Boycott ICM 2022 in Russia

This page was created for mathematicians to protest against hosting the International Congress of Mathematicians in 2022 by Russia. Saint Petersburg was chosen as the next ICM venue at the 2018 General Assembly of the International Mathematical Union in São Paulo.

Statement of Purpose (2018)

List of signatories

History of this initiative and related actions


Ukrainian group (since July 2021)

Here are some of the reasons to boycott:

  1. Political prisoners [wiki]

    In recent years the number of human rights defenders, journalists and scientists in Russian prisons and penal colonies has risen sharply. As for September 2018, the Russian human rights centre Memorial reports there are at least 188 political prisoners or prisoners of conscience. In the Russian Federation political prisoners are often subjected to abuse or torture.

    The international mathematical community is gravely concerned about the situation of Azat Miftakhov, a mathematics graduate student at the Moscow State University. Azat was a target of a brutal smear campaign in the pro-government media and spent almost two years in pre-trial detention. On January 18, 2021 he was sentenced to six years imprisonment in a penal colony. We've been monitoring Azat's case and we believe that the charges against him are a pure invention of the Russian authorities. Before the verdict was announced, 47 mathematicians wrote a letter to the Executive Organizing Committee and Local Organizing Committee of the International Congress of Mathematicians, asking them to take an active position on Azat's case and to communicate with the state authorities to free him. Unfortunately, the ICM organizers decided not to act in his support.

  2. Repression of opponents [wiki]

    The most widely known critics of Putin's regime who have been assassinated include the journalist and human rights activist Anna Politkovskaya, liberal politician Sergei Yushenkov, human rights activist Natalya Estemirova, journalist and anti-fascist Anastasia Baburova, human rights lawyer Stanislav Markelov, American journalist and chief editor of the Russian edition of Forbes Paul Klebnikov, physicist and liberal politician Boris Nemtsov. To touch the topic of mathematical sciences, the famous inventor of knot invariants Victor Vassiliev was arrested in 2014 during a peaceful protest in support of the defendants in the Bolotnaya Square Case. At the time when this page was created police crushed a peaceful protest and over 400 people were detained in Saint Petersburg. In January-February 2021 thousands were arrested during peaceful protests against jailing the opposition leader Alexey Navalny. Among them there were many math students and faculty, including professor Alexander Kuznetsov, an EMS Prize recipient and an invited speaker at the International Mathematical Congress in Seoul in 2014.

  3. Discrimination of LGBT people [wiki]

    In 2013 Russia adopted a federal law which de facto criminalizes LGBT culture. This resulted in numerous arrests of Russian LGBT citizens publicly opposing the law and there has reportedly been a surge of homophobic propaganda, violence and hate crimes using the law as justification. The respective law was adopted in March of 2012 by the governor of St. Petersburg Georgy Poltavchenko, who was a co-chair of the Executive Organizing Committee for the ICM 2022 in 2018-2019.

    United Nations Human Rights Council condemns the wave of torture and killings of gay men in Chechnya in 2017. In May 2019 the Human Rights Watch reported a new anti-gay crackdown in Grozny. In July 2019 a prominent human rights, and LGBT rights activist Yelena Grigoryeva was murdered in Saint Petersburg.

  4. Annexation of Crimea [wiki] and ongoing war in Ukraine [wiki]

    In February-March 2014 Russian military troops invaded and annexed the Crimean peninsula from Ukraine. The United Nations General Assembly condemns the annexation and calls upon all states and international organizations not to recognize or to imply the recognition of Crimea as Russian territory. Another resolution of UN documents that Russia systematically curtails civil, political and cultural rights of Crimean Tatars. In July 2019 more than 20 Crimean Tatar activists faced unfounded terrorism charges.

    International organizations recognize Russian presence in the military conflict in the East of Ukraine. The war started in 2014 after the annexation of Crimea. It has already taken more than 13,000 lives, wounded over 25,000 and made more than 2,000,000 people to flee their homes. Russian military supplied and subsequently recovered the missile launcher that shot down a scheduled passenger flight MH17 from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur on 17 July 2014, killing 298 people.

  5. Air strikes in Syria [wiki]

    In 2015 Russia joined the Syrian civil war in support of the president Bashar al-Assad, whose army uses against its population such internationally condemned methods as barrel bombs and chemical strikes. Between April and August 2018, Russia conducted at least 13,000 air strikes. As for September 2018, the UK-based Syrian Network for Human Rights reports over 6,000 civilians killed by the Russian Forces, while the total death toll reaches over 200,000.

The aim of the boycott is not to penalize Russian mathematicians for the actions of Russian government or prevent their collaboration with the colleagues abroad. The Congress is co-organized and financed by the Russian government. We believe that by recognizing the Congress in Russia, the mathematical community indirectly lends credibility to Putin's regime.

Signed by:

Masha VlasenkoInstitute of Mathematics of the Polish Academy of Sciences
Yuriy DrozdInstitute of Mathematics of the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine
Svetlana KatokThe Pennsylvania State University
Ahmed AbbesCNRS & IHES, France
Adriana SalernoBates College (USA)
Slava RychkovIHES, France
Marcin KotowskiUniversity of Warsaw
Piotr AchingerInstitute of Mathematics of the Polish Academy of Sciences
Michał KotowskiUniversity of Warsaw, Poland
Sarah CarrLMU Germany
John VoightDartmouth College
Andrey GogolevOhio State University, USAOne can effectively argue that math should be above politics. There is a lot of truth to it as nowadays math goes across the borders, cultures and politics. Still there is threshold of what is acceptable. For me personally, after the war of 2014, setting a foot on russian soil, not to mention participating in government backed and supported event, is simply unimaginable. Understandably, the outlook of Russia-based mathematicians, even those who vocally oppose the regime (see Vassiliev, Vershik etc.) could be different.
Oleksii TovpyhaInstitute of Mathematics, National Academy of Sciences, Ukraine
Alexander SoiferUniversity of Colorado, USAI am grateful to the July 29-30, 2018, General Assembly (GA) of the International Mathematics Union (IMU) for following my urging and deciding to replace the name of Rolf Nevanlinna, a Hitler supporter, on its prize and medal. However, GA erred in granting criminal tyrant Putin a propaganda tool by selecting Russia for hosting ICM-2022. War on Georgia, Annexation of Crimea, War on Ukraine, etc., etc., etc. are the gravest violations of the international law, and must not be rewarded. I do not think that for countries to order their mathematicians not to attend is right. I support the boycott on the individual level, by those who are not only mathematicians, but also human beings of high moral standards.
Tyler KellyUniversity of Birmingham, UK
Alex FinkQueen Mary University of London, Great Britain
Alexander HooverUniversity of Akron, USA
Marco CarfagniniUnited States
Marco AnteiUniversidad de Costa RicaIn 2017 I started a battle, alone, against EMS which equally supported France and Russia in their contest to host next ICM. I know many people talked about that solitary battle. In a private email the director of EMS replied to me ""I would never say I am proud of the orientation with which I was born [...] I would regard it humiliating"". Well, I am proud of being gay and I am happy not to be alone in this battle anymore. Russian friends and colleagues, this fight is for you!
Max LahnBrown University (US)
Ioannis MarkakisUSA
Kimberly AyersUSA
Diana DavisUnited States of America
Carlos Castano-BernardMexico
Joshua LeboBrown University, United States
Signe GolashBrown University, United States
Zsofia BieglUnited States
Michael NIsenzonBrown University
Emma-Dennis-KnieriemBrown University
Joseph HlavinkaUnited States
Mikael Vejdemo-JohanssonCUNY College of Staten Island, USA
Bryan XianBrown University, USA
Madelyn AdamsBrown University, USA
Batia Friedman-ShawUnited StatesFight for our rights with the mathematical community
Henry TalbottUndergraduate mathematics major at Brown University, USA
Noah PicardBrown University, USA
Jeanne AllenUnited States
Frank FarrisSanta Clara University, USA
Suzanna O’NeillUSA
Rhea MathewsUnited States
Emily TunkelUS
Oleksandra BeznosovaUSA
Zoltan KocsisUniversity of Manchester
Joshua ZelinskyIowa State University, USA
Alyson SingletonBrown University, United States of America
Katrina HonigsUniversity of UtahRussia is not a safe place for all of my colleagues to visit.
Valokdemar SkouUniversity of Copenhagen, Denmark
George SchaefferStanford University
Maciej ZdanowiczEPF Lausanne, Switzerland
Darij GrinbergUniversity of Minnesota, Twin Cities
Mauricio Genta Enriquez-SaranoUndergraduate math student, Faculty of sciences, Udelar, Uruguay
Lawrence Jack BarrottNCTS (Taiwan)
Spencer BagleyWestminster College, UT, USA
Taras LehinevychNational University Kyiv-Mohyla Academy
Asvin Gothandaraman USA Wisconsin Madison
Daira HopwoodUKI fully support Russian mathematicians and the immense contribution they have made to mathematics in general, but holding a conference there given the politics of the current regime is the wrong decision. In particular, LGBT mathematicians would be unsafe at such a conference.
Ian HillUndergraduate Mathematics Student, United States of America
Ajeet GaryUnited States of America
Yassin ChandranUniversity of California, Santa Barbara, USA
emily rexerEmory University USA
Brandis WhitfieldUndergraduate Mathematics Student, United States
Bogdan PetrenkoEastern Illinois University
Olexander StriletsUkraine
Andriy PrymakUniversity of Manitoba, Canada
Bogdan SavchynskyyHeidelberg University
Alexandre KosyakInstitute of Mathematics, Kiev, Ukraine
Irina YehorchenkoInstitute of Mathematics, NAS of UkraineHolding major international events means direct and open support for Russian aggression in Ukraine, support for killing Ukrainians and Syrians. Organisers and participanrts of such events actually declare that they support annexation of Crimea, political repressions and killings in Russia and Russia-organised killings in other countries. Its a hypocrisy if people say that math is beyond politics - nothing is beyond politics. International organisers and visitors of such event help aggression, totalitarism and killings
Dmitri FinkelshteinSwansea University, UK
Volodymyr LyubashenkoInstitute of Mathematics, Kyiv, Ukraine
Dhruv RanganathanUniversity of Cambridge, UKMy colleagues deserve to be safe at the ICM.
Ana Rita PiresUniversity of Edinburgh, UK
Lyudmila TurowskaChalmers University of Technology, Sweden
Roman PopovychUniversity of Vienna, Austria
Anatoly HolubInstitute of Mathematics, National Academy of Sciences, Ukraine
Yuliia MishuraUkraine, Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv
Danyl ProskurinKyiv National Taras Shevchenko University, associate professor of Faculty of Computer Sciences and Cybernetycs
Volodymyr MakarovInstitute of Mathematics, National Academy of Sciences, Ukraine
Vitalii VasylykInstitute of Mathematics, NAS of Ukraine
Vasyl OstrovskyiInstitute of Mathematics, NAS of Ukraine
Dmytro SavchukUniversity of South Florida
Viacheslav RabanovichInstitute of mathematics, NAS of UkraineThere are a lot of mathematicians who expressed some points of view that are different from Russian Government's one. They will be in danger being in Russia with such a record. And even this comment can be the record.
Igor BurbanUniversity of Paderborn, Germany
Taras BanakhIvan Franko National University of Lviv
Iryna BanakhIAPMM, NAS of Ukraine
Lyubomyr Zdomskyy University of Vienna, Austria
Nikolai IorgovBogolyubov Institute for Theoretical Physics, Kyiv, Ukraine
Viktor LevandovskyyRWTH Aachen University, GermanyThe protest is against the ruling regime, and not against mathematicians in Russian Federation
Andrii AnikushynTaras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv, Ukraine
Pavlo PylyavskyyUniversity of Minnesota
Dmitry KernerBen Gurion University, Israel(see the comment of Andrey Gogolev)
Dmitri MaslovIBM
Boris ChornyUniversity of Haifa (Oranim), IsraelApart from all the political reasons mentioned above, Russia is not a safe place to visit due to government's policy to take hostages in attempt to release FSB affiliated criminals in other countries. See the recent story of Naama Issachar, as well as the detention of Qatari wrestlers in the transit zone of a Moscow airport after the assassination of Zelimkhan Yandarbiev in Doha (2004).
Petr OgarokRussia, MIPT, MS student
Roman NikiforovNational Pedagogical Dragomanov University, Ukraine
Rostyslav Yamnenko Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv, Ukraine
Pavlo PyshkinInstitute for Solid State Physics and Optics, Wigner Research Centre, Hungary
Alexei KonstantinovKyiv National Taras Shevchenko University
Michael SchlosserUniversity of Vienna
Alexandre EremenkoPurdue University
Robert HuangUSA
Roman ChernihaInstitute of Mathematics of NASU, Kyiv, Ukraine
Nikolay SheshkoPoland
Steve HuntsmanUSA
Paul WirkusRWTH Aachen University, Germany
Jonathan GorardUniversity of Cambridge, United Kingdom
Sasha Ananin (Alexandre Ananin)Department of Mathematics at the State University of São Paulo (branch at São Carlos), São Paulo State, Brazil
Anthony BonatoRyerson University, Canada
Aleksei KozlovMoscow Aviation University
Sean Sather-WagstaffUnited States
Artem GureevUniversity of Western Ontario
Ivan YaroslavtsevMax Planck Institute for Mathematics in the Sciences
Alexander VengerDubna State University, Russia
Philip SinkCarnegie Mellon University, United States
Morgan OpieHarvard U, USA
David YangHarvard University
Siyan Li-HuertaHarvard University in the United States
Peter ParkHarvard University, USA
Théo de Oliveira Santosundegraduate student at Universidade de São Paulo, Brazil
Mahrud SayrafiUniversity of Minnesota, United States
Andrew HardtUniversity of MinnesotaI fully support Russian mathematicians, and Russia-based mathematicians. Holding the ICM in Saint Petersburg amounts to condoning the continuing Russian aggression and abuse, as well as the detention of several Russian mathematicians in opposition to the current regime. Until the Russian government can tolerate political dissent, I believe that holding the ICM meetings there would be unwise and unsafe.
Sanchit ChaturvediStanford U
Roeland MerksLeiden University, The Netherlands
Leonid PrigozhinBen-Gurion University of the Negev, IsraelThe case of Azat Miftakhov was fabricated. Freedom to Azat!
Juris SmotrovsUniversity of Latvia, Latvia
Mykhaylo TyomkynCharles University, Prague. Czechia
Azza GaysinCharles University in Prague
Khodabakhsh Hessami PilehroodFields Institute
Yiwang ChenUniversity of Michigan
Andrzej RucińskiAdam Mickiewicz University, Poland
Ashwin IyengarKing's College London
Nikolay ShcherbinaUniversity of Wuppertal, Germany
Julia GordonCanada
Serhiy IvashkovychUniversité de Lille, France
Anakin DeyUnited States
Habiba KadiriUniversity of Lethbridge
Michelle ManesUniversity of Hawaii, United StatesWe all deserve to be safe at mathematics meetings. We cannot support a meeting in Russia right now.
Michael laceyGeorgia Institute of Technology
Tarik AougabHaverford College
Nicholas CahillUniversity of UtahI am tremendously embarrassed that my advisor accepted the invitation to be a plenary speaker at this event.
Yuri SulymaBrown University, USA
Leah LeinerTemple University, United States
Héctor Chang-LaraCIMAT
Beatriz HormansederUFES
Rachelle BouchatUnited States
Semen SłobodianiukPoland Warsaw University
Oleksandr MisiatsVirginia Commonwealth University
Eric KatzThe Ohio State University, United States
Valerii SamoilenkoTaras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv, Ukraine
Sergey NeshveyevUniversity of Oslo
Anatolij PrykarpatskiIvan Franko State Pedagogical University of Drohobych, Lviv region, UkraineI support Russian organizations fighting with the regime
Oleksand MokliachukNational Technical University of Ukraine “Igor Sikorsky Kyiv Polytechnic Institute”
Oleg LimarchenkoTaras Shevchenko Kiev National University, Ukraine
Anatoliy PogoruiZhytomyr Ivan Franko State University, Ukraine
Yaroslav ZhukTaras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv, Ukraine
Anna SukretnaTaras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv, Ukraine
Mykhailo HorodniiTaras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv, Ukraine
Andrii ChaikovskyiUkraine, Kyiv Taras Shevchenko National University
Alexander IlchenkoTaras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv, Kyiv, Ukraine
Kateryna SemenovychKyiv Taras Shevchenko national university, Ukraine
Igor ParasyukUkraine / Taras Shevchenko National University of KyivAgree with the reasons to boycott
Oleksandr BorysenkoTaras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv
Igor ShevchukTaras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv
Alexander BalinskyCardiff University, United Kingdom
Oleksandr StanzhytskyiTaras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv
Volodymyr DilnyiIvan Franko State Pedagogical University of Drohobych, Lviv region, Ukraine
Ivan MatsakDoctor of Sciences, Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv, Ukraine
Nicolas DirrCardiff University While previous hosts did not have an unblemished human rights record either, the aggressive attempts of the Russian regime to destabilise democracies in other countries, state sponsored murders of its critics, its disregard for internationally recognised borders and the fact that LGBT mathematicians and mathematicians who disagree with the regime and its allies cannot feel safe in Russia make this case different. The event should be transferred to another country.
Anatolij PlichkoVolodymyr Vynnychenko Central Ukrainian State Pedagogical University
Sergey Mozgovoy IrelandAs of 2021, there are more than 13000 casualties of the war in Ukraine. There are 1.5 million people who fled from the east of Ukraine to other areas of the country and 1 million people who fled to Russia. On the other hand, the authoritarian regime in Russia finds itself in the process of power transfer caused by life constraints of the top officials. This process leads to political turbulence and results in human rights violations (such as imprisonment and tortures) very high even by the standards of that regime. It would be preposterous to expect from mathematicians any signs of empathy for human suffering, especially at the prospect of social networking and other benefits provided by ICM. I respect my colleagues too much to assume that they will not find very good reasons to put their love and devotion to science above some insignificant and momentary political differences. Yet, I suppose, it could be not completely useless to express my own stance on the event.
Iryna Bodnarchuk Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv, Ukraine
Oksana BezushchakTaras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv, Ukraine
Viktor Tkachenko Institute of Mathematics National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine
Volodymyr KoshmanenkoProfessor, Institute of Mathematics, NAS of Ukraine, Kyiv, Ukraine
Andriy ZagorodnyukVasyl Stefanyk Precarpathian National University
Sergei TrofimchukProfessor, University of Talca, Chile
Andriy OlenkoLa Trobe University, Australia
Oleksandr BurylkoInstitute of Mathematics, National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine
Anatoly DemyanchukColumbia college Vancouver, Canada
Sergii KuzhelPoland
Heather LeeUniversity of Washington, USA
Liliia MyroniukAssociate Professor, Lesya Ukrainka Volyn National University, Ukraine
Volodymyr KyrylyukGlushkov Institute of Cybernetics, Ukraine
Thomas KoberdaUniversity of Virginia, USA
Ira HerbstUniversity of Virginia, United States
Sara MaloniUniversity of Virginia, USA
Maksym TsizhAstronomical Observatory of Lviv UniversityMathematics is inconsistent with menthal slavery
Anatoliy SwishchukUniversity of Calgary, Calgary, AB, Canada
Mariya SvishchukMount Royal University, Calgary, Canada, Associate Professor
Yuriy VolkotrubJagiellonian University/Poland
Taras Mel'nykTaras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv, Ukraine
Khaled QazaqzehKuwait UniversityI agree with the reasons of this boycott especially the point about the air strikes of Syria.
Nina OtterQueen Mary University of London
Owen TannerScotlandAs a Bisexual mathematician involved in political activism and outreach towards the LGBT+ community, I would be unsafe personally visiting Russia. On top of this, the causes outlined including Azat's case are terrible to see. I don't think it is an appropriate choice for those reasons.
Amy Beth PragerSACNAS
Ian RunnelsVanderbilt University, US
Santana AftonUnited States
Kenan InceWestminster College (Utah), United StatesAs a queer and nonbinary person, and as someone who believes firmly in the right to political protest, I pledge to promote this boycott in my mathematics circles
Philip ChodrowUnited States
Christopher PerezLoyola University New Orleans
David FuterTemple University, USA
Ralph MorrisonWilliams College
Thomas StojsavljevicBeloit College, United States
Orion KolevThe Pennsylvania State University, USA
Ashwath RabindranatGermany
Lior SilbermanThe University of British Columbia (Canada)
Daniel LittUnited States
Ben Blum-SmithNYU Center for Data Science, The New School (USA)
Changwei ZhouUnited States
Benjamin DickmanThe Hewitt School, USAItem 3 among the reasons to boycott – "Discrimination of LGBT people" – is sufficient for me to join as a signatory. I hope others in mathematics and adjacent disciplines will give these items, and others, their due consideration.
Tim HosgoodUniversity of Stockholm
Eddie FullerFlorida International University
Mason PorterUniversity of California, Los Angeles (USA)
Dmitry AblovRussia, teacher
Rebecca BellovinUniversity of Glasgow, UK
Lewis Bowen UT Austin, USA
Arpan SahaInstitute of Mathematical Sciences, SpainIn solidarity with Azat Miftakhov
Dmitry RachinskiyUniversity of Texas at Dallas
Tomas JuškeičiusInstitute of Computer Science of the Czech Academy of Sciences
Vadym KurylenkoSISSA, Italy
Ronnie PavlovUniversity of Denver, USAHolding this conference in a place where LGBTQ+ mathematicians cannot possibly feel safe is an incredibly poor decision.
Matas ŠileikisInstitute of Computer Science of the Czech Academy of Sciences
Michał Tomasz GodziszewskiUniversity of Warsaw; University of Łódź