Image credit: Loco Steve
used under licence: CC BY-SA 2.0
A note from iPub Forum:
While many Russians only know of the Russian war in Ukraine from the state run media, which refuses to acknowledge the Russian invasion, or indeed any of Russia’s aggression towards Ukraine, there are still many others who are aware of what is actually happening there. It is dangerous for them to speak out, as illustrated by the recent event of a Russian journalist who interrupted a Russian news broadcast on tv with a home made sign that read, “No War” in English and warned Russians in Russian that their government was lying to them about what was happening in Ukraine. The Russian government, at the urging of their president, Vladimir Putin, has now criminalized any speech that does not conform to the state run propaganda.
The email that follows is from a Russian professor at the Ural Federal University, which has been circulated between academic colleagues and friends, and it tells of the grave concern and united condemnation of Russia’s invasion and war against Ukraine by many at the University. For reasons of their personal security, we have chosen not to post the name of the author of this email. However, it is important that the world know there are those who are willing to risk their personal safety in order to voice their true thoughts and feelings on what Russia is doing to Ukraine. At iPub, we support the efforts of these courageous people, like the author of this email, and the woman who interrupted the recent news broadcast, as well as the many who have taken to the streets to protest and were then arrested. Professor Swidler’s response to this email is included below it.
iPub Forum Staff
Dear colleagues and friends,
Since I still hope that you may want to hear my voice I am writing this message.
MY FRIENDS, COLLEAGUES AND STUDENTS AT THE URAL FEDERAL UNIVERSITY, EKATERINBURG, RUSSIA ARE AGAINST THE WAR.
Many have been protesting with all possible means, since February 22. Risking a lot. Personally, I could not believe that Russia would start military actions, whatever reasons were behind it. I was sure our leaders would be able to hear each other and would find some temporal solution at the very last moment. I was terribly wrong. I was smashed and it took time before I got back the possibility to formulate thoughts into words. Sorry for the delay. I hope it is not fatal delay.
Our thoughts are with people who are now in the midst of the war, Ukrainians or Russians, wherever they live, wherever they are from, it does not matter. People suffer and we feel their fear, desperation, and pain. Every cell of my heart is bleeding. We also feel anger that someone dears [sic] to speak on our behalf, knowing that our opinion is different.
That is my personal message, I do not want to mention names or ask people to sign it. But believe me, please, I know what I say
MY FRIENDS, COLLEAGUES AND STUDENTS AT THE URAL FEDERAL UNIVERSITY ARE AGAINST THE WAR
WE WANT MILITARY ACTIONS TO STOP ALL OVER UKRAINE AND NEGOTIATIONS START.
As a historian and anthropologist, I know,
PEACE IS INEVITABLE
As a woman, mother and grandmother I can just hope.
Please, circulate my message to everyone who you think would like to read it. It may be not good English, it may be too chaotic. But that is what I feel and cry every day since.
Ural Federal University
You are not alone!
You are running a great risk sending this open email. I admire your courage!
Those of us who treasure freedom must treasure it for not just ourselves, but for ALL! To the extent that one person is oppressed, all are oppressed!
I join hearts and hands with you, and welcome yours!
More reads on this topic:
Will Russians continue to support Putin’s war in Ukraine? ~ Washington Post
Can we have peace in our world? Many believe we can, through an adoption of a global ethic and the practice of dialogue. Read more about these topics with these books from iPub Global Connection:
Walls to Bridges: The Global Ethic by Hans Küng.
A Global Ethic for Global Politics and Economics by Hans Küng.
The Age of Global Dialogue by Leonard Swidler.