Letter to Putin from his Fellow Russians

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We think it’s time the war came to an end.
Our nation has a tradition of being brave warriors. We lost 20 million people in WWII, a war started by Hitler, and we beat him back.
But Ukraine is different, isn’t it?
They weren’t doing anything to us. They just wanted to choose their own path and felt they could better accomplish it by becoming more like Europe.
So what’s wrong with that?
Russia sits between Europe and China. We are grateful to the Chinese for all the support they’ve given us over the years but, if you asked us, many of us feel closer to Europe, just like the Ukrainians.
But we can still be friends forever with China.
Vladimir, news travels and what we’re hearing about the war is not good.
We are the aggressor. We’re sending missiles into Ukraine to kill them and destroy their property. How are we going to make up for that?
Many of our brothers and sisters have left the country because they don’t want to be part of it. They don’t want to shoot their neighbors. Almost everyone knows someone who chose to leave.
You’ve asked the Wagner group to fight for us but they are mercenaries. That is a strange profession, isn’t it? To kill people for a living. And now the same group is recruiting prisoners to do the fighting. But prisoners don’t make good soldiers. Good soldiers need to be disciplined and have a conscience.
Vladimir, we think you’ve lost touch with us, your people.
This is your war, Vladimir, not Russia’s war and we shouldn’t be fighting it.
The world is getting a bad impression of Russians.
We trusted that you would make good political choices but we’ve found you have not.
Because of our geography, it’s easy to become isolated, but with the internet the rest of the world is getting closer. We want to be part of it. We want to join in.
We are a hard working people and have something to contribute. We want to share it with the world. The West has problems but they have beautiful things, too. The Chinese have problems but they, also, have beautiful things.
We need peace, Vladimir, not war, so we can see the beauty in people.
Ukrainians are teaching the world something very important. The value of choice in our lives.
The value of having a voice and raising it. You didn’t teach us that and we didn’t question you.
All Russians, except for the very brave who have chosen to fight you, are to blame for this awful war. We are because we didn’t speak out when we disagreed with you.
The same thing is happening to the Chinese next door, who bow to Xi Jinping like he was a deity.
We’re not idiots, Vladimir. We’re recognizing our mistakes. But you’re carrying on like you’re absolutely right. And so, too, your close associates.
You are making an ass of yourself in front of the whole world when you carry on as if you had no doubt you are right. What idiocy is that?
The more killing we see the more we realize that you can turn your rage against us, too.
We are slowly emerging from our denial. Slowly realizing you are a deeply envious and brutal man.
We were wrong about you but this will be over one day.
Vladimir, you can avoid more pain and stop the war now. Today. Give back to Ukrainians what’s theirs, all their land.
Bring back our people, Vladimir, bring back our brothers and sisters, our sons and daughters.
There’s much work to do in this world. Russia can make a great contribution.
And we don’t have to have an empire, Vladimir. Just cherishing and improving the land we now have gives us plenty to do.
Let go of the dreams of glory at the expense of others.
The struggle of human beings is the struggle to understand ourselves and the world around us.
This war you started, is doing nothing of the kind.
You’ve lost your way.
Have the courage to recognize your mistakes.
On a day like today, the Russian Orthodox celebrate Christmas.
Mark the day with an act of contrition and generosity. Stop the War. Retreat from Ukraine.

Signed. Your fellow Russians.

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