The Letter of Ukranian Intellectuals to Russian Colleagues

Dear Friends!

The people of our countries experience a common danger today. The current government of the Russian Federation, in its mad quest to revive the legacy of the Soviet Union and stop the democratic process in Eastern Europe, has put our countries on the edge of a large-scale geopolitical catastrophe. For the sake of their authoritarian rule, they violate your and our right to a dignified life, destroying, one after the other, both European and global security.

In defending these human rights today, we need not only to defend the integrity of the Ukrainian state, but also the honor and reputation of Russian culture. Therefore, rejecting Putin’s version of Russia, we, Ukrainians, consistently defend and support another Russia, an authentic Russia. This is a Russia of fighters for freedom of conscience — Peter Chaadaev and Vladimir Solovyov, Anna Akhmatova and Boris Pasternak, Andrei Sakharov and Peter Grigorenko, Natalia Gorbanevskaya and Anna Politkovskaya. This is the Russia that you represent to us.

We understand that these days are especially difficult for you. Yet surely your voice will be heard — in Russia and Ukraine, and in the world. The civil society of the civilized world can and must be stronger than the Kremlin propaganda machine. We must connect the truth about the new democratic Ukraine to the hope for a genuine, democratic Russia. Between yourselves and us, we are both called upon together to witness for a common vision for a free Europe.

The brotherhood of the peoples of Europe only grows stronger in the common struggle for freedom. «For our freedom and yours» Herzen and his Polish friends raised their voices. This call was heard in Spain in 1930 and in Red Square on August 25, 1968. Today’s resistance to the Russian occupation of the Crimea is also a fight for «our freedom and yours.» In this resistance, we are united.

The voice of truth shall be heard!

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