Terminate all U​.​S. exchange programs in Russia

Terminate all U​.​S. exchange programs in Russia

July 9, 2022
Signatures: 893Next Goal: 1,000
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Why this petition matters

Started by Open Letter

To: Lee Satterfield, Assistant Secretary of State for the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA)

Dr. David P. Patton, President and CEO, American Councils

American Councils Senior Management

In memory of Denys Antipov, UBL PIE Alumnus 2021 from Ukraine, who sacrificed his life defending Ukraine against Russian occupants on 11 May near Izium, Kharkiv region.

We cannot be silent.

Why does the American President support Ukraine and U.S. exchange programs support the Russian war machine?


Dear Ms. Satterfield, 

Dear Dr. Patton, 

We, Alumni of the U.S. Government programs, urge the U.S. Department of State to terminate the Russian Business Leaders Program as well as other exchange programs with Russia until all the military units of the occupying army leave the entire territory of Ukraine.  

On 24 February 2022 Russia invaded Ukraine. The Russian army has been killing the civilian population, destroying our cities, infrastructure, and threatening global and environmental security. Since then Ukraine has been on the frontline of the defense of the principles of democracy and freedom. More than 50 000 civilians have been killed, however, the actual number of murdered and wounded is not possible to count. Thousands of Ukrainians are injured, raped, lost their homes and relatives, thousands of our people are under occupation and tortured by Russians, millions of Ukrainians fled their homes saving their lives.

There is no family in Ukraine that has not been affected by this brutal and merciless war. Our family of Ukrainian Alumni of U.S. Government programs counts its losses as well; many of us have suffered because of the war. The tragedies are told by names. Our fellow Denys Antipov (UBL PIE, 2021) was young and brave, he had plans, hopes, and dreams. He will never celebrate his 33rd birthday, because he died protecting his country, democracy, and freedom. He died defending our motherland from the Russian occupants.The hard truth is that the lists of killed and tortured, displaced and robbed alumni, the lists of those who are on the frontline and volunteer are endless.   

As alumni of the U.S. Federal Government programs, we are deeply appalled by the U.S. Department of State and American Councils’ decision to continue the Russian Business Leaders Program (RBL). While the whole world is paying a hard price by sanctioning Russian business, the U.S. Government exchange programs continue “to stimulate economic growth and development in Russia” and “create partnerships between companies and young entrepreneurs in the United States and Russia”. However, Russian business is funding murders of the Ukrainian people and the Russian war on Ukraine by paying money either in the form of taxes or contributions to the Russian government. By continuing to nurture Russian business leaders, the U.S. State Department and American Councils  invest in the Russian war against Ukraine. We insist that the U.S. Department of State and American Councils immediately stop any cooperation with Russian business until the war is over. We believe that the decision to continue the RBL program was a mistake, because the Russian Federation is now a terrorist state and it is unacceptable to support Russian business.

The genocide of the Ukrainian people by Russia has proved that the U.S. State Department exchange programs in Russia have had no success, since their alumni community neither have prevented the war nor confronted Russian propaganda machine. Moreover, Russian alumni of the U.S. Department of State programs like Margarita Simonyan and Dmitry Kiselyov, are now the most prominent anchors of the Russian terrorist regime and propaganda. The country is its people, the Russian people support this genocidal war, it is a betrayal of Ukraine as well as the fundamental American values of freedom and democracy to support Russian business nowadays.

We appeal to you to terminate the Russian Business Leaders Program as well as other exchange programs in Russia until Russia stops the war in Ukraine. We ask for your support, we call for an action. It's no longer a question of business, it's a question of peace and life.


your alumni and Ukrainian professional community


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Signatures: 893Next Goal: 1,000
Support now