On March 7, 2022 (Monday), the HUFS Department of Ukrainian Studies (Chair Hong Seok-Woo) staged a student demonstration to call for no war and peace now in Ukraine, a conference with Ukraine’s ambassador to Korea, and a special panel discussion on ongoing developments in the nation.
The Department’s student council expressed its support for Ukraine’s democracy and territorial and sovereignty integrity, calling for an immediate end to the ongoing war and peace in Ukraine. Some 50 students of the Department, who wore masks in the colors of the Ukrainian flag with the words “I stand with UKRAINE” printed on them, held a demonstration on the Seoul Campus, urging other HUFS members to give their support.
That day, Ukrainian Ambassador to Korea, Dmytro Ponomarenko, visited the Seoul Campus as a special guest for a special panel discussion. He expressed his deep gratitude to HUFS members for their compassion and support for Ukraine and ended his keynote speech with special thanks to HUFS and the Korean people for their support of his country. Asked about donations made to the Embassy of Ukraine in the following Q&A session, he responded that some of the donations would be sent to Ukraine in cash and others in the form of medical and technical supplies, asking for continued support and aid.
The session was followed by a special panel discussion presided over by Chair Hong of the Department of Ukrainian Studies under the theme “The Implications of the Russia-Ukraine War and Its Impacts on the Political Situation on the Korean Peninsula”. The panel discussion was joined by panelists who brought diverse and objective views on the current situation in Ukraine. They shared their insights on the situation, its implications, and our possible responses from the perspective of their field of expertise (please see the panel discussion program for the panelists). HUFS live-streamed the discussion within and outside of Korea, allowing interested scholars in Ukraine to participate in the forum. During the live discussion, Andrii Nikolaienko, a member of the parliament of Ukraine and Vice President of the Korea-Ukraine Parliamentary Friendship Association, sent a video message from Ukraine’s capital of Kyiv. In his video message, he disclosed the cruelty and violence of the Russian troops and the immediate nuclear danger that threatened all of Europe as Russian troops occupied the former nuclear power plant at Chernobyl. With just two days remaining before the Korean presidential election, he stressed the importance of safeguarding democracy and sovereignty. He further expressed his support for the Korean people and asked them to vote wisely.
The final segment of the panel discussion was devoted to the National Agency of Higher Education Quality Assurance, an organization of Ukrainian scholars. Its representative read their letter of appeal to the international education and cultural community, sharing their stand against the ongoing war in Ukraine and putting a heart-rending end to the day’s peace-for-Ukraine events.