Open Letter to a Resident of Europe
By S. A. Goncharov, Citizen of Ukraine, received by William Risch, Georgia College, through friends, August 20, 2014 (translated from Russian by William Risch):
From the author’s daughter: My father is 62 years old. He was among those who brought the first yellow-blue flag to my native Artemivsk in 1991. Now he called me and said, “I wrote a letter to a resident of Europe.” I don’t know. Maybe somebody will think it naïve, but he’s very sincere and honest. If you can, distribute it – let people read it. It’s a letter from an ordinary citizen of the Donbas and Ukraine.
Citizen of Europe, a simple man, a citizen of Ukraine, is speaking to you.
I was born in the last year of Stalin’s rule, seven years after the end of the Second World War. And right now, just like 75 years ago, a World War can start. I am saying this because I live on land where it can start. What is going on in Ukraine is not a conflict within a country, as the aggressor tries to portray it, but punishment of the people of Ukraine for striving for a normal life, without thieves in power, striving for one law for all, for equal and just living conditions. These principles are natural for you, but our people have had to sacrifice the lives of their patriots for them.
But this isn’t the main goal for the aggressor; it’s just an excuse to start a military conflict. Over the past twenty years, our neighbor Russia has simply bathed in an ideology that asserts superiority over other nations – in daily life, in art, and in television. Simple people like us feel this very strongly. The idea of being a superpower has crippled the consciousness of a majority of Russia’s population. And for the sake of this idea, they are ready to kill, and they’ve already started this in Ukraine. With the help of people who’ve been deceived and paid, they’ve entered the country, and they are trying to destroy it from within. Ukraine, which was plundered and bled dry by thieves from the past regime, is resurrecting its army with the help of ordinary citizens, and it is forming voluntary armed units. Simple people bring these soldiers food and uniforms, and they collect money for arms. We have great faith in the people dealing with this and winning, but at what price? How many lives of patriots, how many lives of peaceful citizens and children are Russian soldiers going to kill? It depends on you, too, citizen of a Europe that is for the moment still at peace. Your politicians are hiding their heads in the sand like ostriches, hiding from reality, by expressing their usual concern, and threatening Russia’s regime with sanctions, ones which do not really disturb it. They fear calling a spade a spade. Heavy weaponry and military personnel from Russia are entering Ukraine, and a full-scale WAR is being waged. More and more weaponry, more and more well-trained soldiers, are being drawn into action. The Boeing airliner shot down is proof of that.
Citizen of Europe! The people of Ukraine need your help. By helping us, you help yourselves, because Russia is violating the World’s system of collective security by bringing back the power of force instead of the power of the law. When Ukraine falls, you will be next. I ask you not to be indifferent to the fate of the World. Speak to your politicians, let them tell things as they really are and make the necessary decisions. You cannot stop war by appeasing the aggressor. The example with Hitler is telling. Not seeing serious reaction from the world community, Russia is expanding its amount of soldiers and equipment sent to Ukraine, and it could turn into an irreversible process. Then the World War could become reality. The time has come for our politicians to take strong action; help them. Let them not repeat the mistakes of 1932-33, when our people were killed by famine and our grain was sold to the West by a criminal regime. Ukraine needs up-to-date, precise defensive weaponry to protect peaceful citizens and patriots who still have yet to build a new Ukraine. Help Ukraine, and we, like during the times of the Golden Horde, will not let evil into Europe.
S. A. Goncharov, Citizen of Ukraine.