Igor Sikorsky Kyiv Polytechnic Institute: Сhronicle of Life and Resistance

Battle on – and win your battle!
God Himself will aid you;
At your side fight truth and glory,
Right and holy freedom

This issue of our newspaper was supposed to be completely different. Its layout was already made and sent to the printing house in Kharkiv. The newspaper talked about the Doors Open Day at the university; about projects carried out at faculties, cooperation with partners, etc. And, of course, about the female part of the university staff, as one way or the other, the beginning of spring for many of us is traditionally associated with honoring women. However, the night of February 24 completely changed our lives. In the morning we met a new reality. The war that Putin, a mad maniac, started against Ukraine, has entered the lives of every citizen of our country. Everything changed immediately. So, we made a new issue of the newspaper, very far from what it was designed so recently.

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For the first time, Kyiv Polytechnic Institute students living in university dormitories went into shelters because of real air raid alert, not training, as soon as on the night of February 24. These rooms had been prepared in advance and now served well not only students of polytechnic, but also residents of houses adjacent to the university campus and just passers-by. They have almost become a second home for many people, as air alerts are now a terrible everyday life in Kyiv. Actually, these lines are written to the sounds of sirens and distant explosions as well.

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At 10 o'clock on February 24, an emergency meeting of the university administration was held. During the war the Rector's Office became the University Coordination Headquarters for emergency response and ensuring the vital activity of the university. It adopted a number of decisions on the organization of the university's work, the implementation of Igor Sikorsky Kyiv Polytechnic Institute mobilization plan, the access control arrangements for the duration of the martial law, and so on. It was also determined that the main information and coordination platform of the Kyiv Polytechnic Institute is the telegram channel "Rectorate" (https://t.me/rektoratkpi). The decisions of that first meeting of the Rector's Office were made public on this platform; every morning Rector of the University Michael Zgurovsky publishes here information about the results of the previous day. This is where the most important news about Ukraine's defense, and a lot of other materials needed by polytechnics and all our fellow citizens.

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Work on the life sustenance of Igor Sikorsky Kyiv Polytechnic Institute, its staff and students began in the first minutes of the war. And the university lives! The main focus is on ensuring the safety and security of students and staff. Many dormitory staff are now unable to get to work, so the students took their tasks on. During the first four days of the war, most of them moved away. At the same time, vast majority of those who remained actively work as volunteers and build and strengthen protective constructions on the territory of the university and the surrounding streets. However, in the following days the number of students gradually decreased - people left when the opportunity arose... Currently, there are about 10 foreign students left in the dormitories - all of them are constantly supported by employees of the Center of International Education and the Department for Student Affairs.

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A very important task for the university was the organization of appropriate conditions for long-term stay of people in shelters, as well as the supply of medicines, solving other household problems. In addition, the Students’ Catering Centre and volunteers from among students and staff of the university organized meals for these people, and the campus was provided with all communal utilities. It is worth emphasizing once again that university shelters are open not only to students and staff, and residents of the surrounding buildings, but also to all those who are nearby during the air alert. There were even cases when trams stopped and people hid in university shelters.

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All household services of the university work hard. During the first two days of the war, the heating system was promptly disconnected from all educational buildings, except building 1, where administrative departments are located, and those buildings with bomb shelters. Of course, heat supply is also left for campus and residential buildings. All technical malfunctions that occasionally occur in dormitories and buildings are promptly eliminated. Every day, in the morning and in the evening, on call staff check the condition of internal networks, as well as important facilities that ensure the functioning of engineering networks; there are reserve capacities. An artesian well near the building 6 is being prepared for launch.

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In the first days of the war it was not without the clashes with sabotage and reconnaissance groups of the enemy. They were very intensive in the park and at the university in the night-time from February 25 to February 27. During the street fight on Prospect Peremohy and adjacent streets, the windows were damaged in the control room of the university. In addition, the trees in the university park were damaged by shots - most likely, the saboteurs tried to use the park as a hiding place, but were driven out. Remains of weapons were found near the buildings 1 and 4. Two days later, in the area of ​​the Polytechnic Institute Metro Station, police detained a sabotage and reconnaissance group of four at night. Attempts to penetrate the territory of Igor Sikorsky Kyiv Polytechnic Institute facilities, including the Repair and Construction Department, were also registered; the on call staff responded in time. The purpose of the intrusion was putting up correcting marks, with no success. There also were attempts of looting. Four looters were detained in the dormitories 5, 17, and 35, and handed over to the police. So the Security Department now plays a very important role in provision of security of the university. Its staff has been working intensively and in close contact with representatives of the police, the National Guard, and the Territorial Defense since February 24.

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Unfortunately, the university family suffered the first human losses. Defending Kyiv in the ranks of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, a student of the EC-zp 91 FEA group Dmytro Arsenovych died. Defending the city of Bucha, the graduate of the Department of Machine Tool Design, MMI, the hero of the anti-terrorist operation Volodymyr Kovalsky died (those who wish, can help his wife Kateryna Kovalska 5168745606286281). We mourn the death of the heroes and express our sincere condolences to their families and friends. Eternal glory to the Heroes!

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Meanwhile, Igor Sikorsky Kyiv Polytechnic Institute continues to live and work. An order has been issued for unscheduled student vacations, research and teaching staff work remotely according to individual plans. The workload and forms of work for teaching and support staff, as well as administrative and managerial staff, are determined by the heads of departments. Vice-Rector for International Relations Sergii Sidorenko and Vice-Rector for Educational Work Natalia Seminska prepared and sent letters to Igor Sikorsky Kyiv Polytechnic Institute’s international partners describing the situation in Kyiv and the University. Letters of support immediately began to arrive at the Kyiv Polytechnic Institute’s address.

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And, of course, the Headquarters of Civil Protection works effectively, which ensures the coordination between executive officers and responsible persons in the units, provides time-sensitive information on how to act in case of emergency.

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Finally, the following should be mentioned. In recent days, many concerned people have expressed a desire to help students, staff, and their children, who need support in this difficult time. Therefore, the Coordination Headquarters decided to create Igor Sikorsky Kyiv Polytechnic Institute Supporting Fund. A card account has been opened to which anyone can transfer funds: 5375414122503674. The funds have already begun to arrive on account. Many thanks to all who help those who need it!