Open letter to Jeffrey Sachs on the Russia-Ukraine struggle • The Berkeley Weblog


Expensive Dr. Sachs,

We’re a bunch of economists, together with many Ukrainians, who have been appalled by your statements on the Russian struggle in opposition to Ukraine and have been compelled to write down this open letter to deal with a number of the historic misrepresentations and logical fallacies in your line of argument. Following your repeated appearances on the speak exhibits of one of many chief Russian propagandists, Vladimir Solovyov (aside from calling to wipe Ukrainian cities off the face of the earth, he known as for nuclear strikes in opposition to NATO international locations), we’ve reviewed the op-eds in your private web site and observed a number of recurring patterns. In what follows, we want to level out these misrepresentations to you, alongside our temporary response.

ICC judges issue arrest warrants against Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin

ICC judges concern arrest warrants in opposition to Vladimir Putin


Sample #1: Denying the company of Ukraine

In your article “The New World Economic system” from January 10, 2023, you write: “It was, in spite of everything, the US try to develop NATO to Georgia and Ukraine that triggered the wars in Georgia (in 2010) and in Ukraine (2014 till in the present day).” Equally, in your article “What Ukraine Must Be taught from Afghanistan” from February 13, 2023, you write: “The proxy struggle in Ukraine started 9 years in the past when the US authorities backed the overthrow of Ukraine’s president Viktor Yanukovych. Yanukovych’s sin from the US viewpoint was his try to take care of Ukraine’s neutrality regardless of the US want to develop NATO to incorporate Ukraine (and Georgia).”

Allow us to set the document straight on the historic occasions from 2013-2014, at which you trace within the aforementioned misinformative statements: The Euromaidan had nothing to do with NATO, nor the US. Preliminary protest was sparked by Viktor Yanukovych’s choice to not signal the European Union-Ukraine Affiliation Settlement, regardless of mentioned settlement passing the Ukrainian Parliament with an awesome majority and having fun with broad help among the many Ukrainian inhabitants. Yanukovich’s regime’s alternative to reply by brutally beating peaceable protesters (principally college students) on the evening of November 30, 2013, solely additional alienated the inhabitants and intensified the protests. After the adoption of a set of legal guidelines forbidding the liberty of press and meeting (generally termed the  “dictatorship legal guidelines”) by Yanukovych in January 2014, the Euromaidan was a broader motion in opposition to authorities abuse of energy and corruption, police brutality, and human rights violation – which we now check with because the Revolution of Dignity. Ukraine’s accession to NATO was by no means a aim of this motion. Therefore, your makes an attempt to hint the start of the struggle to “NATO” are traditionally inaccurate. Moreover, treating Ukraine as a pawn on the US geo-political chessboard is a slap within the face to thousands and thousands of Ukrainians who risked their lives in the course of the Revolution of Dignity.


Sample #2: NATO provoked Russia 

You repeatedly emphasize that the enlargement of NATO provoked Russia (e.g., “NATO mustn’t enlarge, as a result of that threatens the safety of Russia,” out of your interview to Isaac Chotiner on the New Yorker from February 27, 2023).

We wish to warn you to a couple info. In 1939, it was the Soviet Union and Nazi Germany that invaded Poland. In 1940, it was the Soviet Union that invaded the Baltic international locations. In 1940, it was the Soviet Union that annexed elements of Romania. In 1956, it was the Soviet Union that invaded Hungary. In 1968, it was the Soviet Union that invaded Czechoslovakia. Poland, Estonia, Lithuania, Latvia, Romania, Hungary or Czechoslovakia didn’t invade Russia or the Soviet Union. No risk emanated from these international locations. However these international locations have been attacked by the USSR/Russia. That is why these international locations needed to hitch NATO. Since becoming a member of NATO, none of those international locations have been attacked by Russia once more.

Identical to these international locations, Ukraine (whose army price range was a mere $2.9 bn in 2013, previous to Russia’s army aggression in opposition to it) desires to have safety and peace. It doesn’t wish to be attacked once more by Russia (whose army price range in 2013 stood at $68 bn). Provided that Ukraine’s settlement to surrender its nuclear weapons in 1994 in alternate for safety “assurances” from the US, UK and Russia (!) did nothing to forestall Russian aggression, at the moment the one credible assure is NATO membership.

We additionally wish to draw your consideration to the truth that Finland and Sweden utilized for NATO membership in response to Russian aggression, and but Russia didn’t complain about these two international locations becoming a member of NATO. You don’t appear to be significantly involved about these two international locations becoming a member of NATO both. This differential therapy of Ukraine vs. Finland/Sweden legitimizes “spheres of affect,” a notion that appears acceptable for the age of empires and never for the trendy period.


Sample #3: Denying Ukraine’s sovereign integrity

In your interview to Democracy Now! on December 6, 2022, you mentioned: “So, my view is that […] Crimea has been traditionally, and will probably be sooner or later, successfully, at the least de facto Russian.”

We want to remind you that Russia’s annexation of Crimea in 2014 has violated the Budapest memorandum (wherein it promised to respect and shield Ukrainian borders, together with Crimea), the Treaty on Friendship, Partnership and Cooperation (which Russia signed with Ukraine in 1997 with the identical guarantees), and, in accordance with the order of the UN Worldwide Court docket of Justice, it violated worldwide regulation. As a everlasting member of the UN Safety Council, Russia was supposed to guard peace, however as an alternative Russia violated the foundational precept of the UN (Article 2 of the UN Constitution: “All Members shall chorus of their worldwide relations from the risk or use of drive in opposition to the territorial integrity or political independence of any state, or in some other method inconsistent with the Functions of the United Nations.”). Certainly, your entire world safety structure after WWII relies on the belief that nation borders (no matter historic background) can’t be modified by drive with the intention to protect peace, as Kenya UN ambassador highlighted in his well-known speech. If a nuclear energy is allowed to annex territories of one other nation because it needs, then no nation on the earth can really feel protected.

By insisting that Russia can maintain Crimea, you make an implicit assumption that if Russia is allowed to do this, it’ll go away the remainder of Ukraine in peace. Nevertheless, that is demonstrably not true, as Russia’s “de facto” possession of Crimea over 2014–2022 did nothing to preclude its present aggression. The goal of Putin is to “in the end clear up the Ukrainian query,” i.e. to utterly destroy Ukraine and annex its complete territory. Thus, by annexing Crimea he didn’t “restore the historic justice” — he simply ready a springboard for additional army assaults on Ukraine. Subsequently, restoring Ukraine’s management over its complete territory is essential not just for the safety of Ukraine but additionally for the safety of all different nations (by reinforcing the lesson that aggressors mustn’t get away with land grabs!).

Additionally, you state that “Russia definitely won’t ever settle for NATO in Ukraine.” To your data, the UN Constitution emphasizes the self-determination of peoples as a key precept. It’s not for Russia to determine what alliances or unions Ukraine will or won’t be part of. Ukraine has its personal democratically-elected authorities (not a dictatorship, like in Russia), and this authorities, after session with Ukrainian folks, will determine whether or not Ukraine will or won’t be part of NATO. Likewise, NATO international locations have each proper to determine for themselves whom they wish to welcome of their alliance.


Sample #4: Pushing ahead Kremlin’s peace plans

Within the aforementioned article “What Ukraine Must Be taught from Afghanistan,” you write: “The idea for peace is obvious. Ukraine can be a impartial non-NATO nation. Crimea would stay dwelling to Russia’s Black Sea naval fleet, because it has been since 1783. A sensible answer can be discovered for the Donbas, corresponding to a territorial division, autonomy, or an armistice line.”

Whereas your suggestion is completely aligned with that of Russian propagandists, it leaves unanswered the important thing query from the Ukrainian perspective: Based mostly on what proof do you belief a serial warmonger, who has acknowledged on a number of events that Ukraine doesn’t exist, to be glad with Crimea and Donbas and never attempt to occupy your entire nation? Till you discover a convincing reply to this query, we’d kindly ask you to check with the 10-point peace plan proposed by President Zelensky and totally backed up by the Ukrainian folks. Regurgitating Kremlin’s “peace plans” would solely lengthen the struggling of Ukrainian folks.

Writing that if Ukraine provided Putin Crimea and Donbas in December 2021 or March 2022 then “the preventing would cease, Russian troops would depart Ukraine, and Ukraine’s sovereignty can be assured by the UN Safety Council and different nations” is simply wishful considering. Peace negotiations in early 2022 broke down not due to non-existent US intervention however as a result of Russia demanded unconditional capitulation of Ukraine (and it nonetheless does!). Keep in mind that Russia’s objectives in Ukraine have been “demilitarization and denazification”. What “denazification” means was defined by one in every of Putin’s political advisors, Timofey Sergeitsev, in his piece “What Russia ought to do with Ukraine?” There, he argued for the brutal destruction of the Ukrainian nation involving killing thousands and thousands of individuals and “re-educating” others. Russians already began implementing these plans within the occupied territories of Ukraine.

We recommend that you simply learn your entire textual content by Sergeitsev’s, however a number of passages clearly present what he means: “a rustic that’s being denazified can’t possess sovereignty,” “Denazification will inevitably embrace de-ukrainization — the rejection of the large-scale synthetic inflation of the ethnic part within the self-identification of the inhabitants of the historic Malorossiya and Novorossiya territories, which was began by the Soviet authorities”, “denazification of Ukraine means its inevitable de-europeanization”, [denazification implies…] “the seizure of instructional supplies and the prohibition of instructional applications in any respect ranges that comprise Nazi ideological pointers” (in his article, Sergeitsev repeatedly calls Ukrainians “Nazis”).

You appear to be unaware that, in line with this rhetoric, Russia commits horrendous struggle crimes as documented by the UN and many others. We fail to discern any indication of a real curiosity in peace from the continuing  Russian atrocities.

We urge you to reevaluate your stance on considering that Russia is fascinated by good-faith peace talks.


Sample #5. Presenting Ukraine as a divided nation

In “What Ukraine Must Be taught from Afghanistan,” you additionally state that “The US ignored two harsh political realities in Ukraine. The primary is that Ukraine is deeply divided ethnically and politically between Russia-hating nationalists in western Ukraine and ethnic Russians in japanese Ukraine and Crimea.”

This assertion echoes a Russian political know-how first utilized throughout 2004 presidential elections and nonetheless utilized by Russians to justify the “denazification” of Ukraine in the present day. We encourage you to check out the precise empirical info and historical past.

In 1991, all areas of Ukraine voted for independence. Together with Crimea.

Based on the 2001 Census (the most recent information on self-identified ethnicity obtainable for Ukraine), Ukrainian inhabitants is almost all in all of the areas of Ukraine, apart from Crimea. And once we talk about Crimea, we must always ask why it has the ethnic composition which it has. It has a Russian majority due to a sequence of genocides and deportations ranging from its first occupation by Russia in 1783 and as not too long ago as 1944 when Crimean Tatars have been deported to distant elements of the Soviet Union. Crimea’s indigenous inhabitants was deported, killed, and changed by Russians. An analogous tactic was utilized by Russia throughout its a number of genocides of Ukrainians — for instance, in the course of the Nice Famine of 1932–33, Russians arrived to stay within the homes of Ukrainians who died of famine. Russia is utilizing the identical ways of inhabitants alternative in the present day, within the present struggle: it deports the Ukrainian inhabitants, forcefully adopts Ukrainian youngsters or “re-educates” (brainwashes) them after forcefully parting them with their households.

Apart from cleaning Ukrainian and different indigenous populations, Russia used “softer” ways, corresponding to Russification, i.e. discouraging the educational and utilization of the Ukrainian language in all spheres. Russification has been ongoing for hundreds of years. Its devices have been fairly numerous — from “mixing” folks by sending Ukrainians to work to Russia and sending Russians to review or work in Ukraine, to creating it near inconceivable for Ukrainian audio system to enter universities, to representing Ukrainian language and tradition as backward and inferior to the “nice Russian tradition,” to stealing Ukrainian cultural heritage (e.g. solely now world museums began to appropriately establish Ukrainian artists offered by Russia as Russian, and lots of of hundreds of artifacts have looted from Ukrainian museums from 2014 and particularly over the last yr). Thus, the acute language discussions are a pure response to Russia’s historic makes an attempt to suppress any restoration of rights of the Ukrainian language. Regardless of this historical past of oppression, Ukrainians have been steadily switching to Ukrainian, and the Russian full-scale invasion intensified this course of.

Current polls present that regardless of language or location, Ukrainians overwhelmingly (80%) reject territorial concessions to Russia. Polls additionally present that 85 % of Ukrainians establish themselves above all as residents of Ukraine, versus residents of their area, representatives of an ethnic minority, or another identifier. That is hardly potential in a divided nation.


In abstract, we welcome your curiosity in Ukraine. Nevertheless, in case your goal is to be useful and to generate constructive proposals on finish the struggle, we consider that this goal will not be achieved. Your interventions current a distorted image of the origins and intentions of the Russian invasion, combine info and subjective interpretations, and propagate the Kremlin’s narratives. Ukraine will not be a geopolitical pawn or a divided nation, Ukraine has the appropriate to find out its personal future, Ukraine has not attacked any nation since gaining its independence in 1991. There isn’t a justification for the Russian struggle of aggression. A transparent ethical compass, respect of worldwide regulation, and a agency understanding of Ukraine’s historical past ought to be the defining ideas for any discussions in the direction of a simply peace.


Variety regards,

Bohdan Kukharskyy, Metropolis College of New York

Anastassia Fedyk, College of California, Berkeley

Yuriy Gorodnichenko, College of California, Berkeley

Ilona Sologoub, VoxUkraine NGO

Tatyana Deryugina, College of Illinois

Tania Babina, Columbia College

James Hodson, AI for Good Basis

Tetyana Balyuk, Emory College

Robert Eberhart, Stanford College

Oskar Kowalewski, IESEG College of Administration, France

Jerzy Konieczny, Wilfrid Laurier College and Worldwide Centre for Financial Evaluation

Mishel Ghassibe, CREi, UPF and BSE

Garry Sotnik, Stanford College

Yangbo Du, INNOVO Group of Firms

Stan Veuger, American Enterprise Institute for Public Coverage Analysis

Pavel Kuchar, Division of Political Economic system, King’s Faculty London

Moshe Hazan, Tel Aviv College

Fabio Ghironi, College of Washington

Harry Pei, Division of Economics, Northwestern College

Matilde Bombardini, UC Berkeley

Oleg Gredil, Tulane College

Andriy Shkilko, Wilfrid Laurier College

Oleksandra Betliy, Institute for Financial Analysis and Coverage Consulting

Santiago Sanchez-Pages, King’s Faculty London

Vadim Elenev, Johns Hopkins College

Dariia Mykhailyshyna, College of Bologna

Valeria Fedyk, London Enterprise College

Grigory Franguridi, College of Southern California

Andrii Bilovusiak, London College of Economics

Ioannis Kospentaris, Virginia Commonwealth College

Benjamin Moll, London College of Economics

Lubo Litov, Worth Faculty of Enterprise, OU

Pavel Bacherikov, UC Berkeley Haas

Robert Scott Richards, Managing Director, CrossBoundary

Samuel C. Ramer, Historical past Division, Tulane College

Olena Ogrokhina, Lafayette Faculty

Michael Landesmann, The Vienna Institute for Worldwide Financial Research

Matthew Holian, San Jose State College

Petra Sinagl, College of Iowa

Jeanine Miklos-Thal, College of Rochester

Wojciech Kopczuk, Columbia College

Jonathan Meer, Texas A&M College

Tetiana Bogdan, Academy of Monetary Administration by the Ministry of Finance of Ukraine

Mats Marcusson, Retired EC official

Alminas Zaldokas, HKUST

Christian R. Proaño, College of Bamberg, Germany

Michael Weber, College of Chicago

Daniel Spiro, Uppsala College

Hlib Vyshlinsky, Centre for Financial Technique

Martin Labaj, College of Economics in Bratislava

Jacques Crémer, Toulouse College of Economics

Marc Fleurbaey, Paris College of Economics

Dmitriy Sergeyev, Bocconi College

Oleksandra Moskalenko, London College of Economics and Political Sciences

Olga Pindyuk, Vienna Institute for Worldwide Financial Research

Swapnil Singh, Financial institution of Lithuania

Yevhenii Usenko, Massachusetts Institute of Know-how

Oleksandr Vostriakov, Kyiv Nationwide Financial College named after Vadym Hetman

Julian Reif, College of Illinois

Ernst Maug, College of Mannheim

Olga Shurchkov, Wellesley Faculty

Vladimir Dubrovskiy, CASE Ukraine

Niko Jaakkola, College of Bologna

Anders Olofsgård, SITE/Stockholm College of Economics

Leonid Krasnozhon, Loyola College New Orleans

Jesper Roine, Stockholm Institute of Transition Economics, SSE

Krassen Stanchev, Sofia College and Institute for Market Economics

Brendan O’Flaherty, Columbia College

Samuel Rosen, Temple College

Francois Joinneau, “Entrepreneurs for Ukraine”/Tuvalu 51

Torbjörn Becker, Director of the Stockholm Institute of Transition Economics

Maria Perrotta Berlin, SITE, Stockholm College of Economics

Oleksiy Kryvtsov

Inna Semenets-Orlova, Interregional Academy of Personnel Administration

Denis de Crombrugghe, Nazarbayev College

Olena Mykolenko, VN Kharkiv Nationwide College

Solomiya Shpak, Kyiv College of Economics

Oleksandr Talavera, College of Birmingham

Kevin Berry, College of Alaska Anchorage

Disclaimer: If you need so as to add your signature to this open letter, please fill on this type.



Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Share post:



More like this

Warwick Thornton Begins Sydney Movie Competition on Emotional Excessive

“In all my profession, I’ve by no means...

Dow Jones Futures: Market Rally Turns Upside Down; This is What To Do Now

Dow Jones futures have been little modified in...

Google DeepMind’s game-playing AI simply discovered one other approach to make code sooner

DeepMind compares AlphaDev’s discovery to one in all...

Environment friendly Bassitt hauls innings as Blue Jays win once more vs. Astros

TORONTO – Weird although it might sound so...