We do everything to preserve our institutes and our achievements

Academician Volodymyr SEMYNOZHENKO, head of the Northeast Research Center of the National Academy of Sciences and the Ministry of Education and Science of Ukraine, told the Svit newspaper about Center’s life and activities.

– The Northeast Research Center, Kharkiv and Sumy have suffered the most from Russian aggression compared to other research centers. Indeed, the work cannot be fully realized here. It is difficult to say that it is work at all, because on February 24 our institutes were bombed. Firstly, we had to very quickly prepare a package of administrative documents that were necessary for maximum maintenance of order, protection of premises and equipment, ensuring the necessary mode of activity. And we had to prepare basements and bomb shelters as well; where people on duty, who are responsible for maintaining the infrastructure can be, if necessary.

Not all employees may be in the workplace. But it is important that there are always security guards on site. Therefore, security guards who find it difficult to get to work from home, must have round-the-clock living conditions and be provided with food. Both our employees and volunteers help us.

All our institutions have demonstrated a high level of civic stance, and without belittling, heroism. Today, about 50% of institute staff remain in Kharkiv. A significant part of our scientists is welcomed in the city of Poltava and Poltava region.

For all these reasons, employees received their salaries late, and this is understandable, because in such circumstances, it was often difficult for Treasury employees to go to their place of work.

The losses recorded so far are related to three principal issues: explosive shock waves, which cause, in particular, a large number of broken windows not only in the KhPTI; temporary failure of the energy substation operation at the plant, at the Institute of Single Crystals; and a critical cutoff of heat supply and power, because the infrastructure is involved in technological processes, installations, equipment.

That’s why many of our crystal growth units have stopped operating. Losses cannot be calculated. That is, today’s losses we can calculate. But we cannot calculate potential losses, they are very large. Our good positions are partially lost in both national and foreign markets of scientific services. After all, many international contracts are not actually fulfilled.

Besides, there are research companies, and they, like the chemical plant which is our leading company in Ukraine for substances for pharmaceuticals, lose 10 million hryvnias every month. People’s salaries are included in these 10 million. Therefore, there are still many issues that need to be understood, and acted upon, we rely on the state assistance. After all, it is very difficult to recover operation of costly installations after any shutdown.

As for the work of the management of our institutions, the Northeast Research Center, our secretariat, is active, all employees are in constant contact. We communicate not only with the institutions of the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine, but also with branch academies, as we coordinate all scientific organizations.

Directors of research institutions are also in constant contact, and some of them are constantly in the workplace.

Fortunately, the buildings of our institutions were not damaged. The only major destruction is at the State Institute for the Design of Coke Industry (Giprokoksi), which is located near the regional administration, and there was a direct hit, everyone has seen this in documentary chronic. The Institute is just near the administration, across the narrow street.

I would like to emphasize the great activity of our staff at the international level. This is also important for Ukraine’s political position in the world. (Example may be our contact with CERN, and you know what decisions were made there). Our employees often appear on the world’s leading TV channels, talk about what is happening in our city, about everything we are doing now to preserve our institutes and our achievements.

Today it is necessary not only to record everything that is happening, but also to calculate everything that will be needed in the future in order to restore the full operation of our institutions. It is important not to forget economic activity, formation of our special fund intended for payment of salaries, utility bills, for purchase of materials, which does not exist yet.…

We have a very united, effective team! Everyone is doing everything in order to save the Center and bring us the victory.