UCL School of Slavonic and East European Studies (SSEES)


A message from SSEES Director on the second anniversary of Russia's invasion of Ukraine

21 February 2024

A message from the Director, Prof. Richard Mole, to the SSEES community on the second anniversary of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine


A message from the Director, Prof. Richard Mole, to the SSEES community on the second anniversary of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine

24 February 2024 marks the second anniversary of Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine. This brutal act of aggression has led to widespread loss of life and destruction in Ukraine and the largest wave of refugees in Europe since World War II. The indiscriminate violence by Russian troops against unarmed civilians, the targeting of hospitals and densely populated residential areas and the kidnapping of children have horrified right-thinking people the world over. Our hearts go out to all those affected by the bloodshed. Throughout the crisis, SSEES scholars have helped the public make sense of the tragedy and advised politicians on how best to respond to Russia’s aggression. We have welcomed Ukrainian scholars as part of the UCL Academic Sanctuary Fellowship Scheme, have organised numerous events on Ukrainian politics, culture and history with SSEES colleagues and Ukrainian speakers and supported a new Lectureship in Ukrainian History. It makes me especially proud to be Director of a School whose students, staff and alumni have engaged with such energy in the humanitarian effort, supporting Ukrainians who remain in their homeland and those who have been forced to flee abroad.

Support for staff

UCL staff can access confidential, 24/7 mental health support by phone, WhatsApp or Live Chat with our Employee Assistance Programme: Staff Support Service

Support for students

Students can contact our Support Team for Students affected by War, Conflict and Disaster, a collaboration between Student Support and Wellbeing (SSW), the Department of Psychology and Language Sciences (PALS), and the University Clinic.

The team provides emotional and practical support to students affected by events in their home countries, such as natural disaster, by offering sessions of Psychological First Aid (PFA). You can access the team's support by arranging to speak to a SSW Student Adviser.

All students also have access to UCL's 24/7 Student Support Line for support with their mental health and wellbeing. 

We know that some students may find it difficult to focus on their studies at this time. Anyone struggling with academic work should first talk to their tutor, who will be able to offer support and advice. Departments can also provide Extenuating Circumstances or Academic Adjustments to support any student who experiences sudden, unexpected difficulties that may affect their performance at assessment.