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Anniversary of the Full-Scale Russian Invasion of Ukraine

Ukraine flags held by protestors flying a clear skyLike many of you, I remain deeply concerned about the ongoing conflict in Ukraine, two years on from the invasion in 2022, and about other conflicts elsewhere. The cost to people in those regions is terrible, and the wider repercussions are felt around the world.

Univ is a diverse community, with students and staff from many countries and backgrounds. Some of us continue to be worried about friends and family who are directly affected by conflict, and some of us are directly affected ourselves. We continue to support each other, and we have been glad to find new ways of supporting Ukrainians where we can.

Here are three examples from the last year of how as an academic institution we have been able to support individuals from Ukraine.

Valerie Amos
Master, University College Oxford

Man in suit looking powerfulIn October 2023, Ievgen Levitskyi (2023, Law) joined Univ to study the MSc in Law and Finance under the Oxford University Graduate Scholarships for Ukraine. We will also offer a College place for 2024 entry under the same scheme.

Ievgen said, “In February 2022, Her Majesty’s Government was among the first in the world to provide Ukraine with ammunition. A few weeks later, ordinary British people opened their hearts and homes to those Ukrainians who were fleeing the war; my wife and my 6-year-old daughter were among them. I am extremely thankful to Jonathan Glanz, the former Mayor of Westminster, and his family for hosting my loved ones at their place in London during the first year of the war when I was in Ukraine.

“I arrived in England in September 2023 when I started my course at Oxford. To be honest, after almost one and a half years of war, I did not expect to receive so much support. I thought that people may have tired of the war, but my College, the Faculty of Law, and the administrative team of my course, MLF, showcased that I was wrong.

“Last but not least, I want everyone to know that Ukraine is not only about today’s war and related difficulties. My country is about hardworking people, big ideas, and innovations. Not many of you are aware that things such as WhatsApp, Grammarly, and Reface were created by Ukrainians. I am strongly convinced that more is yet to come, and Ukrainians will contribute a lot to the development of really cool things that will be used for the better future of the world.”

Polly Jones on Radio 3Professor Polly Jones, Schrecker-Barbour Fellow in Slavonic Studies, was one of the co-organisers of the two Ukrainian writers’ residencies in the faculty last year, which generated a number of public events. She also coordinated the visit of another well-known Ukrainian writer Oksana Zabuzhko, to give the faculty’s Ilchester lecture. She is currently working on a research project about Soviet cities and their hinterlands with Dr Olena Styazhkina, with an article forthcoming in Europe-Asia Studies.

Woman looking sternDr Olena Styazhkina, a well-known Ukrainian writer and historian, was the University of Oxford’s second Ukrainian Writer in Residence, to which Univ contributed. She has written several pieces on Ukrainian history and current affairs, as well as given lectures and seminars, including some with the faculty’s first Ukrainian writer in residence, Oleksandr Mykhed. The scheme is funded by the Faculty of Medieval and Modern Languages, TORCH, the Faculty of History, several Colleges (University, Somerville, Lady Margaret Hall, Wadham, and New), and individual donors.

Information about the University of Oxford’s response to the invasion of Ukraine, as well as advice and support for staff and students impacted, can be found on the University website.

Published: 24 February 2024

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