You can start writingTo: American Councils Senior Management
In memory of Denis Antipov, UBL PIE Alumnus 2021 from Ukraine, who was killed by Russian occupants on 11 May in Izyum, while protecting Ukraine from Russian invasion.
We cannot be silent.
We need your clear answer and action: Do you stand with Democracy or not? Why American President supports Ukraine and American Councils supports Russia?
Ukraine is now on the frontline of the defense of the principles of democracy and freedom in face of the war waged by Russian Federation. Now we go through tough and unprecedent conditions when hostile armed forces of the neighbor country invaded Ukraine, and for more than 140 days in a row severely attack and destroy infrastructural objects, civil buildings and kill our people. More than 50 000 civilians were killed in burnt in across the country, thousands of deaths in Mariupol and people were event buried. Thousands of Ukrainians are injured, raped, lost their homes, lost their relatives, thousands of our people are under occupation and tortured by Russians, millions of Ukrainians are displaced because of the war.
It is not just the statistics; it is real stories of American Council’s alumni today. Our fellow Denis Antipov was killed, another fellow is fighting in the East of Ukraine, another fellow escaped from occupation from Melitopol risking being shoot, many of us are displaces, many of us lost homes. We – Alumni of American Councils from Ukraine.
As an alumnus of American Councils, we believed that the main mission of American Councils was to support values of freedom, democracy, and responsibility for the future we are building together in this world. And now it is unprecedent time in the world when Ukraine fighting for the freedom and democracy against Russia, terrorist, and fascist state. NATO deems Russia as its most significant and direct threat to the world security and piece today. Russia’s war in Ukraine had created Europe’s biggest security crisis since World War II. And even more, Russia’s war with all its atrocities in Ukraine is recognized as genocide by many countries.
It was a painful and heart-breaking to find out, that American Councils continue to work with Russia and provide exchange programs for Russian citizens, and what is more painful and embarrassing that this financing comes from US Embassy in Russia.
We literary die to protect the freedom and democracy and while American Councils finds numerous excuses to keep collaboration with Russia.
American Councils Leadership, we call on you to prove your values that you have declared and to end up any relationships with Russia, with Russian citizens and counterparty. While the whole world is stopping do business with Russia, closing offices there. Today is too late to facilitate exchange programs for the future of democratic Russia and time to acknowledge that your efforts in Russia have failed dramatically. You may argue that there are some progressive young Russians, who are against regime. So, if there are some pro-democratic Russians then they have to take an action and organize a protest against their regime, take a real step, and not travel abroad for study programs while we die. Now it is a right moment in Russian history to prove for these democratic Russians their values by action.
Note, we ask not for the discrimination based by origin or Russian citizenships, but for the justice and equal conditions because we sacrificed too much. We gives our lives and we are keen to fight for democracy with our lives. And Russians must be just brave enough at least to be vocal and go to protest.
The US government along with the European ones imposed sanctions, among which are the restrictions on flights to and from Russia. The US government blocked flights to and from Russia due to the unprovoked and unjustified invasion of Ukraine by Russian military forces, the potential for harassment against U.S. citizens by Russian government security officials, the singling out of U.S. citizens in Russia by Russian government security officials including for detention. The US government also restricted the issue of visas for Russians. Yet despite the above, the American Councils are helping to evade sanctions for Russians. Notwithstanding the official restrictions on traveling from Russia to the US and getting visas, the American Councils is funding the program to bring Russians, to assist them in getting visas and to provide them with circumvented ways to get to the USA.
We appeal to you to close any opportunity for Russian citizens and stop relationships with Russia. We urge for your support, as far as peace and democracy principles protection possible with the joint efforts only. We genuinely share the values of freedom and democracy and ask you to share these values and support us. It's no longer a question of business, it's a question of peace and life.
We have proved our values and passion for freedom and democracy. So, it is your turn. The ultimate question you, American Councils Leadership, must ask is yourself: Do you stand with Democracy, or you stand with Ukrainian Genocide?
Sincerely, your alumni and professional community of Ukraine