Russian political oppositionist Alexei Navalny, who is currently a prisoner of conscience in a corrective labour colony in Vladimir Oblast, urges the Russian people to go out on the streets and protest, despite the risk of being imprisoned or detained by the government. Here is the translation of his Telegram post.
We — Russia — want to be the nation of peace. Unfortunately, hardly anyone today would call us so.
But let us at least not become a nation of scared silent people, of cowards who pretend not to notice the aggressive war against Ukraine, started by our obviously insane “czar”.
I cannot, I do not want, and I will not remain silent, watching how pseudo-historical nonsense about the events of 100 years ago has become an excuse for Russians to kill Ukrainians, and for Ukrainians defending themselves to kill Russians.
It is the twenties of the 21st century, and we are still watching the news about people burning in tanks and bombed houses. We watch TV programs about more than real threats of a nuclear war.
I am from the USSR. I was born there. And the main phrase from there — from my childhood — was “fight for peace.” I urge everyone to go out on the streets and fight for peace.
Putin is not Russia. And if there is anything right now that Russia can be most proud of, it is those 6835 people who were detained because they went out on the streets with the posters “No war” — without any call for action.
They say that one who will not go to a protest and will not risk being arrested cannot call for a protest. I am already in prison, so I think I can.
You cannot wait even for a day. Wherever you are. In Russia, Belarus or on the other side of the planet. Go to the main square of your city every weekday at 19:00 and at 14:00 on weekends and holidays.
If you can organise a procession, do it on the weekend. Yes, on the first day not many people might come. On the second — even less. But we must, biting the bullet and overcoming our fear, go out on the streets and demand an end to the war.
Each arrested person must be replaced by two newcomers.
If to stop the war we have to fill the prisons and the paddy wagons with ourselves, then so be it.
Everything has a price, and now, in the spring of 2022, we must pay this price. No one else will. Let us not “be against the war”. Let us fight against the war.
Article is provided by representatives of Kyiv-Mohyla University who have made their services available to provide accurate, timely, on-the-ground reporting about the war in Ukraine, including nuanced localized ongoing updates on what is happening across the country, as well as commentary and analysis.