Institutes associated with CERN

Last edit: ~Feb 24th 2023

Recent updates (see also changelog):
Minor changes to institutes, in general, more of the familiar: non-supportive ones may added a non-supportive statement, while pro-war institutes continued to issue supportive statements and actively contribute to the effort of propaganda or training of military personel.

The following is a best-effort overview of statements from CERN associated institutes. It only contains Russian institutes or universities (used interchangeably) and does not contain statements of individuals (why?), which may differ from the institutes view. The institutes listed are taken from CERNs public list.

Statements from the institutes are collected and briefly categorized without favoring any position; it may serve whomever it may be appears to be of use. Especially as scientists, the first and foremost goal is to have the facts at hand; this page should help to get them without claiming completeness or actuality.

As new statements appear every day or get adjusted, it is unfortunately impossible to keep an exact list; however we try our best to update it frequently. Mistakes or additions can be reported, we are grateful for any hint.

Only the tip of the iceberg

We have to be aware of a large information bias here: many of the (especially pro-war) activities are not directly found on the websites and we cannot know what lectures are thought or which other pro-war activities are taking place.
We only see a small sample of pro-war activity publicly, and therefore list it here, but a lot more seems to be happening (report of Meduza, Russian independent media). The picture of the visible support however, is clear enough.

Summary and highlights

Most of the universities openly support the war and they are not alone in the academic landscape. While this happens in statements that differ in their strength of support, some of them are quite strong. Two of them are even actively contributing to the war through propaganda classes.

One institute’s (pro-war statement) self-proclaimed purpose is the maintenance of nuclear weapons, while this and another one are subsidiaries of an active war participant, Rosatom.

General academic statements

There have been a few statements or open letters that have been signed by multiple Universities, some of which are also part of CERN.

Joint Institute of Nuclear Research (JINR)

The JINR (website) is an intergovernmental organization that is working with multiple institutes and which is also associated with CERN. It release multiple statements (statement1, statement2, statement3 english, video statement), which do not take a position on the war and call for continued international collaboration (this is not per se clearly anti-war). Other statements, like congratulating Ukraine on the Independence day (!!), congratulating Moldova as well as Rumania on the independence day (independence from the Soviet Union) emphasize an anti-war stance.
Summary: They seem to not be in favor of the war and even congratulate on the Ukraine Independence day, a crystal clear statement in times when the Russian state doesn’t even acknowledge Ukraine’s statehood.

Rector union statement supporting the war

The union of rectorates of Russian Universities (website) signed a clear statement in support of the war. The original statement (link dead, archived version) is signed by about 305 (!) directors/presidents/co-president etc. from Russian universities/institutes, some of which are also associated/collaborating with CERN.

Notably, they released two days before pro-war statement another statement that urges universities to continue international collaboration. While this could seem like an anti-war statement, it is not! In fact, it’s only (in this context) a plea for “we don’t wanna have repercussions“.

A translation and list of all authors as well as the original can be found here.

Russian academy of science statement

While the RAS (Russian Academy of Science), to our understanding, mostly consists of individuals and less of institutes, it is listed explicitly in CERNs collaboration list and also as the parent institute to a few institutes: Russian Academy of Sciences (website).

The RAS released a statement that is overall in support of the reasons for the invasion and is giving it a false legitimacy. At the same time, it also calls for a stop of the fighting and the resolution through diplomacy and remarkably calls it a “conflict”, not a “military special operation”.This call for an end to the fight can be an anti-invasion but also a pro-invasion statement as is explained in Arguments and their meaning. Furthermore, they aim to increase working in applied fields to overcome the issues created by sanctions.

Summary: They call for a diplomatic resolution and against isolation but are in favor of the arguments supporting the invasion. Nothing points explicitly towards actual neutrality or opposition of the invasion.

Saint Petersburg Rectorate

The rectorate counseil of Saint Petersburg (SPB) universities (two of those are associated with CERN) has issued a joint statement in strong support of the war.
The extend and content of the statement can be found here

No explicit statement

We could not find any clear statements about the war of the following institutes. Some however included statements about a humanitarian aid project for people or about a psychological program for (foreign) students to get help. Both seems to be correlated with the invasion but do not pose any visible relevance to the support of war.

Subsidiaries of active war participants

The Russian Federation Nuclear Research Center (website), which is in strong favor of the war, and the Research and Development Institute of Power Engineering (NIKIET) (website) are subsidiaries of Rosatom, a large state corporation that specializes in nuclear energy and more. Rosatom is currently actively participating in the war as they seized the nuclear power plant Zaporizhzhia and declared it operating under Rosatom. (source UA, source)

Rather neutral statements, pro war letters

These institutes explicitly take a neutral attitude. Neutral positions – in a country with strong censorship – can be seen as having an anti-invasion tendency.

It is to note however that all of them signed the general statement in strong support of the war.

While the statements appear to be neutral, signing the general petition makes it clear that these institutes may actually support the war. They’re position seems at best contradictory.

Pro-war tendency

While these statements are in a rather neutral tone and call for, they still tend to convey a more subtle message to the reader in support of the invasion in one way or another. They refrain however from explicit statements of support and do not (or only minimally) use propaganda language.

The following institutes signed only the general letter of the rectorate union

In strong support of war

The following universities are in strong support of the war. This can be seen by supportive statements that often contain strong claims about the “rightfulness” and “need” of this invasion.

As some of these statements are quite strong, it is recommended to read them.

Various statements

Explicit statements from institutes

Kurchatov institutes

The Kurchatov institutes gave a general declaration in support of the invasion. They are part of the National Research Center Kurchatov Institute.
Declaration in Russian, in English (translated and Russian original)

Active support and contribution

This is a newly created category and contains institutions that actively contribute to the war. This does not include helping “refugees from Ukraine and the Donbas regions” or humanitarian aid.

This includes instead active support of it by not just stating the support but offering dedicating resources to it.

Nuclear weapons

A special mention in this category, given recent nuclear war threats from the Russian Federation, is the Russian Federation Nuclear Research Center (website): pro-war statement.

The center currently participates actively in the war by being in control of occupied nuclear powerplant(s). Furthermore, they state that “Today the primary mission of the Institute is to ensure the reliability and safety of nuclear weapons in Russia” (source).