Staunton, Mar. 11 – A group of Russian ethnographers and anthropologists have condemned Vladimir Putin’s military aggression in Ukraine; but unable to have their declaration disseminated via Russian media, they have turned to the Finno-Ugrian site, Fennougria.ee, which is based in Estonia.
Below is an informal translation of their declaration (fennougria.ee/ru/rossijskie-antropologi-protiv-voennyh-dejstvij-rossii-na-territorii-respubliki-ukraina/):
To Russian President V.V. Putin and the Government of the Russian Federation:
We, a group of Russian ethnographers and anthropologists, express our decisive protest against the military actions of the Russian Federation on the territory of the Republic of Ukraine.
We, Russian anthropologists and ethnographers who have devoted our lives to the study of the cultural and social multiplicity of humanity, carry out field work in the most varied corners of the planet to study social relations and cultural dynamics. We at first and know about the lives of people during and after wars and political catastrophes. Therefore, we protest against the use of complex humanitarian problems as a pretext for political manipulations and military clashes.
No war can be justified by the search for historical justice. War wounds the spirit of people, leads to massive human victims, and brings with it the loss of significant cultural values. War is the moral murder of future generations and a path which is leading Russia to international isolation and the destruction of its economy, culture and science, and condemning it to hopeless backwardness, a sharp decline in its standard of living, and consequently to the growth of social and ethnic tensions up to the point of sparking serious domestic conflicts.
Therefore, we demand the immediate secession of military actions on the territory of Ukraine, the immediate withdrawal of forces from Ukrainian territory and the beginning of direct talks with the government of the Republic of Ukraine about the paths and timetable for the de-escalation of the conflict on an equal basis without any preliminary conditions.
We stress that this appeal is the completely voluntary position of a group of ethnographers and anthropologists who are not indifferent to the future of Russia.