Dear neighbours to the east

We feel for you in this difficult time, as the world responds to the actions of your current leadership by turning your country into a pariah state. To all the citizens of Russia, you must know this; the massive condemnations, sanctions and boycotts your country is being put under does not reflect any default, inherent anti-Russian sentiments held by the Western world. They are just, they are right and they are necessary, but they are meant to put your current leadership under pressure. That you, regular citizens of your great country, must suffer as a consequence, as collateral damage, is grievous to us, and we hope it will not last. 

We support you, even the regular Russian soldier who, unknowingly and unwillingly, has been ordered to perform acts of violence against your brothers and sisters in Ukraine. We can even understand that some of you might support this “special operation” due to the massive campaigns of propaganda that your leaders are putting you through, while stifling any resemblance of a free press and blocking social media, as long as you change your mind when presented with the truth.

This war is illegitimate, completely unprovoked, it is inhumane and plain nasty. On Wednesday, we heard reports of the bombing of a children’s hospital. Earlier, we have seen images of rocket strikes and cluster bombs aimed at residential areas and markets. The lives of innocent civilians are uprooted, destroyed and lost. These constitute acts of war crimes! 

We do no not hold the Russian people responsible for these atrocities. We know that they are ordered by the corrupt, megalomaniac, and frankly speaking, seemingly paranoid and psychopathic leaders of your country, and especially the king snake at the top; Boo-tin himself. 

Through his recent actions, speeches and staged political theatre, he has shown that he is stuck in a cold war mindset. You can dissolve (or re-brand) the KGB, but you can clearly not take the KGB out of the man, something that is evident through the array of cynical strategies he is employing when trying to subdue your brother people in Ukraine, while maintaining support inside Russia.

People of Russia, consider this: all the reasons he has tried to sell you in order to justify this invasion are false cover-ups. The West does not constitute ANY existential threat to Russia. Neither does NATO. What Boo-tin fears is the encroachment of Western ideals ever closer to Russian borders. He does not want them to filter into the Motherland; freedom of thought, freedom of expression, of assembly, free and fair elections, a free and critical press, an independent judiciary. Rule of law. Equality. The ability of every citizen to pursue happiness on their own terms. He can not afford your friends, family and trading partners in Ukraine to export these ideas into Russia, because they would be his own undoing. What your leadership fears is that the people of Russia will follow the example of their Ukrainian brethren and topple their oppressive leadership and turn to the West in their pursuit of happiness and prosperity. 

He sits at the top of an oligarchy that has stolen your money and your choices and your voices for more than a generation, and he has launched this war in order to be able to continue doing so. To maintain his stranglehold on power. Your future pays the price for it through the massive set-back of the Russian economy, global condemnation and isolation of your country, which leads to a harder life for all Russian citizens, but most of all through the loss of young lives in a meaningless war.

Only you can stand up to him, and in this endeavour, you have our wholehearted support! Boo-tin is not Russia. We, your neighbours, and all of Europe, do not want anything else than to have good relations with Russia, for the benefit, progress and prosperity of us all, but that demands that Russia play by international rules and norms of good faith

I am afraid that he will raise hell before his end, but it will come. He is but a blip in history. He might believe that he is the Tsar2.0 and will go down as the Father of a new Russian empire, but you have the power to show him otherwise. We have already heard of protests in over 50 Russian cities, and we cheer for you! We have seen his minions beat up old ladies and drag hundreds of peaceful protestors off the streets and throw them in jail, but he can not lock up the entire country! He can not stop the spread of information. Eventually the truth will seep into every corner of Russia. As the pressure builds, he will eventually fall, and it will be in utter disgrace.

Stay strong! Never give up!! We support you, the Russian people, and the West will support Russia when the dictator is gone.

Take care. Peace.