A statement from IREX President & CEO Kristin Lord on Russia's invasion of Ukraine

A statement from IREX President & CEO Kristin Lord on Russia's invasion of Ukraine

Today, Ukraine was the subject of an unprovoked invasion by Russia. The Kremlin’s actions are an indefensible, unjust attack on a sovereign nation and the democratic aspirations of the Ukrainian people. They overturn long-held principles of sovereignty that have contributed to peace for decades.

For decades, IREX has worked to positively impact the lives of Ukrainians through programs that empower youth, cultivate leaders, strengthen institutions, and extend access to quality education and information. We have supported exchange programs that have built enduring bonds between Americans and Ukrainians. We have built strong relationships with the Ukrainian people.

The people now under attack are our colleagues, partners, and friends. IREX stands in solidarity with them during this horrific ordeal.

For years, we have observed the Kremlin’s cyber-attacks and disinformation campaigns. For weeks, we have watched a massive troop buildup. For days, we have heard the increasingly dire intelligence assessments. And now, we are watching an appalling invasion of a sovereign, democratic state. This act of aggression should shock the conscience of all who believe in human dignity. It should awaken those who have tolerated rising authoritarianism and disinformation. The costs could not be clearer.

Russia’s military is more than four times the size of Ukraine’s military. However, the resolve and resilience of the Ukrainian people are immeasurable. During Ukraine’s 30 years of independence, the nation has overcome enormous obstacles. They will ultimately overcome Kremlin aggression.

 We will to continue to work with the Ukrainian people to create a more peaceful, just, and democratic future.