholic University to the Global Academic and Research Community

Source: Ukrainian Catholic University
Friday, March 4, 2022

Today is the 9th day of the blatant military invasion of Russian aggressor into Ukraine and the 9th year of the war Russia started in 2014. This aggression is strongly supported by Belarus. The international isolation of the Russian Federation is increasing, with representatives of different industries and professions. The world refuses to cooperate with an aggressor-state that violates all the basic norms of a civilized community in all areas. Education and science must not be an exception. 

For many years the scholars from Russia have benefited from various international research and internship grant programs provided by the Western democracies. Sadly, «return on investment» was used to strengthen and solidify Putin’s anti-democratic regime. Consummation of financial means without appropriation of the civic values and virtues is a manifestly unambiguous sign of the Russian academic community’s complicity with the regime. The shocking silence of a vast majority of the scholars in Russia in view of Russian invasion in Ukraine and the war crimes committed by the Russian army cannot be justified by any human and ethical standards. To willingly remaining silent and passive in view of atrocities and suffering inflicted by the Russian Government on the innocent civilian population of Ukraine makes Russian academia equally responsible for the crimes against humanity. Sadly, the Belorussian scholars also remain silent observers of Russia's crimes against humanity in Ukraine. Their support of the actions of the Lukashenko regime as well as silent contemplation of the Russian invasion is also a crime.

We believe that the academic community should lead by example and show an adequate reaction to Russia’s barbaric actions. We have to unite as a world to stand against aggression. Academia should be based on the values of honesty, justice, and respect for rights and freedoms of others. We are convinced that intellectuals and scholars have a special responsibility for peace, freedom and the prevention of dictatorship!

Dear Partners and Friends, please, find an Appeal Letter from UCU in the attachment!

We deeply appreciate your attention, partnership and continuous support!

Yours sincerely,

Rectorate and Operating Group

Read letter from UCU

Yevhen Laniuk, Associate Professor, Department of Political Science, UCU

The eighth day: Ukraine is standing—Father and Head of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church

Stand with Ukraine!—Yuriy Pidlisny, Head of the Department of Political Science, UCU


Freedom Under Siege: A visiting professor from Ukraine witnesses "wickedness" threaten his native country

Taras Dobko Headshot 600x
Taras Dobko

Source: Margaret Fosmoe, Notre Dame Magazine
Thursday, March 3, 2022

Taras Dobko, associate professor of philosophy and senior vice-rector at UCU, and visiting scholar at the Nanovic Institute, was interviewed for Notre Dame Magazine about the Russian invasion of his native Ukraine. Dobko describes watching events unfold over the last week and his own family's experience, and reflects upon Russian aggression towards Ukraine historically, in his lifetime, and in recent months and weeks. 

Read interview


Call for the establishment of the Network of Solidarity and Strategic Partnership with UCU (2022-2026)

Source: Ukrainian Catholic University
Wednesday, March 2, 2022

“There are universities that know how to turn anxiety into the energy of development, and then students can grow to twenty years in two days” —Maksym Kolyada, lecturer of UCU.

Dear Partners of UCU and Ukraine!

UCU community thanks to all educators, scientists, researchers, all colleagues, and Partners throughout the civilized world for their expressions of solidarity with us and the Ukrainian people in this tragic time of war. The international isolation of the Russian Federation is increasing, with representatives of different industries and professions. The world refuses to cooperate with an aggressor-state that violates all the basic norms of a civilized community in all areas. The higher education and research sectors cannot stand aside. Putin's war crimes, and Russia’s crimes against humanity, will be punished but only when the Russian people realize their complicity. For this to occur, the Russian educational sector must realize its failure to fulfill its primary function and its mission: to develop a humanist worldview. If tyranny and aggression win, we will all feel the consequences. As this destructive war continues, we call upon you not to stand aside, and we ask our international Partners and Friends to support what is True and Right. We demand action. 

We encourage you to become a member of the Network of Solidarity and Strategic Partnership with the Ukrainian Catholic University aimed to help Ukrainian students and faculty with guaranteed and secured funding for study/internship/teaching/research programs abroad to be implemented during the next four academic years (Fall 2022 - Spring 2026).

Please, find the detailed information about a call to action [at the link below].

We trust in global academic solidarity!

Read UCU's call to action


Help the Ukrainian Society at Notre Dame support refugee families in need

Source: Christian V. McKernan
Tuesday, March 1, 2022

Please help the Ukrainian Society at Notre Dame support Ukrainian refugee families in need through Catholic Relief Services. You can find more information on how to support USND's work on the Notre Dame International's Solidarity with Ukraine page. Thank you for your prayers and continued support.

Support Ukrainian refugee families


Statement from Ukrainian Catholic University

Source: UCU Rectorate and Operating Group
Tuesday, March 1, 2022

Dear Partners of UCU and Ukraine!

The Russian Federation’s armed invasion in Ukraine, which has been going on for six days, has already led to a number of serious war crimes - shelling of children’s institutions, hospitals, and other civil objects, including cultural heritage objects in Kyiv, Kharkiv, Chernihiv and many other Ukrainian cities. After the barbaric and predatory attacks on our cities, the killing of children and civilians, we have every right to say that Putin attached to a modern Russian the “brand” of a barbarian. Everyone in the world needs to understand this. Today, Ukraine and UCU call on all states, international organizations, and all our valued Partners to release the world of Putin and his poisonous propaganda. This means eradicating the influence of the Russian system in politics, diplomacy, business, education and science, sports, culture, and other fields. The world must be cleansed of this toxic virus that brings death to the civilized world, democracy, and human dignity!

  1. The world’s international business shows now the united decision - exclude Russia in each possible field of international cooperation. A market nightmare precisely describes the Russian market’s situation since the sanctions have been imposed. The Russian invasion of the sovereign territories of Ukraine is causing a mass exodus of foreign companies from the Russian economy. From the oil giant BP which promised to exit its joint venture from Russian state-owned company Rosneft (19.7% stake) to an American subscription streaming service and production company Netflix, which refuses to broadcast Russian state TV channels in Russia. Disney, Warner, Sony, and Marvel have all decided to halt releases in Russian cinemas. The world’s largest LNG trader, Shell Oil, announced it would leave joint ventures with Gazprom, including the now-dead Nord Stream II. Norwegian oil and gas company Equinor stops all new investments in Russia and begins to exit its joint ventures with Rosneft. General Motors announced the cutting off of its business with Russia. The same announcement was made by Volvo Cars, Volkswagen Group, Daimler Truck. Aeroflot and other Russian airlines are banned from the 27-nation bloc in the European Union, together with the UK and Canada. Swiss Credit Bank, French Societe Generale, Dutch ING Group NV and Radobank refused from lending and investing in Russia. Apple announced to stop selling their items in the official online-store in Russia. The National Bank of Ukraine (NBU) has initiated a halt to the supply of cash foreign currency to banks in Russia and Belarus. The NBU appealed to the ambassadors of the G7 group and the heads of the central banks of these countries, European banks supplying cash and representatives of the international fast money transfer system Western Union to stop the supply of foreign currency to Russian and Belarusian banks. Dear partners, isn't it time to check and take an anti-putin virus test at our own organizations? Can we be sure that our academic and business communities are free from the destructive influence of Putin?
  2. Violation of International Law and crimes against humanity. On Tuesday, March the 1st, the prosecutor of the International Criminal Court addressed the situation in Ukraine stating that there is legal evidence of both war crimes and crimes against humanity made by Russian soldiers on Ukrainian territory. In 1949, as a result of the devastating World War II, European countries adopted the most important instrument of international humanitarian law - the four Geneva Conventions that prohibit killing and ill-treatment of civilians, the destruction of civilian infrastructure and the use of weapons that cause undue damage or unnecessary suffering. In the best traditions of the Hitlerite Empire, the military forces of the Russian Federation fire mostly on the civilian population and civilian infrastructure, taking lives every hour and leveling entire cities and villages. The Russian Ministry of Defence also announced its intention to bomb other military objects in the center of the capital. A few dozen meters from the stated target of the bombing is the St. Sophia Cathedral, a symbol of Kyiv Rus, decorated with mosaics and frescoes dated back to the 11th century - a historical period when Moscow did not yet exist on the map. The Putin regime hates Ukrainian identity! Putin is committing crimes not only against humanity but also against his own citizens. Today, Putin officially priced the lives of his soldiers to be 11,000 Russian rubles (an amount of money Russia promised to pay to the families of dead soldiers, which is a little bit more than 100 USD). We believe that human life cannot have a price. To save Russian lives, Ukraine in contrast is offering a full amnesty and 5,000,000  rubles to the Russian military, who will lay down its arms and surrender. 
  3. Holocaust memorial ‘Babyn Yar’ bombing. Russian troops are also targeting objects of national and historical memory, violating all norms of UNESCO's international obligations. A major Holocaust memorial in Kyiv was struck today during Russia’s latest bombardment of the city, which targeted a television broadcast tower in the Ukrainian capital. This is a symbolic place for millions of people all over the world to remember the cruelty of the Nazi regime. In Babyn Yar Nazis massacred up to 100.000 Jews, Roma, and Ukrainians during World War II. Andriy Yermak, Head of the Office of the President wrote: “These villains are killing Holocaust victims for the second time”. During the accident, 5 people were killed. President Zelensky twitted: “Why to repeat "Never Again" for 80 years when the bomb falls if the world remains silent?”. We appeal to everyone still staying silent or claiming one’s non-political position - your silence kills, your silence destroys world heritage!
  4. Belarussian troops entered Ukraine. The enemy has seen him becoming weaker, and Putin has begun to engage his authoritarian allies in this conflict. A Belarusian column of 33 units entered the Chernihiv region, located north of the capital Kyiv, on March 1. Belarus' self-proclaimed President Alexander Lukashenko previously vowed that Belarusians would not participate in Russia's war against Ukraine and would not let Russia use the Belarusian territory for that purpose. Lukashenko, in particular, may try to invade Ukraine's northwestern territories, which Russia hasn’t so far considered as a priority. Global community should have no doubts that authoritarian regimes would not respect international obligations. Lukashenko should be recognized as a war criminal together with Putin.
  5. The European Parliament approved Ukraine’s application for joining the European Union and recommended member states to grant Ukraine candidate status. Today we all are a part of the historical moment. On March 1st,  the European Parliament approved Ukraine’s application for joining the European Union and officially started a special procedure of consideration of Ukrainian membership. A President of the European Parliament Roberta Metsola stated, “We recognize Ukraine's European perspective… We must meet the future together”. The European Parliament signed a resolution that condemns Russia's war against us, calls on Russia to withdraw all its troops from our territory, and calls on EU institutions to work to grant Ukraine EU candidate status. We firmly believe that such steps and further logical actions by European states can effectively accelerate the cessation of the war and can give a worthy rebuff to the Russian international criminal. We understand that there will still be a lot of work and effort ahead, but the guarantee of your support will allow us to work for a concrete result and goals that will be common to the whole nation.
  6. UCU: a model of “workshop university.” Our University now finds itself in an entirely “new reality”. To handle the situation well the Operating Group was created with a mandate to meet the urgent needs of the community, strengthen physical and digital security, and build our capacity for resilience. One of the key questions was what to do with the educational process. In 2004 and 2013-14, when Ukraine went through two revolutions to safeguard its democratic development and rule of law, the University transferred its education services from classes to the streets. Students went through tempering experiences of social activism, public service and civic responsibility. We decided to use a similar model now and turned the university into a workshop. The war is the most extreme case filled with cruelty, humiliation, violence and human suffering. Even people with strong characters and rich experience could get traumatized. What to say about young immature students? If they are left alone, they could be overwhelmed with anxiety and stricken by fear. It is also impossible to hold classes online at such a time. Students are not able to concentrate and focus on regular content. Moreover, they will miss learning the most important antidote against fear and feeling of helplessness which is human solidarity and doing something important together. So, UCU moved to a model of ‘workshop university’. Students are required to participate in ‘classes’ either in person or remotely. But these days classes are designed in accordance with the service-learning model. Each program, teachers and their students had defined their own way of enacting social change. That should help the students to better understand the situation, to find the project which could prove them useful in helping others, to reflect on the acquired experience, and go on. UCU is being transformed now into a big workshop and a spider web of many projects for enacting human dignity in these perilous times. Young people draw their energy for facing the hard and tragic reality of war from their fellow students, community, and God. In the appendix to the letter, we provide you with a list of those student networks that are successfully operating for the sake of Ukraine’s victory. If you are willing and able to support these initiatives, below we also provide information on how to do so.

Pope Francis has called on everyone to organize a Day of Prayer and Fasting for Peace in Ukraine on March 2, Ash Wednesday. On this day we all can share the sufferings of the Ukrainian people, to make everyone feel like brothers and sisters, and to pray to God for the end of the war. We welcome you to join this initiative together with UCU!

Good and truth will prevail!

Yours sincerely,

Rectorate and Operating Group


Notre Dame International launches "Daily Updates from UCU"

Source: Michael Pippenger, Vice President and Associate Provost for Internationalization, University of Notre Dame
Tuesday, March 1, 2022

Notre Dame International has set up a live webpage that shows Notre Dame’s solidarity with UCU and Ukraine. It is housed within Notre Dame International’s website and provides a space for: UCU’s daily updates, accurate information, videos, and news sources; information on how to give and be involved; and events on campus related to the Notre Dame community's engagement with this crisis.

More on Notre Dame's solidarity with Ukraine


Appeal to Members of Academia from the Ukrainian Catholic University Law School

Source: Svitlana Khyliuk, Associate Professor and Director of the UCU Law School
Monday, February 28, 2022

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Dear Members of Academia, Colleagues, Friends!

Few days ago, at 5 a.m. of 24 February 2022, Russia launched an unprovoked full-scale military invasion against Ukraine in manifest and flagrant violation of international law. Since then, peaceful cities were bombed indiscriminately by Russian soldiers, causing hundreds of casualties among civilians. Ukrainian Army has shown an unprecedented courage and resists the invasion. Ukrainian society is united in supporting our defenders in any way we can.

Many states imposed severe sanctions upon Russia and provide support to Ukraine. We in Ukraine are deeply grateful for all the support and solidarity we have received from the world. However, more can and should be done to end Russian aggressive war against Ukraine and prevent this from happening again in the future. Therefore, we appeal to all members of academia to:

  • Express in strongest terms the condemnation of Russia’s aggressive war against Ukraine. Academia cannot remain silent when international rule-based order is being destroyed and should speak the truth to power;
  • Suspend all forms of academic cooperation with Russian institutions, not to participate in any events organized by Russian institutions or held in Russia. Academia should be based on the values of honesty, justice, and respect for rights and freedoms of others. By and large, Russian academia remains silent on the issue, thus providing tacit approval for the state’s unlawful actions;
  • Expel Russian members from your Boards of Trustees or Scientific Boards, as well as Russian funders or sponsors in general;
  • Strip Russian nationals from honorary positions within your institutions;
  • Discontinue scholarship programs dedicated to Russian applicants and allocate them to the nationals of states affected by Russian aggressive imperialist policies – Ukraine, Georgia, Moldova, Belarus.

We also urge the members of academia and all the people of good will to join our public letter calling upon your respective governments to:

  • Review the status of Russian permanent membership on the UN Security Council regarding its compliance with the text of the UN Charter, as well as Russian activities within the UN institutions;
  • Support Ukraine’s European aspirations, grant Ukraine the status of ‘EU candidate country’ and provide a clear and speedy roadmap for accession – no country has suffered and sacrificed more for its desire to become the part of European family, for its commitment to the values of human dignity, freedom, democracy, equality, the rule of law and respect for human rights;
  • Develop a clear roadmap for Ukraine’s NATO membership – Ukraine requires stronger security guarantees, since the Budapest Memorandum and security assurances provided therein proved to be practically worthless;
  • Urge the OECD to open accession discussions with Ukraine – Ukraine will need a strong economy and considerable support and assistance in the process of post-conflict rebuild and development.

Today is not the time for half-measured actions. The world ignored Russian invasion of Georgia in 2008; the world did not react adequately in 2014 when Russia occupied Crimea and started the war in Eastern Ukraine. The world cannot repeat the same mistake over and over again. Impunity encourages new violations.

In the famous words, “the only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.” We believe that academic community should lead by example and show an adequate reaction to Russia’s barbaric actions. Therefore, we appeal to the academic world to show your solidarity with Ukraine.

With respect and deep gratitude for your support,

Ukrainian Catholic University Law School


UCU students take action

Source: Ukrainian Catholic University
Monday, February 28, 2022

Dear UCU Foundation Family,

Thank you. Your notes of compassion and support inspire us with hope. We’d like to give you an update on what has been happening at UCU.

This weekend, Ukrainian Catholic University has set up a Humanitarian Support Collection Center on its campus. In response to the significant need and request for medicines and medical supplies, UCU’s Sheptytsky Center has become a collection site for medical aid including tourniquets, dressings, antibiotics, medical gloves, medical screws, painkillers, syringes, blood transfusion systems, blankets, meal kits, and other essential items.

Our student and faculty’s bravery and commitment to Ukraine inspire us all. We ask you to please share these inspiring stories with your networks in the spirit of solidarity. Thank you!

Interview with Anya, second-year student of philology, about collecting donations for the Ukrainian army

Anna says: “My father went to the front, my mother stays at home, and I’m here. We have something to do and we sublimate the experience this way. I’m with people who are close to me, because we all work together.”

UCU student volunteer movement to support Ukraine

Volunteer work at UCU is in full swing. Everyone is joining in support of Ukraine and its army.

UCU students urge the global community to not remain silent

The story of UCU student and her family who had to evacuate from Kharkiv

Alisa Balakirska is a fourth-year student in applied sciences. Her family has had to evacuate Kharkiv because of the war.

UCU Students prepare to receive refugees from all over Ukraine


You are part of the big Ukrainian ocean

Source: Ukrainian Catholic University
Monday, February 28, 2022


Expressing gratitude to our friends from abroad

Source: Ukrainian Catholic University
Monday, February 28, 2022


Statement from Ukrainian Catholic University

Source: UCU Rectorate and Operating Group
Sunday, February 27, 2022

"[Ukraine is] one of us and we want them in the European Union", Ursula von der Leyen

Dear Partners of UCU and Ukraine!

Today, Russian occupation entered its 5th day of military aggression, with hundreds of casualties, hundreds of thousands of refugees, and millions of destroyed lives. This is more than a Russian invasion of Ukraine. It is a brutal assault on democracy, humanity, global order and the whole civilized world overall. Since the beginning of the war on February 24th, much of the international community pledged its support for the Ukrainian people in various forms. Diplomats work tirelessly. We see large-scale and influential sanctions against the Russian economy. Ukraine's allies are sending financial and military aid. Likewise, many international companies, NGOs and initiatives have joined in helping Ukraine. Unfortunately, all these enormous efforts have not stopped the war yet. The Russian killer is relentless!

  1. Death of Ukrainian children. Russian missiles keep dropping on civilians’ heads and buildings. Russians keep attacking kindergartens and orphanages, thus committing war crimes and violating the Rome Statute. Hospitals and mobile medical aid brigades are also targeted by the Russian shellfire and the sabotage groups, working in Ukraine’s cities and towns. According to the MFA’s report, as of today, 352 people including 16 children were killed and 1684 people (116 children) wounded in Ukraine during five days of the Russian invasion. (The numbers are being updated). Russia will have to answer for its behavior at the World Court in the Hague. Ukraine has submitted its application against Russia to the ICJ and we request an urgent decision ordering Russia to cease military activity now and expect trials to start next week. Your active civic support and demand that Putin and Russia be convicted of their crimes will help to restore confidence in and effectiveness of international law. 
  2. Ukraine’s official request to join the European Union. For centuries the Ukrainian nation has fought for its own independence as an equal and rightful European state, with a strong identification with European values, such as democracy, freedom, equality, just governance and human rights. After gaining independence, we keep proving that we are part of European society. We defend our freedom, dignity, and future. We protect and develop norms, laws, and reforms that are important for being a modern and free country. We are fighting not only for our lives and freedom but also for the whole European society that we respect, admit and want to be a part of. Today, the President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskiy signed a historical application for Ukraine's membership in the European Union. Thanks to the support of many European countries and the President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen, we feel confident that this will be an important step in order to not only finalize our integration to the European Union but also to achieve true peace. Your voice is critical at this moment! Please appeal to your governments and your representatives in parliaments to support our aspiration.
  3. Negotiations with Russia. To stop fatalities, Ukraine decided to hold its first negotiation session with Russia near Ukrainian-Belorussian border. The aim is to cease fire on Ukrainian territory to prevent casualties. As a result of the first session and according to the Ukrainian delegation, both sides identified common topics that they must work on and departed back to their own capitals for further consultations and implementation of the first session. The next session will happen shortly. The start of the negotiation process is a crucial part of peace in Ukraine. Our delegation will defend Ukraine’s national interests and sovereignty. Nothing much was achieved during the first session. But the meanness of the aggressors knows no limits. During the talks, the parties agreed to a ceasefire. However, taking advantage of the moment, Belarus and Russia continued to attack Kharkiv, Kyiv and other settlements from the air. We emphasize once again that the words and promises of the Russian regime are worth nothing.
  4. Referendum in Belarus. The dictator Lukashenko signed a decree appointing a referendum on amendments to the Constitution of Belarus on February 27. As a result of this referendum, he wanted to strengthen his power and create additional danger for Ukraine and the world. In addition, he creates security guarantees that do not allow him to be held accountable for his actions during his terms. Most importantly, he deprives Belarus of its nuclear-free status. These changes mean that he does support the war against Europe. He is ready to get nuclear weapons from Russia and use them not only as a blackmail instrument but also to kill our soldiers, families, and children. Almost 66% of people “voted” for the amendments to the Constitution. We ask you to support the decisive steps to stop another dictator who instigates the war, kills our soldiers and civilians by dropping the missiles from the country he made a hostage of his lunacy. The consequences of Lukashenko’s actions can be fatal and affect citizens of all countries.
  5. Humanitarian crisis at Ukrainian border. We Ukrainians are thankful and proud of all the support of our fellows worldwide providing help to our people and assert human values to win the war against totalitarianism and dictatorship. While many Ukrainians are fighting, there are the ones who must save their young kids, some of which have just been born. International volunteers are working hard to provide these people with the possibility of saving their souls from the enemy’s fire. Providing shelter in neighboring countries, food, basic sanitation, and hygiene products is crucial. Women with little kids who stay at the Ukrainian border sometimes for 3-4 days need resources to survive during this period of turbulence. Most necessary at the Ukrainian border is food, baby food, water, diapers, wet wipes, coverlets, toilet paper. We ask you to become a part of global solidarity with Ukraine now and address NGOs and volunteer centers with help. The young Ukrainian generation will forever remember the good that the world community provided them with!
  6. How does the Ukrainian Catholic University deal with the current state of war? The community of the Ukrainian Catholic University is now being actively engaged in various volunteer activities. Our main objectives: Witness, Serve and Communicate lead us through these hard times. UCU operating group has been working non-stop since the first day of Russia’s full-scale invasion in Ukraine. For example, UCU cooperation with UNICEF has launched the assistance to refugees to provide them with the first necessary humanitarian aid. UCU has also become a center for many volunteering projects, including media coverage of war, humanitarian aid, city security, IDPs support etc. Our students are redistributing clothes, food supplies, medicines and hygiene products for the soldiers all over Ukraine and to IDPs, who came to Lviv. Yesterday, 27th of February, we handed over to the military: 1 quadcopter, 5 walkie-talkies, 8 phones, 51 power banks, 23 boxes of food (including thousands of bars, dry food, coffee, tea, canned food, etc.), 15 chargers, 19 large boxes of medicines and many many other items. We do not stop the educational process, despite the recommendation of the Ministry of Education and Science to pause instruction for two weeks. We believe that there can be no vacation during the war. Traditional lectures have been canceled, however all classes were transformed into practical activities according to the service-learning approach that UCU has been pioneering for the last few years.

We must win! We must be united in this struggle!

Yours sincerely,

Rectorate and Operating Group


Global academic community stands in solidarity with Ukraine

Source: Ukrainian Catholic University

Global statements of support, February 25, 2022

Global statements of support, February 26, 2022


Students of Ukrainian Catholic University respond

Source: Ukrainian Catholic University
Friday, February 25, 2022

The following videos and texts were provided by students of the Ukrainian Catholic University (UCU).

UCU students read the poem “Europe was silent” by Oleksandr Oles

When Ukraine fought for the right to live
With butchers, lived and died,
And waited, desiring only compassion,
Europe was silent.

When Ukraine in an unequal struggle
Shed blood and with tears flowing
Awaited friendly help,
Europe was silent.

When Ukraine in an iron yoke
Toiled as a slave and plowed while wounded,
That even the voiceless rocks were moved,
Europe was silent.

When Ukraine that bloody harvest
Reaped for her murderers, herself dying
Her words failing from hunger,
Europe was silent.

When Ukraine cursed her life
And the land became a grave,
Even the evil demons wept as
Europe was silent.

Oleksandr Oles, 22 August 1931

UCU students in shelters

We were hiding in a shelter in Lviv this morning because we had an air alarm signal and the authorities called for us to go to a shelter for security! Ukraine is at war! And it's true! This is not fake, not fiction, not the education of the population! This is a real war! We have felt it and experienced it for ourselves! Let's not be afraid, let's defend ourselves because we are on our own land!!! Together we will survive! Together we are strong!

UCU students volunteering

Every student, teacher or UCU employee helps our soldiers in their own way and according to their abilities.


Discussion of the situation in Ukraine from the 2022 conference on "Integral Human Development in the Digital Age"

Source: Ukrainian Catholic University
Friday, February 25, 2022

From Wednesday, February 23, to Friday, February 25, 2022, the Ukrainian Catholic University held its annual conference on "Integral Human Development in the Digital Age." This year's conference, which focused on "Social Justice, Human Rights, and the Common Good: Facing the Danger of Totalitarianism" proceeded, despite Russia's invasion. During the conference, scholars shared the following about the war in Ukraine.

Volodymyr Turchynovsky, Dean of Social Sciences Faculty and Director of the International Institute for Ethics and Contemporary Issues, Ukrainian Catholic University

Volodymyr Turchynovsky served as a visiting scholar of the Nanovic Institute for European Studies during the 2006-2007 academic year and, again, in fall 2019.

All of us are in a very difficult situation right now and I want to give some impressions that struck me the most.

Firstly, all the world has to admit the impressive and heroic sacrifice of our soldiers who are selflessly defending our country. Really impressive was the sacrifice of our soldier Vitaliy Skakun who protected a bridge with his life, a sacrificial act of heroism.

A column of enemy tanks was actively moving deep within Ukraine. To stop it, a decision was made to blow up the Henichesk automobile bridge. The engineer of a separate battalion, Seaman Vitaliy Skakun, volunteered to perform this task.

The bridge was mined, but Vitaliy didn’t manage to get off it. He contacted his fellows, informing them that the bridge was being destroyed and then an explosion was heard. 

Also impressive are the lines of dedicated volunteers who are working to supply and support the Ukrainian army, and they don’t stop for a minute.

We are also impressed by millions of donations from ordinary Ukrainians and people from all over the world to fund our ability to resist. 

I also see the faces of Russian prisoners who are lost; they really don`t understand and they’re really lost, totally confused. 

Oksana Kulakovska, Director of the Analytical Center, Ukrainian Catholic University

We appreciate the involvement of international scholars in this most difficult moment in our history as a sovereign country. It is a decisive moment for all of us, but I can’t be really pessimistic. In order to understand how we have to deal with this situation, we need to understand that the enemy wants to eliminate our country. We can see a dozen examples which will build not only the history of our country but also of the whole world. 

We need different kinds of support from the world community. Can we expect it now? This is a big question.

The first thing that has to be done—Russia will do everything to behead our state and annihilate our will in days. This really unites all people under that threat.

Ostap Krvydyk,  international security expert, and Chair of “Ukraine and the World” Program, Analytical Center, Ukrainian Catholic University

There is no better opportunity to go from study to action. My mission is to provoke the outrage of the international community. Immediately we and the international community need to begin the process of planning, how to place Putin before an international tribunal. He needs to be held accountable for all the crimes he has done against Ukraine, Georgia, Syria, and the whole civilized world. We need a board of people who can speak on an international level about this. We need public advocacy from you. Evil should be named and brought to the court.

Sr. Helen Alford, Vice-Rector of the Pontifical University of St. Thomas Aquinas (Angelicum)

The Church in Ukraine has great respect in society. In no other country of Europe do religious communities have such strong influence. The Church is a strong social actor that unites Ukrainians for the fight. The Russian aggressor uses the Church and religious narrative in an entirely different and completely unacceptable area. It uses the Church and religion in a criminal way, to legitimate the evil which it is doing.

Building the peace process is important – we need to reconstruct the security situation in Europe. The church needs to be involved in that. 

We see quite a grim picture, but it`s realistic. The message for Ukrainians is grim, but also for Europe and Russia.

A. James McAdams, the William M. Scholl Professor of International Affairs, University of Notre Dame

I can’t express what all Ukrainians are now experiencing. Here in the USA, many of us are trying to convince our politicians and establishment that the fate of Ukraine is the fate of the whole world. We see manipulation on the part of the media and some politicians in Europe and the USA, though my humble goal is an attempt to understand and explain the situation in Ukraine to Americans. Unfortunately, for too long we’ve had the illusion that Putin will come to his senses.

What’s happening in Ukraine can happen anywhere. Many politicians use the situation in Ukraine for their own political games. We, however, are trying to do everything necessary so that the USA will get involved as much as possible to change the situation. 

José Casanova, Professor Emeritus and Senior Fellow of the Berkley Center for Religion, Peace and World Affairs, Georgetown University

I’m very happy to see you all, regardless of all the circumstances. The world is united, after the fact of encountering evil, unfortunately. Many Western intellectuals who supported Russia have now changed their minds. To a significant extent, this became possible through the voice of Ukrainian intellectuals, and also of those scholars from all countries who study Ukraine.   

In fact, you’re fighting public thought in Europe, which is fairly pro-Russia, and they are trying to balance between interests. The media repeats Putin’s message and we have to make more space for the Ukrainian voice in the West.

We should begin the process of the legal trial of Putin right now so that they understand what awaits them in the future.

Clemens Sedmak, Professor of Social Ethics and Director, Nanovic Institute for European Studies, University of Notre Dame

The day Russia invaded Ukraine we received many messages from the Nanovic community in support of Ukraine.

It’s important that we inform the world that Ukraine is a cultural pearl, a country of deep religious faith, a country of significant literature and beautiful operas.

All of us need to give a testimony of prayer and to witness to the truth. The Notre Dame community joins all its forces in support of the Ukrainian people, who are fighting for their freedom.

Archbishop Borys Gudziak, President of Ukrainian Catholic University

Archbishop Gudziak received the 2019 Notre Dame Award from Notre Dame President Rev. John I. Jenkins, C.S.C. Archbishop Gudziak started the Ukrainian crisis media center, a centralized way to inform the world about Ukraine.

Now I'm in Paris, ceaselessly speaking with people, meeting with people. With all our might we’re trying to unite the civilized world.

Now we must unite university all over the world with the goal of supporting Ukraine. 

As with all of us, I’m a bit off-balance – Ukraine needs global, united international solidarity. Bringing students together and becoming re-translators of what is going on. We need to help students go from fear to dignity, as it was during the revolution of dignity.

People are coming together. We pray, and people and soldiers are becoming strong. I pray for Putin’s conversion and a miracle. And the Lord will not stop doing great things. 

Myroslav Marynovych, Vice-Rector for University Mission, Ukrainian Catholic University.

In September 2021, Marynovych visited the University of Notre Dame and delivered the 2021 Nanovic Forum lecture

About three illusions of the West:

Some people of the West overestimate the strength of Russia and underestimate the strength of Ukraine. 

Putin will not stop at the Polish border. His next goal will be to revive the USSR and get NATO out of Eastern Europe.

The West says that they are giving us everything possible and that more support will be a cause of World War III. However, the West’s half-heartedness can lead to difficult consequences for the world eventually.

We know about the importance of values: Jesus never betrayed His values, even before the face of death, and we should demonstrate this to everyone in the West. It is Ukraine that is now in the forefront of defending the most important human values.


Statement from the Ukrainian Catholic University

Source: Ukrainian Catholic University
Friday, February 25, 2022

Dear UCU Partners and Friends!

Your letters of compassion and support inspire us with great hope and gratitude for your reliable partnership! The situation in Ukraine is horrible – our militaries and civil people are dying under enemy bombs, the terrible sound of the alarm system in the morning and night makes us run and hide with our families in shelters. But in these darkest times, we are uniting and praying for peace and victory! We believe that challenges and threats make us stronger with a reliable, friendly shoulder both in Ukraine and abroad. In this situation, when many people in Ukraine feel constant anxiety and fear, we are trying to inspire optimism and hope. Today, it is significant for us to be an island of stability for all – God is merciful!

The whole Ukraine is teaming up to resist Russian aggression. But is it enough to stop the war with one of the largest world military powers? Elimination of the main variable of this war requires everyone’s help. Every one of us who believes in democracy, dignity before God, and humanity!

We have to unite as a world to stand against aggression. The academic community holds an unprecedented amount of political and social influence, and we are writing this letter today to stress that there is a strong demand for the intellectual elites at the world’s leading higher institutions to use the platform bestowed upon them to take a definitive stance today.

A clear position of academia worldwide and a consensus on Russia’s unprovoked and unjustified attack on Ukraine can be an important signal of condemnation of the actions of the Russian Federation and necessary support for Ukraine, democratic values, and international security.

The Academia must show its support for victims of this unprovoked war, which is unleashing a humanitarian crisis.

Therefore, we are requesting you to join other opinion leaders across the globe to stand with the Ukrainian people in the defense of our lives, the wellbeing of our families, and the security of our sovereign land. The key aim of the Russian attack is not only to seize Kyiv, and to shift Ukrainian legitimate authorities, but to prove their savage idea that democracy is not working, that it is weak and global order has collapsed.

We should unite all our efforts to stop it now!

Please, approach your national governments with the following appeals:

  1. We ask to daily condemn the aggression on all and any diplomatic platform, in any international organization.
  2. We ask for financial and humanitarian assistance, weapons, petrol and equipment for Ukraine.
  3. We ask to lobby for devastating sanctions on Russia, including a SWIFT cut-off, embargo on the import of Russian oil and gas, freezing of Russian state assets abroad, closing ports and airports for Russian ships and planes. To stop the war, the world needs to introduce sanctions with immediate effects. Every day of delay means the death of innocent people.
  4. We ask to completely block Russian state media in your countries. They spread lies, propaganda and poison your countrymen and countrywomen.
  5. We ask to lobby for a No-Fly Zone over Ukraine. This practice was used in Libya in 2011 when NATO suspended all flights over the country’s territory. This measure should be introduced to protect Ukrainian civilians from Russian jets, drones, and missiles.
  6. We ask you not to allow a naval blockade of Ukraine, since it will jeopardize not only the Ukrainian economy but also the food security of many countries.
  7. We ask you to force Russian troops to leave the Chornobyl zone in order to avoid another global ecological catastrophe.

His Beatitude Sviatoslav says: “Our Ukraine, which the world fairly called “lands of blood”, which has been so many times sprinkled with the blood of martyrs and fighters for the freedom and independence of its people, calls us today to stand up for it – to defend its dignity before God and humanity, its rights for existence and the right to choose one’s future!”

We hope for your support!

Yours sincerely,

Rectorate and Operating Group


Catholic Universities Partnership in solidarity with Ukrainian Catholic University

Source: Catholic Universities Partnership Members
Friday, February 25, 2022

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Photo by Matt Cashore.

The academic communities of the Catholic Universities Partnership want to express their solidarity with the Ukrainian Catholic University and their support for all Ukrainian colleagues and students with their families.

We are deeply troubled by the Russian invasion of Ukraine and the war in Europe. We condemn the invasion as a gross violation of international law and disrespectful of standards of decent human morality.

We want to express our commitment to the UCU community and our willingness to support our friends in Ukraine in any possible way.

We offer our prayers and our faith-filled hope. We fervently pray for peace.

We will be alert and make sure that our colleagues and students are well informed about what is happening in Ukraine.

The Catholic Universities Partnership aspires to be a true partnership, also and especially in difficult times. We are united in our faith in Christ, the Prince of Peace.
 


Reliable Ukrainian sources of information available in English

Source: Taras Dobko and Oleh Turiy
Thursday, February 24, 2022

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Oleh Turiy
Taras Dobko Headshot 600x
Taras Dobko

The statements and links below come from Taras Dobko, associate professor of philosophy, senior vice-rector at Ukrainian Catholic University and is presently a visiting scholar at the Nanovic Institute (spring 2022), and Oleh Turiy, vice-rector for external affairs and associate professor of church history at Ukrainian Catholic University, who also served as a visiting scholar at the Nanovic Institute in fall 2018.

Dear Friends, Colleagues and Partners of UCU,

Ukraine stands firm against Russian invasion. We have no doubt that Ukraine will be victorious in defending dignity and freedom. This war is not just the war of Russia with Ukraine. The Kremlin's regime is ruining the fundamentals of international order.

We ask for your solidarity in prayer, in sharing true information, in supporting the Ukrainian army and in providing humanitarian help.

- Oleh Tury

Reliable Ukrainian sources of information available in English:

Ukrainian Catholic University information channels:


Video message from Miroslav Marynovych, Vice-Rector of Ukrainian Catholic University

Source: Ukrainian Catholic University
Thursday, February 24, 2022

This video message comes from Miroslav Marynovych, a Ukrainian social and political activist, Gulag survivor, and vice-rector for university mission at Ukrainian Catholic University. In September 2021, Marynovych visited the University of Notre Dame and delivered the 2021 Nanovic Forum lecture. He met with many Notre Dame students, faculty, and community members during his visit.

Marynovych’s Nanovic Forum lecture (along with more details on his visit) is available to view online.

 


Letter from Rev. Dr. Bogdan Prach, Rector of Ukrainian Catholic University

Source: Rev. Dr. Bogdan Prach
February 24, 2022 (3:00 p.m. ET / 10:00 p.m. EET)

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Dear Partners of UCU and Ukraine!

Today, on the 24th of February, at 5.00 AM the armed forces of the Russian Federation backed by the Republic of Belarus launched an intensive shelling of numerous Ukrainian cities and delivered missile/bomb strikes on the military infrastructure of the Armed Forces of Ukraine. At the same time, the aggressor started artillery shelling of the areas and settlements along the state border and administrative boundary with the temporarily occupied territory of Crimea.

This war has been going on for the last 8 years, but today, Ukraine and the whole world face the greatest danger since 2014. Do not believe that this war was provoked by Ukraine. We are a peaceful people defending right now our Motherland and a right to live in a free democratic country!

We call on now all our Partners abroad to be alert and show your solidarity with the Ukrainian people and the Ukrainian academic community. The evil is revealed now, and there is no space for cajoling the aggressor. Now, more than ever, we need the support of the entire global academic community. It will be extremely helpful for us if you approach your governments with institutional and/or individual appeals to support Ukraine with military, economic, and humanitarian assistance and to impose devastating sanctions against Russia. Remaining silent and apathetic are the greatest enemies right now.

This war is not just the war of the Russian Federation with Ukraine. The Kremlin’s regime is ruining the fundamentals of international order. So, for all of us, this is the war of the entire civilized world against dictatorship and against violation of the basic rules of international law.

Despite the harsh circumstances and no matter how great the challenges stemming from today’s world crisis, our spirit remains strong, and together with the help of our Lord, strong Ukrainian Army, and inexhaustible global academic support, we are – incomparably stronger to defeat the evil that rebelled against humanity!

Ukraine strongly needs your support!
Please, pray for the peace and victory of Ukraine!

With sincere gratitude,
Rev. Dr. Bogdan Prach
Rector, Ukrainian Catholic University


A Message from the Dominican Sisters and Friars in Ukraine

Source: Rev. Petro S. Balog
Wednesday, February 23, 2022 (9:45 p.m. ET / 4:45 a.m. EET)

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The message below is shared with the permission of the Dominican Sisters of Springfield, Illinois. It was shared with Dominicans around the world just a few hours before Russia began its invasion of Ukraine. Fr. Balog was a visiting scholar at the Nanovic Institute during the 2014-2015 academic year.  

We, citizens of Ukraine of various ethnic identities and citizens of other countries, who live in Ukraine, united in valuing freedom and peace, declare our solidarity and support for Ukraine and condemn the new attempts of the external aggressor to disrupt peace.

Ukraine is a peaceful home for us all. A peaceful home where we have been enjoying happy family life and warm-hearted friendships, productive work and creative projects, art, science, business, civic activism and public service.

Since renewing its independence in 1991, Ukraine has been a place with unique opportunities to create, to voice disagreement, and to start a new initiative.

Ukraine has never attacked another country and has always respected the principal provisions of the international law, including internationally recognized state borders.

Aspiring to support and to strengthen peace in the world, Ukraine has taken unprecedented steps in the first years of its independence: Ukraine voluntarily disposed its nuclear weapons, then the world’s third-largest nuclear arsenal, in exchange for guarantees of its independence, territorial integrity and inviolability of its borders provided in the Budapest Memorandum in 1994. The Memorandum was guaranteed by five powerful countries, who are permanent members of the UN Security Council: the Russian Federation, the United States of America, the United Kingdom, France and China. However, in 2014, in blatant violation of the Budapest Memorandum, the Russian Federation committed an unprecedented act of aggression in the 21st century Europe against Ukraine.

As consequence, the occupied Autonomous Republic of Crimea, the city of Sevastopol and part of Ukraine’s east are temporarily no longer the space of freedom and hope that we used to know. However, we shall not lose our hope as we continue to join efforts to protect peace, freedom, territorial integrity and independence of Ukraine.

Today, the Russian Federation is openly threatening a new intervention, denying Ukraine’s right to self-determination and peaceful life.

We urge the world to support Ukraine in all possible ways to defend sovereignty and territorial integrity, peace and security.

Fr. Petro S.Balog
Dominican Friar, Associate Director, Verbum
Thomas Aquinas Institute, Kyiv, Ukraine
 


Books on Ukraine, Russia, and their shared history

Source: Bruna Celic

This list of ten books has been compiled by Bruna Celic, research program coordinator at the Nanovic Institute. These titles examine the shared histories of Ukraine and Russia, and the list is designed to combat disinformation, promote clarity, and provide scholarly context for recent events. Celic also recommends a reading list compiled by Serheii Plakhyi, professor of Ukrainian history at Harvard University and director of its Ukrainian Research Institute.

The Shoah cover

The Shoah in Ukraine: History, Testimony, Memorialization

Edited by Ray Brandon and Wendy Lower