In his Spring 2022 quarterly update, Chancellor Gene Block shared a message about how campus supported students with ties to the area and how faculty helped people understand the history and context.

This spring, the eyes of the world turned to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine — and UCLA staff and scholars were quick both to develop programs to aid those affected by the war as well as draw on our institution’s academic resources to help our extended community understand one of the most significant geopolitical conflicts of recent times.

Bruins took action in multiple ways. In the weeks leading up to the conflict, our Student Affairs division reached out to UCLA students from the region to share university resources and emergency support available to them. After the invasion, UCLA’s International Institute, through its Center for European & Russian Studies (CERS), set up an online hub highlighting initiatives from around campus and promoting resources for students and scholars impacted by the conflict. Some of these include a CERS-led fundraising effort to generate emergency stipends for UCLA students as well as an Alan D. Leve Center for Jewish Studies initiative to launch emergency Visiting Graduate Researcher Fellowships.

UCLA scholars also helped illuminate the many dimensions of the conflict for audiences near and far. In various media, UCLA political science professor Daniel Treisman shared perspectives on the political complexities at play; UCLA Anderson faculty evaluated the effect of the war on the global economy; and UCLA history faculty members David Myers, J. Arch Getty and Jared McBride traced the complicated history between Russians and Ukrainians; among others. Additionally, scholars brought their expertise to bear in lectures and other events designed to help our community understand everything from the political and economic effects of the invasion to the relevance of religion in the conflict. Other programs drew attention to Ukrainian culture, such as a musical performance sponsored by the Center for the Art of Performance. CERS and the Center for the Study of International Migration also collaborated on a program focused on the refugee crisis prompted by the invasion.

As the war continues to rage, we at UCLA hope for the safety and well-being of everyone in the region. I urge members of our community to visit the CERS website to stay up to date on how Bruins are supporting those in need and helping us make sense of the conflict.