“God forbid you should see what we saw. God forbid you should see war. May there be peace. Peace all over the world. May people have much love. Compete with each other in studies, sports and work. Never make war, it is a calamity. Believe in God, love and help each other, and we can solve all the problems, get through the pandemic, and there will be no war. You can create a peaceful new world.”

A now 99-year-old war veteran from Sukhumi in Abkhazia who fought on the Ukrainian front.

Appeal to the Russian citizens

Dear Russian citizens,

Do you know that your soldiers dropped bombs on hospitals and maternity wards in Ukraine? – Is this the special operation that President Putin and your officers prepared the soldiers for?

Bombs on cultural assets – What remains of the much-vaunted common cultural heritage when Russian soldiers destroy it?

Bombs on skyscrapers and other civilian targets – what remains of the common history and the friendship of the Russian and Ukrainian brother people when corpses are the legacy?

Attacks on refugees – What remains of respect for the lives of innocent women, children and the elderly if your soldiers refuse to protect them?

Don’t be fooled by fake peace images; reality is cruel; in many places destruction, dead and injured. – Do you think this is the right way to create trust and reduce mistrust?

Many young Russian soldiers have already lost their lives in this senseless special operation and their wives and parents have received their lifeless bodies as “Cargo 200”. Many parents and wives will wait in vain for their husbands to return, but will receive no information as to their fate; rather, to be told that as cowards they deserved death! But you have to know that most soldiers didn’t know what to expect before they went on duty.

Do you know that relatives are still not allowed to mourn in public? And do you think that President Putin will explain himself and take responsibility?

Do you think the swathes of devastation in Ukraine will promote Russia’s prosperity and security?

Do you think that in a few years all this will be forgotten and what was destroyed will be rebuilt?

Do you know that the United Nations, with a convincing majority, has called on the Russian government to end hostilities immediately and is increasingly distancing itself from the Russian leadership?

Do you know that your government has decided to withdraw from the international networks so that in the near future you will only receive information from sources showing the truth of the Russian government? But what is the truth of this truth when your President has left all partners in the Ukraine peace talks in the dark about his intentions and Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov has lied to his colleagues in the face?

Are you aware of the extent of the sanctions that many states – and not just European states – have imposed on Russia and its government? We know that these sanctions will take a lot out of ourselves; but do you have any idea what they mean for Russia and its citizens?

Do you already have any idea what to expect when you take these questions to your government after your government passed another law restricting free speech with heavy prison sentences.

Dear Russian citizens,

you stand on the brink of a system of persecution that threatens to surpass the horrors of the Soviet Union, which we thought had been overcome. It will not only bring death and bondage to strangers, you as a citizen will also have to face the foreseeable consequences.

We request:

Discuss not only in the familiarity of your families, but carry these truths to every place in Russia. Question official reporting and research the international web while you can! Get in touch with citizens in other countries. We help you with pleasure. We are not your opponents, and certainly not your enemies! Nothing is more important to restoring peace than the truth! Nothing is fairer than ending this violent special operation immediately!

Appeal in Russian