In light of the ongoing invasion of Ukraine by Russia, the WiG Leadership team expresses support for Ukrainians, as well as all refugees and protesters for peace globally. We strongly condemn the actions being taken by the Russian military and leadership, which represent a long history of unchecked human rights violations and abuses. An invasion of an independent country is already an unconscionable and unjustifiable act of colonization; an invasion and the resultant displacement of millions at the height of a country’s pandemic wave, when resources and human lives are already in acute precarity, even more so.
Although this invasion may seem like a sudden escalation of territorial conflict, the historical background of the actions taken on February 24, 2022 is long. We are responding directly to this invasion but recognize the following, non-exhaustive list of events as of central importance to the conflict at hand: the invasion of Crimea in 2014; Ukraine’s declaration of independence immediately following the fall of the Soviet Union; the efforts towards Ukrainian independence that were made leading up to the fall of the Soviet Union; and centuries of territorial disputes and conflicts. The invasion of Ukraine is a current crisis that will continue to unfold over time. This statement is written in media res.
As feminist scholars, we recognize this military invasion as a violent expression of imperialist, white supremacy. We object to the perpetuation of sexist and anti-LGBTQIA+ attitudes and legislation in Russia under Putin. We also stand against state violence and colonial violence in all of its forms. Russian aggression and violations of human rights have too often been met with inaction by global leaders, but thankfully people around the world are speaking up. In recognition of the danger of speaking out against an oppressive leadership, also familiar to us as scholars of German Studies, we endorse the actions and voices of the thousands of protesters throughout Russia, as well as across the globe. We stand in solidarity with all of our colleagues and students who are personally affected by these actions and we encourage WiG members to reach out and lend support within their means and spheres of influence.
Western leadership is slow to act; even the current talks of striking at Russia’s economy via SWIFT sanctions may only have so much impact. It is easy and perfectly understandable to despair in times of inevitable war and precarity, especially after years of pandemic-related disruption to our daily lives. For those who have the energy and resources to take action and to express solidarity, we have compiled the following list of resources:
Our colleagues at the DDGC issued their own powerful statement and shared a wealth of resources and calls for action here: https://diversityingermancurriculum.weebly.com/ddgc-blog/ddgc-steering-committee-statement-in-solidarity-with-the-peoples-of-ukraine
Twitter thread with English-language, non-paywall, credible news sources: https://web.archive.org/web/20220225065035/https://twitter.com/DrO_aorzoff/status/1497092314761601032
Twitter thread with suggestions for action: https://web.archive.org/web/20220224150659/https://twitter.com/OBurlyuk/status/1496864201956261888
Linktree with suggestions for action and educational materials: https://linktr.ee/RazomForUkraine