I should take a moment here to express my outrage at the gravely unjust Russian invasion of Ukraine and profound sadness at its human toll. President Putin’s military incursion has already cost hundreds of lives and displaced half a million refugees from their homes. It flies in the face of international law and is a gross violation of Ukraine’s national sovereignty.
We condemn this senseless invasion and stand with the Ukrainian people.
Our most important responsibilities in this moment of great suffering are threefold: first, we are providing outreach and care to Duke students, faculty, and staff who are members of the Ukrainian community. We are also mindful of the impact this unjust war is having on students and scholars in Ukraine. We offer our solidarity and are seeking options to support them.
Finally, we are committed as an academic institution to better understand the conflict and provide what support we can for a peaceful solution that restores and respects Ukraine’s right to self-governance.
This mission of research and understanding is what brings us together tonight.