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This message was shared with the students, faculty and staff of the 10-campus University of Hawaiʻi system on March 4, 2022.


We are incredibly saddened and dismayed at Russia’s brutal military invasion of Ukraine, a blatant assault on life, liberty and democracy. Many of us are struggling to understand how this base disregard for human values and international law can take place in 2022. Our hearts and minds are with all who have been harmed, have lost family and friends and/or remain at risk.

As a university, we oppose violence and aggression. We stand for peace. In Hawaiʻi, we are well aware of the long-lasting consequences and trauma that occur when an independent nation and people are overwhelmed and overthrown by force. So it is particularly important that we proudly stand with the brave people of Ukraine as they endure this unprovoked attack by Russia.

We have a small number of students from Ukraine and Russia on our UH campuses. We stand ready to support them during these tragic events and through the aftermath. We urge everyone to show understanding and support to them and anyone connected by family and friends to this international tragedy.

The stories and images from Ukraine are disturbing to all of us. If you are feeling anxious or depressed, please do not hesitate to reach out for help to your campus or other resources that can provide comfort and assistance.

E mālama pono,
David Lassner
UH President

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