On the morning of 10th October, the forces of the Russian Federation launched a massive rocket attack on residential buildings and the energy infrastructure of Ukraine, causing civilian deaths and halting the life-supporting systems of big cities.
Vladimir Putin and the Russian army, sensing that they will in no way be held accountable, have already committed war crimes with the aim of annihilating our neighbouring country. Russia’s cruelty and violence are no longer shocking or bewildering. What is shocking and bewildering is the indifference of the world’s leading powers, who are not prepared to do all they can to put an end to these crimes, and the daily sacrifice of human life.
The government of Russia are not devils from hell. They are villains with the mind-set of street thugs, who hope the West will run away and retreat, handing Ukraine over to them to devour. The longer the monsters in power in Russia hold on to these illusions, the greater the number of people who will perish, Russians among them.
We call on the governments of the world, primarily of China and India, to cast their doubts aside: the actions of an armed gang are threatening the safety of the entire world. It is time to give up your positions as bystanders and join in in putting pressure on the Russian authorities, including introducing sectoral and personal sanctions.
We call on the governments of the world to help and give refuge to those Russian citizens – from those who have been called up, to generals – those who refuse to follow criminal orders, give themselves up, and testify about the crimes of the Putin regime.
We call on the governments of the world to immediately convene an international conference to establish an International War Tribunal which will punish the chief war criminals from amongst the Russian leadership and the Russian army.
We call on the United States, the member-states of NATO and the European Union, and their allies, to supply Ukraine urgently with the most up-to-date air defence systems for the protection of the civilian population and civil infrastructure, and to tighten sanctions on the Putin regime.
Thugs understand only the language of power; they can be vanquished only on the battlefield.
The Members of the Anti-War Committee of Russia
Sergey Aleksashenko, economist
Marat Gelman, gallery owner
Dmitrii Gudkov, politician
Boris Zimin, entrepreneur
Garry Kasparov, politician and 13th World Chess Champion
Evgeny Kiselev, journalist
Mikhail Kokorich, entrepreneur and engineer
Yulia Latynina, writer and journalist
Elena Lukyanova, lawyer
Yurii Pivovarov, historian and academician of the Russian Academy of Sciences
Mikhail Khodorkovsky, social activist
Evgeny Chichvarkin, entrepreneur
Konstantin Chumakov, academic
Viktor Shenderovich, writer
This letter was originally posted on Mikhail Khodorkovsky's telegram channel