The National University „Ostroh Academy” one year after the start of an open phase of the Russian-Ukrainian war – report from the partner university of the Jagiellonian University Medical College


One year after the start of an open phase of Russian aggression in Ukraine, I asked Prof. Eduard Balashov, the Rector’s Assistant for International Relations and Fundraising at the National University of Ostroh Academy in Ostroh, Ukraine, to send us a note and some pictures, showing how the life of his university, including students and staff, has been impacted by the on-going war. The Ostroh Academy started cooperation with the Jagiellonian University Medical College already in 2019, and recently the agreement on cooperation covering the years 2023-2027 has been signed between the authorities of both academic centers ( Here is the update on life at the Ostroh Academy in times of war, as well as the photo gallery with description (click to enlarge photographs).

Tomasz Bochenek


From the first days of the war, the National University “Ostroh Academy” community has become actively involved in the volunteer movement, actually becoming the center of this movement in the region. Various fronts of initiatives are now active at the university, including voluntary support, informational, spiritual, psychological, artistic, literary, legal, translation, etc.

Activities of the Administrative and Economic Department – the best possible conditions have been created for a comfortable stay of people in the Ostroh Academy bomb shelter. Also, there have been done masking and light masking of buildings and structures; preparation of dormitories for the reception of internally displaced persons (IDPs) and maintenance of these dormitories (now more than 200 IDPs live in the Ostroh Academy); preparation of more than 1,000 sandbags, transferring them to roadblocks and, together with lecturers, forming stocks of “cocktails”; weaving camouflage nets, etc.

Information front – appeals to the academic community and their distribution in different languages; activities of the “Shershni” information resistance unit, fighting against the Russian propaganda in social media.

Volunteer front – organization of free food for the Territorial Defense Units and displaced people in the canteen at the university campus; recalculation of one-day salary for the Armed Forces and recalculation of one-day salary for the implementation of the “Fleet of Marine Drones” project (initiatives of the university employees related to dedicating their one-day salary for specified purposes associated with defending the homeland); transfer of truck and bus to the Armed Forces of Ukraine; accepting the aid from abroad and transferring it to support the needs of the Ukrainian army; activities of the volunteer center at the Ostroh Academy; implementation of the campaign “Easter basket for defenders of Ukraine”; implementation of the free educational course “University Support Community”; permanent humanitarian aid to the 30th Separate Mechanized Brigade named after Kostiantyn Ivanovych Ostrozkyi (The famous prince and hetman who is now considered the hero of Ukraine, Lithuania, and Poland. Since 2017, after him, the international brigade of three states “LITPOLUKRBRIG” was named. Another famous prince from that family, Kostiantyn Vasyl Ostrozkyi, was the founder of the Ostroh Academy), as well as the aid to the Operational Command “Zahid” (West), to soldiers undergoing treatment in Dnipro and Zaporizhzhia hospitals, to residents of de-occupied Stary Saltov within the framework of the Cultural Mission “Together” project.

Assistance has been provided to the mobilized employees and the mobilized relatives of employees, the students, the graduates, IDPs, the educational institutions, the medical institutions, and cooperation with the volunteer centers.

Students and teachers of the Ostroh Academy participate in donating blood for the Ukrainian defenders. The Ostroh Academy held a Marathon of Gratitude, the charity football and volleyball matches – the collected funds were directed to the needs of the Armed Forces. Students participated in charity meetings to help the Ukrainian army.

Psychological front – the Department of Psychology and Pedagogy provides psychological assistance for IDP children; teachers and students learn from the Israeli psychotherapist Alex Malyar about crisis psychological help; there has been organized a series of seminars for teachers and students on psychological support during wartime.

Spiritual front – since the beginning of the war, the daily prayers for peace in Ukraine have been taking place in the student-teacher church of the Reverend Fyodor Ostrozky.

Artistic front – opening of an exhibition of children’s drawings in the bomb shelter; the opening of the Dmytro Kozatskyi exhibition. Dmytro Kozatskyi is not only a student of the Ostroh Academy, but a soldier, a photographer, the winner of awards at international art and photography exhibitions, and (among others) the author of the famous photographs from the Azovstal plant. His powerful photographs can be viewed at: see also:

Literary front – students and teachers of the Ostroh Academy write poetry about the war; students of literary creativity published a collection of war texts.

Legal front – students and employees from the legal department provide legal assistance and legal support to IDPs and those who need it.

Translation front – the teachers, the international department of the university, and the faculty of Romano-Germanic languages agreed to help with the translation, so that letters could have been sent to friends from whom the aid was received, from Sweden, Poland, Canada, Finland, and Bulgaria.

Educational front – during the war, studies at the Ostroh Academy are being continued. When air raid alarms sound, students go to shelters and continue studying.

dr. hab. Eduard Balashov, Professor

Rector’s Assistant for International Relations and Fundraising

National University of Ostroh Academy


Source of photographs: National University of Ostroh Academy