More than seven-thousand Afghan refugees were evacuated to Indiana last fall. Don’t expect a similar influx of people from Ukraine.
Governor Holcomb says Indiana has been in contact with Ukraine’s leaders, including a meeting last month with the country’s ambassador to the U-S, to let them know the “welcome mat is out” for Ukrainians to take temporary or permanent refuge from what he calls a “genocidal” assault from Russia. Purdue has welcomed 11 Ukrainian professors and doctoral students to spend a year in West Lafayette under a visiting-scholar program created after the Russian invasion. The university is reviewing applications for an expected nine more available slots.
But Holcomb says those relocations may be the exception, not the rule. He says there are two sides to Ukraine’s evacuation coin. Unlike Afghanistan, where evacuees fled a victorious Taliban, Ukraine’s goal is to rebuild the country after Russian troops are driven out. Holcomb says leaders there are understandably concerned about a “brain drain” if people leave their homeland behind.
Holcomb says Indiana will continue to show solidarity with Ukraine in whatever ways it can, but says the state’s ability to do so is limited. State pension funds unloaded 147-million dollars in Russia-linked investments after a review Holcomb ordered in March. A simultaneous review of state university funding uncovered no Russian-funded programs.
And the Indiana Gaming Commission revoked authorization in March for betting on two hockey leagues in Russia and its ally Belarus.