Published: 24-02-2022 19:40 | Updated: 09-03-2022 12:54

Comments from the KI president on the military aggression against Ukraine

COMMENTARY Last night’s military aggression against Ukraine must be condemned in the strongest possible terms, comments the KI president Ole Petter Ottersen on the military aggression against Ukraine.

For one of the world’s most powerful nations with access to vast conventional and nuclear arsenals, to act in this way is completely unacceptable and irresponsible and plunges not only Ukraine into an exceptionally grave situation that risks causing immense human suffering and devastating consequences for the population, but also takes the entire world into an extremely perilous situation.

As the representative of one of the world’s leading medical universities I strongly denounce the military attack now launched by Russia.

This act of Russian aggression occurs just as the world has started to emerge from the greatest global health crisis of modern times. If the war in Ukraine escalates , it will lead to a new health crisis. War rips apart functional structures, not least healthcare systems. Armed conflict also causes severe human injury, necessitating an urgent need for emergency care. It is also likely that we will see vast numbers of Ukrainians forcibly displaced from their homes, regions, or country. Forced displacement is a cause of serious hardship and ill health. 

Karolinska Institutet has now, in part via our recently established Health Emergency and Pandemic Science Centre, begun to raise the level of preparedness in order to provide support and help in the escalating situation. Together with the head of this Center the university management and I will review different conceivable scenarios and identify the opportunities we have to swiftly reprioritise and support our fellow Europeans to the extent that our competence and capability allow.

Ole Petter Ottersen, President at Karolinska Institutet