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EUROfusion stands in solidarity with research in Ukraine

Today, as we commemorate the anniversary of the invasion of Ukraine by Russia, the EUROfusion consortium stands in solidarity with our Ukrainian member and research colleagues.

EUROfusion remains committed to supporting Ukraine’s researchers and to helping to rebuild their facilities. The ongoing war on Ukraine underscores the importance of pursuing sustainable energy and energy independence, promoting human development, and advancing peace. It is imperative that we remain steadfast in our joint efforts to create a better future.

With the permission of our member KIPT (the National Science Center Kharkov Institute for Physics and Technology), we share some images of the tremendous devastation and loss caused by Russian missile and artillery strikes on the KIPT facilities in Kharkiv. Our thoughts are with our colleagues at KIPT and at the other fusion partners linked to KIPT as associated entities, as we express our solidarity and support for our colleagues and the people around them.

Impact

Home to many knowledge institutes, Kharkiv lies in the northeast of the country and is Ukraine’s second-largest city. It lies about 25 kilometers from the border with Russia and was hit heavily in the early phase of the invasion, with over 100 strikes hitting the campus and surrounding residential area between February and May of 2022. Science magazine covered Kharkiv’s response to the attacks in this article in December 2022.

In addition to damage to buildings and research facilities, the attacks also caused the loss of KIPT PhD student Mykola Zamanov as his house in the suburbs was hit by a Russian missile.

During the invasion, many KIPT colleagues have continued to work from home and have conducted repairs on the institute’s damaged buildings and facilities. They for instance placed the institute’s Neutron Source in long-stop mode and found ways to keep KIPT’s fusion experiments such as its stellarator and linear plasma accelerators operational.

Other KIPT colleagues had to evacuate to locations in western Ukraine and beyond. Thirty countries worldwide sheltered KIPT staff, predominantly in Europe such as at our Polish member IPPLM, CIEMAT in Spain, Uppsala University in Sweden, IPP Garching in Germany and other laboratories.

Support

EUROfusion has made funding available to support such temporary positions at Ukrainian labs as well as for Ukrainian scientists hosted at EUROfusion members. In addition we decided to provide funding to support the fusion research at KIPT and its associated entities in Ukraine. As part of a European Commission response, EUROfusion has also stopped ongoing collaboration projects with Russian research institutes.

“It is hugely important for us to hear EUROfusion words of solidarity and feel the actions of support in this time”, says KIPT fusion researcher Sergii Pugach.

Head of the fusion research at KIPT Professor Igor Garkusha agrees: “It is very important for us to feel the ‘shoulder of friend’. It helps us overcome the hardships of the war and give hope for the rapid restoration of our research infrastructure after the war.”

Image courtesy of Prof Igor Garkusha, KIPT. Used with permission.
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