24 February 2022
by Lev Shlosberg, a Russian politician, human rights activist, journalist, chair of the Pskov region branch of the Yabloko party and a member of the party’s federal political committee
This day will go down in Russia’s history as one of its most terrible days, a day of disgrace, a day of shame, a day of tragedy on a world scale.
I never thought we’d live to see such a day, but this day has come.
Vladimir Putin has declared war on Ukraine – to all intents and purposes, on the whole world.
For the first time since World War II, war has come to Kyiv, Kharkiv, Odesa, and other cities of Ukraine. This is not a mystification, this is the reality.
This war has no grounds or reasons other than the insane and inhuman intention to destroy a Ukraine that has chosen freedom and to restore the empire’s power over it. This is a predatory, colonialist, and barbaric war. There is no justification for this war.
This war will bring death to a huge number of people.
This war may turn nuclear and bury everything around alive. This day may be the first day of World War III.
This war is fatal for the whole world, including Russia. This war will come to every home. This war will destroy Russia. This is a true national disaster. This war has destroyed our future.
I offer my apologies to the people of Ukraine from the Russian public, which could not stop the war, could not stop Putin. But I realize something like this cannot be forgiven.
Responsibility for this war rests with everyone who did not oppose evil. At the end of the day, responsibility for this war rests with every citizen of Russia.
Responsibility for this war rests with everyone who conducted a policy of appeasement with the aggressor, in hopes of netting themselves a supply of gas.
Self-interest, greed, and cowardice led to this war.
Everyone who started this war will be cursed.
I remind all military personnel that illegal orders are not subject to implementation, and they will be held responsible if they carry them out.
I call on all of Russia’s citizens to peaceful, nonviolent civil resistance to the war. I call on them to talk, write, and shout about the fact that we oppose this insane war. To demand an end to the war. To sign petitions against the war. Something terrible has already happened. But the most terrible thing may happen yet.
Forget all our political and personal disagreements. One idea, three words, unite us all today: NO TO WAR.
Millions of people have not yet been killed, are still alive. The war has begun, but the war must be stopped. We cannot be silent. We cannot be afraid. It will get even more terrible.
The world needs a new world order. The old order is gone. This world must not have empires, must not have war emperors, must not have war nightingales. The war between Russia and Ukraine must end with another world, a new world. Another Russian society. Another Russia.
We face passing through the most terrible thing that can happen in the life of a people: war. This will require courage, will, patience, and belief in Victory. God willing everyone who comes out against the war will survive. But we’ll see how it goes. Each person is making his own personal choice today.
This war, like all wars of occupation, will end in the aggressor’s defeat and a trial (https://youtu.be/2PEe-o-vVx4).
Lev Shlosberg: Appeal to the people of the world:
NO TO WAR! Signatures gathered opposing the war against Ukraine: https://www.yabloko.ru/stop-war
Translated by Marian Schwartz