The Trier University AStA stands in solidarity with the people living in Ukraine and with the people affected by repression who are protesting against Putin‘s war of aggression.
Since February 24th 2022, there has been the sad certainty that the Russian armed forces and their commander-in-chief have invaded the sovereign state of Ukraine. Until February 24th there was still hope for a peaceful, diplomatic solution, now we know that a war has started instead.
In retrospect, it becomes clear that this attack was prepared long in advance. Years of ongoing propaganda as well as an orientation of its own economy towards warfare are now being used by the Kremlin to invade a sovereign country. Although years of propaganda have led to strong support among the majority of Russia’s population, more and more critical voices are emerging. Despite the harsh intervention of Russian security forces, thousands of brave Russian people protest against Putin’s war every day. There are also reports of Russian soldiers deserting, as they do not want to fight in a war against Ukraine.
The civilian population is also suffering because of this war. According to media reports, Russian forces are not only targeting military bases, there are also attacks on settlements. According to eyewitness reports, groups of OMON, a part of the national guard used for insurgency suppression in Russia, march behind Russia’s military units.
While in the weeks – and especially a few days – before the escalation, the EU and the German government repeatedly emphasised that they were prepared for a Russian invasion and had prepared tough sanctions. However, immediately after February 24th, the German government showed a shameful restraint. Unfortunately, only Germany’s economic interests were initially considered. Ukraine felt betrayed and sold out by Germany.
The German government must be held accountable for its announcement that further economic sanctions will be enacted. Because of Germany’s historic responsibilities, the Federal Government should use all necessary economic and diplomatic options to ensure a swift end to the attacks by the Russian armed forces.
It is not only soldiers who are fighting in Ukraine, but more and more resistance is coming from the civilian population, who see their own freedom and lives in danger. To end this conflict, the aggressor must be brought back to negotiations.
Many students and their relatives are also part of the Ukrainian civilian population that has been particularly affected. Ukrainian students in Germany and the EU are worried about their friends and relatives and are trying to organise assistance. German and international students in Ukraine have to flee a war zone. Meanwhile, Ukrainian students are helping to defend their country, many have to do so against their will. As the representatives of the students at Trier University, the AStA extends its solidarity to the students in Ukraine and to the Ukrainian students at Trier University, in Germany and the world.
The AStA condemns the racist incidents at the Polish-Ukrainian Border, where non-white people are being prohibited from leaving Ukraine and being attacked. Furthermore, the AStA condemns public statements that try to divide people into ‘good’ and ‘bad’ refugees based on their skin colour, gender, or religion.
Additionally, the AStA condemns the hostility that people perceived as Russian are experiencing due to Putin’s war. This hatred targets the wrong people and must not have a place in our society.
Trier University’s AStA is therefore calling on the student body of Trier University to join the protests against the war in Ukraine. At the same time, we call on you to donate to aid organisations as far as possible, or to help in other ways in order to directly support the people in Ukraine as well as refugees.