Rector's address regarding Ukraine

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Dear Ukrainian colleagues and students, 
Dear University community, 
 
The Russian Federation has launched large-scale military action in Ukraine and has changed the security situation in Europe and around the world. The University of Tartu strongly condemns the aggressor's behaviour in starting the war and stands firm in defence of the values of a free society. We stand in solidarity with Ukraine at this difficult time and fully support its actions to defend its independence and territorial integrity. While there is no immediate threat to Estonia, we are at the same time investing in our free country's preparedness to respond to possible cyber-attacks, provocations and incitement campaigns, and we stand for the dissemination of good truthful information. 
 
At the moment, the University's primary mission is to extend a helping hand to 146 Ukrainian members of the University community - our staff and students. It is our duty to support you in this difficult time. I will be meeting with representatives of Ukrainian staff and students tomorrow. We will discuss concrete steps the University can take on its part. I am setting up a working group to ensure that Ukrainian members of the University community receive all the support they need, including psychological support and legal advice. We are ready to implement the necessary measures without delay.  
 
I have also tasked the Vice Rector for Research with developing a long-term strategy defining the role of the University as a partner of the European Union, NATO and other members of the international community in defending the independence of Estonia and other European countries, today especially that of Ukraine. 
 
I wish everyone a happy 104th anniversary of the Republic of Estonia. I call on the University community to stand together and keep a strong spirit. I wish strength and resilience to the Ukrainian members of the University community and assure you that you are not alone in your concerns. 
 
Toomas Asser 
Rector 
 
Ms Kristi Kerge (ukraina@ut.ee, +372 529 7677), Head of International Cooperation, is the first point of contact for Ukrainian members of the University community in case of emergency. 

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