Thursday, September 14, 2023

‘Victory for Ukraine; Freedom for Russia’ -- Four Russian Activists Call for a World without Putin and Putinism

Paul Goble

            Staunton, Sept. 1 – Four Russian critics of the Kremlin – Aleksandr Skobov, Maksim Reznik, Igor Yakovenko, and Igor Eidman – have published an appeal in the last renewal of the Grani portal calling for Russians and the entire international community to do what is necessary to create a world without Putin and Putinism.

            An informal translation of their appeal ( follows:

For the complete dismantling of Nazi Russia

Appeal to citizens of the Russian Federation

The Putin regime has plunged Russia into dirt and shame. Having trampled on the Constitution, the laws and rights of citizens, it has unleashed an aggressive, predatory, vile, criminal war. Neither Ukraine nor NATO attacked or were going to attack Russia. The only reason for the war is the maniacal obsession of the rulers of Russia with a thirst for unlimited expansion of their power. They are waging war to assert a "right" to dictate their will to other peoples.

Having attacked Ukraine, the Kremlin kleptocracy has already killed hundreds of thousands of people -- Ukrainian defenders of their country and civilians, including more than half a thousand children. But the Russians, turned by the Kremlin into invaders and occupiers, who found their inglorious end in Ukraine, are also being killed by those who sent them there.


The Putin regime has brought bloodshed, suffering and grief back to a Europe that it has not known since the days of Hitler. Putin's regime is the regime of the new Hitler. His ideology, which many call "Rashism", is a kind of Nazi ideology adapted to the conditions of the post-industrial era.

This ideology denies the subjectivity of people and peoples, their equality, democracy, the priority of human rights and the rule of law as such. It relies on a purely Nazi concept of the exclusivity of a so-called "Russian civilization" and its superiority over the "Western world". The purely Nazi nature of Putin's regime is shown by the declaration of Ukrainians as the wrong "non-people" and the setting of the task of forcibly changing their national and cultural identity.

Like Hitler's regime, Putin's Nazi regime seeks to overturn the human-made legal and moral restrictions on violence and cruelty, to restore a "law of the jungle" with its permissiveness of force. It is destroying the international order that ensures stability and security, throws the world into archaism and savagery. It carries the same global threat to civilization that Hitler's regime carried.

Today Ukraine has become the field of a global battle between civilization and barbarism, between freedom and tyranny. This is a war for the future world order, for a way of life, for values. This is an existential war in which on the same side are those who are convinced that it is possible to attack neighbors, subdue, rob, kill and dismember them. And on the other side are those who believe that this is impossible, that it is impossible to take someone else's. An equation of the two is impossible.

We are Russian citizens who stand for a world in which one cannot take what belongs to others. In which people and nations are equal and can live without "masters", both their own and others. In which they freely choose both their leaders and their friends and allies. To do this, we consider it necessary:


1. Unconditional restoration of the internationally recognized borders of Ukraine in 2013. Unconditional refusal of Russia from any attempts to dictate Ukraine's foreign, defense and domestic policy. Including linguistic and cultural.

2. Compensation by Russia to Ukraine for the damage caused to it during the war, the amount of which should be determined by a representative international conference.


3. Dispatch to the international court of the current military-political leadership of the Russian Federation, headed by Putin, for committing "crimes against the world" - unleashing and waging an aggressive war in Ukraine.


4. De-nuclearization of Russia (liquidation of its nuclear arsenal). The systematic blackmailing of a nuclear first strike by high-ranking members of the Putin regime (including Putin himself) must not go unnoticed.

5. De-verticalization and de-imperialization of Russia. Its re-establishment as a voluntary confederation of its constituent territories, retaining the right to secede from the confederation. Cardinal redistribution of powers from executive bodies of state power to representative ones at all levels.

This can only be achieved by inflicting a military defeat on the Putin regime and overthrowing it. We categorically reject attempts to "freeze the conflict" in its current state. This will only legitimize aggression and annexation as a means to achieve political goals and finally bury the international legal order. We reject attempts to find some kind of compromise with the Putin regime, taking into account his "concerns." An aggressor who violated all international norms and encroached on the future of mankind should not receive anything.

We demand that Western leaders end the policy of avoiding "escalation of the conflict." It only allows Putin to blackmail the West with the very "escalation", hoping to force him to "geopolitical capitulation". Any international legal order is maintained only as long as its violator meets a collective rebuff. While his co-founders are ready to fight for him.


We demand a fundamental expansion of military assistance to Ukraine up to the direct participation of NATO troops in hostilities. Ukraine should receive binding security guarantees now, not after the end of the war.

We urge Western leaders to put aside fears about the possible collapse of the Russian Federation as a result of the fall of the regime. None of the "painful consequences" of this will outweigh the danger of preserving the imperial state, which will reproduce aggressiveness and revanchism. Either Russia will become confederate, democratic and "pro-Western", returning to its European roots, or it must disappear as an integral entity.

We will welcome the overthrow of Putin's dictatorship, no matter which group carries out this overthrow and no matter what means it uses. But it is not enough for us to replace the dictator or a handful of his closest henchmen. We are in favor of a radical change of corrupted Putin's "elites". They must leave and answer for what they have done, at least by the loss of their wealth and status. Only this will make it possible to dismantle the tyrannical and aggressive system.


We welcome any form of opposition to Putin's aggression. From simply refusing public support for the regime to refusing to serve in the army, transferring intelligence to Ukraine and joining the Armed Forces of Ukraine.

In the context of the bloody slaughter unleashed by the regime in Ukraine and the elimination of the last opportunities for legal protest in Russia, we consider it hypocritical to say that violence is inadmissible in opposing this regime. While unconditionally recognizing Ukraine's right to an armed rebuff to an aggressor, we also recognize the right of Russian citizens to an armed struggle against Putin's dictatorship.

We do not believe, however, that public peaceful protest against war and dictatorship has lost its meaning. But there are no safe ways to express disagreement. All of them can lead to certain repressive consequences. Confronting the absolute evil of Putinism today requires a willingness to sacrifice well-being, career, freedom, and even life. For the sake of our world, in which theaters, hospitals, schools and residential high-rise buildings cannot be bombed. In which you cannot take someone else's.

We will not accept that Putin has destroyed this world of ours. We will fight for its restoration. We don't need a world that has Putin in it. We invite citizens of the Russian Federation who share our views to consider themselves members of the Anti-Putin Resistance Front.


Victory for Ukraine, freedom for Russia!


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