Dear Russian

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Just learned that Putin has authorized that 300 thousand Russians be conscripted into the army. In other words, he’s giving you no choice. Just do as Putin says.
He’s ordering the mass enlistment because he’s losing the war in Ukraine. A war he started because he didn’t give a damn about Ukrainians and thought they would kneel before him and kiss his feet when he asked them to join a new and greater Russia.
Something like the Soviet Union but even bigger. Maybe to include all of Europe.
And as you know, or maybe don’t know, if you only watch television and avoid the internet, Russians are losing in Ukraine.
One estimate has it that there have been 80 thousand plus Russian casualties so far, from a total of 200 thousand he sent in starting on February 24th, hoping to quickly take Kyiv, the capital, and then march all the way to the West and South and celebrate a grand victory.
But Ukrainians didn’t cooperate. Instead, they put up a heroic fight in defense of their land, a feat we haven’t seen since World War II.
You see, contrary to what the television is telling you, Ukrainians don’t want to be Russian. They want to be Ukrainians and rule their own land.
Would you want China to invade you and tell you how to live your life?
Of course not. (although it could happen one day if you don’t keep your guard up)
The war has been a colossal tragedy.
Putin is getting beat by the Ukrainians but he’s saying, ‘Wait, I have more Russians willing to die for my dream of a great Russian empire. And after I use these next 300 thousand, I’ll enlist another 300 thousand if I need to.’
You get what I’m saying? That’s right. Your life means nothing to Putin. He’ll put a helmet on you, give you a gun and tell you, straight ahead, and kill as many Ukrainians as you can.’
You might want to ask, ‘what am I fighting for?’ And he’ll likely answer, ‘for a greater Russia.’
Eighty plus years ago Russia fought bravely against the Germans in World War II and helped turn around that war. Twenty million Russians died in that disaster. And you showed enormous courage, but you were fighting for your land. You weren’t taking another people’s territory (at least not at first, then Stalin decided to conquer parts of Europe).
There is a similarity between that war and this one in Ukraine. They were started by one man. One man who convinced millions of other people that they needed to offer their lives for his dream. Yes, Hitler and Putin have much in common.
But dear Russian, you do have a choice.
You can rebel. You can say ‘No! I won’t go into Ukraine to kill people who are fighting for the freedom to be who they want.’ You could say that. And say it loud so others can hear you. And Putin will put you in prison for not giving him your life to play with. But you will be alive. And if all Russians say ‘No! I won’t go fight Ukrainians,’ then Putin will have to back off.
That’s why it’s so important that you listen to your conscience. Do not believe what the government’s television is telling you.
You do have an enemy to deal with but it’s not Ukrainian.
Your enemy is Putin. The man you didn’t think you had surrendered to until he came asking for your life.

Oscarvaldes.medium.com