Statement on the invasion of Ukraine

The Sainsbury Institute community is horrified by the situation following the illegal invasion of Ukraine by Russian and Belorussian forces. It comes as we are exploring potential new research projects under the rubric of ‘Japanese Entanglements with the former states of the Soviet Union, and central and eastern Europe’ , designed to build on the networks we have fostered through our Japan Orientation Summer Schools, which have brought many outstanding students of Japanese studies from across that region, including Ukraine, to Norwich since 2014. We were developing this initiative in consultation with our colleagues working on the history of this region at the University of East Anglia.

We offer our full support to the people of Ukraine. We know that many in Russia are dismayed by what is happening, although open demonstration against the invasion is being brutally suppressed. We have colleagues in the Institute and our networks who have very close connections with the region.

We support the statements denouncing the invasion issued by many academic and other organisations with which we have close connections, including the University of East Anglia, the European Association of Archaeologists, the Prehistoric Society, the Society of Antiquaries of London, the World Archaeological Congress, the Japan Council for Russian and East European Studies, Hokkaido University, and Europa Nostra.

Happier times: in 2016 Simon Kaner attended a conference on the Neolithic Tripillya Culture ‘megasites’ in Ukraine at the University of Durham, meeting a number of Ukrainian specialists and discussing Japanese and Ukrainian prehistory.

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