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Rockefeller president Richard P. Lifton releases statement on Russian invasion of Ukraine

Ukranian flag

In response to the Russian invasion of Ukraine on February 24, 2022, Rockefeller University President Richard P. Lifton today released the following statement:

The Rockefeller University is a vibrant, international community. Our scientists, students, and staff come from all over the world, including Ukraine, Russia, and bordering nations. Collaboration, open-mindedness, and goodwill are key to our work and to our understanding of ourselves and our aspirations for the world around us.

While the University typically does not comment on international conflict, the wholesale invasion of a peaceful country of 40 million people demands a response. We condemn the unprovoked and unlawful invasion of Ukraine by Russian armed forces and the appalling targeting and killing of civilians, along with wanton destruction of Ukrainian cities and infrastructure. The brutality of this attack shocks the conscience of people everywhere. The evolving humanitarian crisis is exacting a huge toll not only on the people in Ukraine, but on its neighbors receiving over two million refugees to date. We stand with Ukraine, in awe of the bravery of their resistance, and with Russians who are protesting this invasion at personal risk.

The University has been reaching out to offer support to members of our community from Ukraine, Russia, and bordering nations. I urge everyone to provide comfort and support to our colleagues in need in any way you can.

Additionally, the University is identifying relief organizations for the University and our community to work with to aid in this humanitarian crisis. If you would like to help or have suggestions, please contact Virginia Huffman at

If you find yourself in distress, please know that you are not alone. Call 212-327-7257 to schedule a confidential counseling session with one of Rockefeller’s mental health experts.