To my Russian Friends

You can’t spend over 30 years working in theoretical physics without encountering Russian physicists and mathematicians. Over the years I’ve got to know a few quite well, through collaborations and discussions, and others by acquaintance. It occurred to me this morning that many of them might get caught up in the widespread condemnation of the Putin regime’s invasion of Ukraine. I don’t know any Russians (physicists or anything else) who support Putin or his oligarchs. I’m not saying that there are no such people, just that I don’t know any.

I think it’s important to say that my comments yesterday were not aimed at the many Russians around the world – including Russia itself – who want no part of the war and are horrified by the actions taken by the Russian leader.

As if to prove my point, there is an open letter from Russian scientists and science writers (in Russian here) which is already attracted a great many signatures.

On a related note this news, of Russian agency Roscosmos suspending all flights of the Soyuz spacecraft from the ESA launch facility in Kourou and withdrawing all Russian personnel from the site, seems to confirm what I thought yesterday, that the launch of Euclid will be postponed indefinitely. The alternative launcher, Ariane 6, has not yet had its first flight and at least two successful launches are required before it can be established as the vehicle for Euclid. On top of that the Euclid spacecraft itself will be need to be modified for the different vehicle. Details are yet to be confirmed, but it seems a lengthy delay is likely.

3 Responses to “To my Russian Friends”

  1. This is great! “Western” scientists should follow such examples, in a number of other situations, where the war aggressors are their governments too!

  2. […] decision by the Russians to remove all their personnel from the launch site at Kourou (see here) made these even more likely, although according to the slide not […]

  3. […] decision by the Russians to remove all their personnel from the launch site at Kourou (see here) made these even more likely as an alternative launch vehicle would have to be […]

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