Despite the harshest of new laws and the risk of prison sentences for public protests (up to 20 years' imprisonment) - more than one million people have signed a petition demanding the end of the war in Ukraine. Professional communities have also published a series of open appeals against the invasion. They were signed by a total of more than 100,000 people. Below, The Insider publishes some excerpts from the appeals and letters.
Architects and urban planners
«War cannot be an instrument of politics in the 21st century. War devalues the very essence of the architect and urban planner, no matter what country he is in. ⟨...⟩ The respect of neighbors cannot be won by force or destruction. But it can be earned by building up one's own country, one's own home. No to War!»
The open letter was signed by more than 6,400 architects and urban planners.
IT professionals and IT industry representatives
«We, employees of the Russian IT industry, are categorically against the military actions in Ukraine initiated by the armed forces of the Russian Federation. ⟨...⟩ We want our country to be associated not with war, but with peace and progress. Neither progress nor the development of technology for the benefit of mankind is impossible in conditions of war and threats to human lives and health.
The letter was signed by more than 28,000 people.
«No geopolitical pretexts, no formal goals are worth more than human lives - and no propaganda should convince you otherwise. ⟨...⟩ This so-called «military operation» will isolate Russia from the rest of the world for decades, throw it out of the international cultural space, lead to devastating economic consequences, cover us and our children in shame - and we deserve it. We haven't done enough to prevent this war, but we don't want it.»
«We are convinced that war brings nothing but death, pain and destruction. ⟨...⟩ The animation community in Ukraine and Russia is one and inseparable ⟨...⟩. Animation, and art in general, has always been imbued with an anti-war spirit. We believe that today's military actions are directed not just against our Ukrainian friends and colleagues, but against all people, humanity and Man in general. ⟨...⟩ There is no justification for bombing and killing!»
The appeal was signed by over 400 public figures: Leonid Shvartsman, Yuri Norshtein, Alla Bossart and others.
«War cannot be bloodless, war is always a disaster. The duty of culture (including cinema) is to oppose violence, bloodshed, and strife. It's a good time to remember the old Soviet slogans, which have lost none of their relevance: peace to the world, no to war. Today, when too many citizens of our country are intimidated and afraid to draw their own conclusions about what is happening, it is the duty of artists to speak out clearly against lies and violence.
Fifteen filmmakers recorded a video in which each of them independently addressed the audience. Andrei Zvyagintsev and Veniamin Smekhov were among the speakers.
«Our business is literally aimed at getting people to look at their problems from a different angle, to laugh and rejoice. But there are things that, from any angle, evoke only one emotion: fear, anger, a sense of loss and helplessness. And one of these things is war. ⟨...⟩ We call on you [President Putin - The Insider] to stop military actions on Ukrainian territory and settle disagreements through negotiations.»
The address was signed by almost 300 famous artists: Alexander Dolgopolov, Idrak Mirzalizade, Slava Komissarenko, Mikhail Shats and others.
«We strongly oppose the military actions committed by the Russian armed forces on the territory of Ukraine. ⟨...⟩ The hostilities will take so many lives and cripple so many fates that we will not be able to help with all our best efforts. Everybody will scream in pain and cry out to their mother in the same language. ⟨...⟩ A person can be killed in a single instant, while the treatment and recovery of the injured can take years. And we will be paying for the instants of today's fighting for years to come. ⟨...⟩ Therefore, following our oaths and maintaining a humane and equitable treatment of all lives, we demand an immediate end to all operations involving the use of lethal weapons». The appeal was signed by more than 8,000 medical doctors, nurses, and paramedics.
University professors, undergraduate and graduate students
«We demand an end to the offensive of Russian troops on Ukrainian territory. ⟨...⟩ It is an accepted fact that science and the Academy should be free from politics. But the time has come when this freedom has nowhere to exist. ⟨...⟩ Free science and academia must not go together with bloodshed and suffering. ⟨...⟩
Studying the history of the twentieth century in seminars and lectures, we thought that these cruel lessons had been learned by all nations. However, it turned out that this was not the case. ⟨...⟩ The outbreak of the war will rob Russia of its future, destroy lives, steal childhood and youth, development and education. ⟨...⟩ Russian citizens do not want war. We offer huge condolences to all the victims and demand that the bombing of Ukrainian cities immediately ceases.»
We offer huge condolences to all the victims and demand that the bombing of Ukrainian cities immediately ceases
The letter was signed by more than 13,000 people.
Therapists and psychiatrists
«War is a concentration of everything that can act destructively on the human psyche. ⟨...⟩ The current spread of the pandemic of violence has already deeply wounded tens of millions of people. ⟨...⟩ Violence must be stopped by those who initiated it. It is never too late to bring out the best in all of us. Stop the war.»
The letter was signed by over 4,500 specialists.
Scientists and science journalists
«By unleashing the war, Russia condemned itself to international isolation, to the position of a rogue country. The country's isolation from the world means a further cultural and technological degradation of our country with a total lack of positive prospects. ⟨...⟩ We demand respect for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the Ukrainian state. We demand peace for our countries».
The appeal was signed by more than 5,000 scientists.
"Russians don't want the war"
We, Russian scholars and professionals in the field of Digital Humanities, strongly condemn the military actions initiated by the Russian armed forces in Ukraine. We work on projects which respect histories and cultures of all nations, allowing the wider audience to participate in these discussions and promoting humanistic values. Russian digital humanists share and support humanistic values common to all humankind, and we feel devastated and horrified by these events. We stand in solidarity with our colleagues across the region and our hearts are with Ukraine. We want peace for our countries.
The appeal was signed by 167 scholars.
«We are teachers, and violence goes against the very essence of our profession. In the heat of the war, our students will die. War will inevitably exacerbate our country's social problems. We support the anti-war protests and demand an immediate ceasefire.»
The appeal was signed by over 4,300 teachers and educators from across Russia and from a number of other countries.
«We are teachers, and violence goes against the very essence of our profession»
Artists, curators, architects, critics, art historians, art managers
«We demand this war with Ukraine, a sovereign and independent state since 2014, be stopped and that negotiationы be launched with it on a respectful and equal basis. ⟨...⟩ Everything that has been done culturally over the past 30 years is now at stake: all international ties will be severed, cultural private or public institutions will be mothballed, partnerships with other countries will be suspended. ⟨...⟩ We express our absolute solidarity with the people of Ukraine and say a resolute NO TO WAR! We demand the immediate cessation of all hostilities, the withdrawal of Russian troops from Ukraine and the holding of peace talks.
The appeal was signed by more than 12,000 members of the culture and art community.
Representatives of civil society
«We oppose the military actions our country is carrying out on the territory of Ukraine. All our work is a struggle for human dignity, saving lives. War is incompatible with life, nor with dignity, nor with the basic principles of humanity. War is a humanitarian disaster that multiplies pain and suffering. Its consequences can undo years of effort.
At the time of this publication, 567 directors and founders of charitable organizations signed the appeal: Avdotya Smirnova, president of the Exit Foundation; Chulpan Khamatova, founder of the Give Life foundation, Elena Martyanova, director of the Vera charity hospice foundation, Georgy Sverdlin, head of the Nochlezhka charity organization and others.
«This is an unparalleled atrocity, for which there is and can be no justification. The decision to attack was made personally by Russian President Vladimir Putin. We are convinced that the citizens of Russia did not give him such a mandate. ⟨...⟩ We urge you not to participate in or approve the aggression. Please do not keep silent: only people's mass condemnation can stop the war.»
The appeal was signed by 272 people - municipal deputies from different cities of Russia (Moscow, St. Petersburg, Veliky Novgorod, Samara, Ryazan, Yoshkar-Ola and others).
Human rights activists
«We devoted our lives to defending human rights ⟨...⟩ War is the most massive and most barbaric way to instantly deprive not just individual citizens, but millions of people of their rights. ⟨...⟩ By attacking Ukraine, the Russian authorities committed a crime not only against the Ukrainian people, but also against humanity. ⟨...⟩ We promise to do everything possible so that this crime will not be forgotten.»
The appeal was signed by more than 100 human rights activists.
Celebrities and ordinary citizens
Earlier, well-known Russian singers, musicians and public figures spoke out against the war. Previously, the Pope, Madonna, Jim Carrey, David Lynch and others asked Putin to stop the fighting. As Vladimir Putin launched an attack, thousands of people came out to participate in anti-war protests in St. Petersburg, Moscow, and other cities. They were saying “no to war” and standing in solidarity with Ukrainians. Famous Russians also publicly opposed the invasion of Ukraine and demand that the war be stopped. Here are some examples.
A grassroots petition «Stop the War on Ukraine!» on Change.org gathered over a million signatures in three days.