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    The publication date for issue 289 is the 10th of December, meaning subscribers should receive their copies during the week leading up to that date. It is also available from caving suppliers such as Inglesport and Starless River, or from our new website

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BCRA statement on the Russian invasion of Ukraine

Andy Farrant

Active member
The British Cave Research Association (BCRA) is a UK registered charity whose primary object is to
promote the study of caves and associated phenomena. As such the BCRA does not usually comment on
political matters. However, the unprovoked and unjustified attack by the Russian state on the sovereign
nation of Ukraine has created a massive humanitarian crisis with tens of thousands of casualties and the
displacement of millions of people. In view of this the BCRA Council join with scientific organisations
across the world in unequivocally condemning the Russian invasion and calling for an immediate
cessation of hostilities. We support the statement made by the British Caving Association (BCA) and urge
all our members to read and consider the steps suggested by the BCA to support our fellow Ukrainian
cavers. As a research organisation BCRA has a particular concern for speleologists and karst scientists
and we offer our full support to the Ukrainian Speleological Association. We also recognise and support
the powerful statement made on 18 March by the Scientific Committee of the National Council of
Ukraine for Science and Technology Development. By unanimous agreement of Council, BCRA has
today (24 March 2022) awarded Honorary Life Membership of the Association to Dr Alexander
Klimchouk, the leading Ukrainian Cave and Karst Scientist. This is the first time that such an award has
been made to anyone who is not a UK National and it is a recognition both of the huge contribution that
Dr Klimchouk has made to global cave and karst science and of our respect for the courageous stand of
the Ukrainian people in the face of the Russian onslaught. We look forward to the end of the conflict and
being able to assist the Ukrainian Speleological Association as they rebuild.
Professor John Gunn
Chairman of the British Cave Research Association
24 March 2022


The BCA statement referred to in the above is being circulated around council.before release, which I assume will happen shortly.


Well-known member



Very good. I would make one addition, personally,

'We also recognise that many Russian cavers do not support this war but are unable to make their opinions known without considerable risk to themselves and their families.'


I don't know about that, I appreciate that there are risks but if you're completely passive about atrocities committed in your name then aren't you, by your inaction, allowing them to happen? I appreciate that it's complex, and I don't want to see people punished for objecting to the war, but is it the lesser of two evils if the alternative is doing nothing about the bombing of children's hospitals etc.? The Russian people do ultimately have some power in how the war plays out.


Well-known member
Given millions openly protested here against our involvement in the Iraq war, and nothing happened, apart from Tony Blair having a mild publicity blemish (he's still loaded and still gets to regularly gas off on TV about anything he likes), I can imagine many Russians opposed to the war have literally no idea how to stop it, especially if they're arrested merely for this:



Well-known member
One of the responses to above tweet (plus the Russians are getting very different info from their media than we are):


Active member
Sorry but Aricooperdavies is being very naive.

Protest in Russia is a very different prospect to protesting over here.
15 years for mentioning the war?  :eek:

Phil hit the nail on the head.


I am being na?ve, that's fair. But I'm not suggesting Russians protest and get themselves arrested, I actively don't want that. I just don't know what use that additional statement would be. I think Russians who object to the war should be doing so, however they safely can. Maybe by discouraging their children from joining the armed forces? Or by deciding not to buy war bonds? But that's very easy for me to say from the safety of the UK.


Well-known member
Russians who object to the war are it seems trying to get out of the country if they can since there's little else you can do without being dragged off by FSB goons, and apparently there's a flourishing industry in Russia for consultants helping people to get their kids out of conscription.