Declaration by the International Geographical Union on the Ukraine crisis

The International Geographical Union notes with dismay the alarming situation in Ukraine and finds the invasion of a sovereign democratic nation by Russian forces senseless and unacceptable.  These actions are undermining global security and stability and have led to deplorable human suffering and loss of life.

In the interests of peace and stability in international relations, we call for an end to the hostilities and for a resolution that respects the sovereignty of Ukraine and all its people.

The International Geographical Union stands in solidarity with the people of Ukraine and its community of geographers, along with those in Russia who are courageously manifesting their rejection of war.  We wish the citizens of Ukraine great strength in resisting and overcoming this shocking crisis.

We note that scientists and scientific journalists in Russia have issued the following open letter on the situation:

En Francais:

L’Union géographique internationale observe avec consternation la situation alarmante en Ukraine et juge insensé et inacceptable l’invasion d’une nation démocratique souveraine par les forces russes.  Ces actions portent atteinte à la sécurité et à la stabilité mondiales et entraînent des souffrances humaines et des pertes de vies déplorables.

Dans l’intérêt de la paix et de la stabilité des relations internationales, nous appelons à la fin des hostilités et à une résolution qui respecte la souveraineté de l’Ukraine et de tout son peuple.

L’Union géographique internationale est solidaire du peuple ukrainien et de sa communauté de géographes, ainsi que de ceux qui, en Russie, manifestent courageusement leur rejet de la guerre.  Nous souhaitons aux citoyens de l’Ukraine beaucoup de détermination pour résister et surmonter cette crise bouleversante.

Nous notons que des scientifiques et des journalistes scientifiques en Russie ont publié la lettre ouverte suivante sur la situation:

The American Association of Geographers (AAG) has published a petition on its website that can be supported HERE.


We, the undersigned members of the American Association of Geographers (AAG), declare our unequivocal support for the sovereign country of Ukraine and the families and individuals impacted by this week's unprovoked aggression by Russian President Vladimir Putin. Geography tells us that a people's right to determine their future is inextricably linked with their sense of place and space. Russia's unlawful invasion and occupation of Ukraine force the displacement and migration of countless communities, stripping them of their dignity and fundamental rights. In addition, the environmental damage and societal risks associated with nuclear contamination related to this unprovoked aggression threaten Ukraine and neighboring regions. Any country or political actor who threatens the sacred right of another people's rights to self-determination deserves global condemnation.
Additionally, this conflict has highlighted what terrible acts can be justified under the guise of disinformation. As geographers, we recognize the dire consequences of false narratives about history, boundaries, and territory. The free flow of information and the right of citizens to protest are the underpinnings of a healthy, functioning society. When scientific integrity is warped, or the free flow of information is stifled, leaders can more easily concentrate authority and act unilaterally. Freedom of information is the last bastion of defense against such egregious manipulation of power. As outlined in our organization's guiding policy principles, the AAG condemns any such practices that threaten open access to information and scientific integrity.
The American Association of Geographers (AAG) is a scholarly, non-profit organization that seeks to advance professional studies in geography and to encourage the application of geography in education, business, and government. Founded in 1904 and based in Washington, D.C., the AAG represents approximately 9,000 members in nearly 100 countries whose professional specialties span a broad spectrum of the physical, biological, and social sciences.