Today, Friday 24 February 2023, marks one year since Russia’s aggressive war in Ukraine began. Putin, his regime, and the Russian military forces violently invaded Ukrainian territory and fundamentally violated international order and human rights.
The escalating conflict has become an integral part of politics and of the lives of people living in Ukraine and Russia. It must be remembered that the war is an ongoing and destructive conflict that has caused immense suffering and destruction. The killing continues on a daily basis, and there seems to be no end in sight.
The war in Ukraine has forced Ukrainian students to flee the country or to the front and has darkened the outlook for students across Europe. The prolongation of the war requires a firm commitment to human rights and solidarity. As the conflict drags on, we also call for an improvement in the status of international students and for the protection of students fleeing violence and persecution.
Much happened in the first year of the war. The front lines and the pace of fighting have changed, and the international climate and the content of security policy have changed rapidly. We must continue both to support Ukraine and to support Ukrainians who have arrived in Finland. We must also start preparing for the upcoming rebuilding of Ukraine.
Finland has responded flexibly to the needs of Ukrainian students who have arrived here, and support under temporary protection must continue as long as need be. Already around 1500 people in Ukraine. The main issue at the moment is the number of temporary and temporary residence permits forms of education, and what kind of guidance is needed for the future. The crisis is having a significant and lasting impact on higher education and science policy. Indeed, the war will place higher education and science policy in a new international context.
In the face of Putin’s bullying, the student movement must stand strong, show solidarity and persevere in fighting the disinformation of the troll army. As the war enters its second year, it is important to remember that the conflict is far from over and that much work remains to be done to end the war. We must continue to show our support for the Ukrainian people.
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