Ideas Ukraine invasion

#SkipPutin: Talk to Russians 

Changing Russian policy towards Ukraine is key to ending the ongoing war. This is an attempt to help that change happen. The following appeal has reached us from within the Russian civil society. The identity of the persons behind the text is hidden for their own safety.

Published on 2 March 2022 at 11:00

The Russian army under Vladimir Putin’s command is waging a brutal war against independent Ukraine. The Ukrainian army’s resistance is brave and strong. The worldwide support for the Ukrainian cause is unprecedented.

But there’s one more thing to do.

Skip Putin. Talk to Russians.

Russians are still hesitant about protesting against this malicious war. Many are afraid of repressions. Many live in  an information bubble and believe the toxic state propaganda.

But millions and millions of people around the world have other, personal connections with Russia.

Work. Business. Love. Scientific collaboration. Art. Religion. All sorts of things.

This is a powerful force.

Use these connections.

Skip Putin. Talk to Russians.

Email them.

Message them.

Text them.

Explain your grief. Your concern. Your outrage.

Be as personal as possible. 

Be emotional but reserved.

Be persistent. 

Explain the simplest things if necessary. Russia is an aggressor. Ukraine is defending itself. 

Explain the sanctions. The scale of aggression. The criminality of Russia’s actions. 

Explain why the whole world is on the Ukrainian side. 

Why the skies are closed. 

Why economic ties have been cut. 

But do not cut your own personal ties. Use them. 

Write to the businessman you  trade with. Write to the state officials. To the men in power. To the military. To politicians of any sort. Every single Russian you know. 

This isn’t propaganda or diplomacy. 

It’s an urgent, basic need for truth.

For the Russians to protest against the war. 

In the name of peace, we need to do it immediately: 


Spread this message. 

Urge others. 

Let’s do it now.

Receive the best of European journalism straight to your inbox every Thursday

Was this article useful? If so we are delighted! It is freely available because we believe that the right to free and independent information is essential for democracy. But this right is not guaranteed forever, and independence comes at a cost. We need your support in order to continue publishing independent, multilingual news for all Europeans. Discover our membership offers and their exclusive benefits and become a member of our community now!

Are you a news organisation, a business, an association or a foundation? Check out our bespoke editorial and translation services.

Support independent European journalism

European democracy needs independent media. Join our community!

On the same topic