A science exodus from Ukraine's rebellious East

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Science  02 Jan 2015:
Vol. 347, Issue 6217, pp. 14-17
DOI: 10.1126/science.347.6217.14

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The conflict in eastern Ukraine has opened a bitter rift among academics and scientists. In early autumn, Ukraine's science ministry hurriedly began moving 11 universities out of rebel territory in the strife-torn region. Most relocated to nearby towns that the central government still controls, in some cases leaving the original campuses in the hands of separatists. Donetsk National University, one of Ukraine's leading universities, has set up shop 800 kilometers west in Vinnytsya. So far, about 1500 scientists and professors and 100,000 students have fled. Some have managed to spirit out valuable specimens and other research materials. But others have had to abandon their labs and life's work. A multitude of scholars remain in the war zone because they will not forsake elderly family members, students, or research projects—or because they are loyal to the separatist regimes.

  • * in Kyiv and Vinnytsya, Ukraine

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