“There’s No One to Do It for Us”: Alexei Navalny
“We…Russia…want to be a nation of peace. Alas, few people would call us that now. But let’s at least not become a nation of frightened silent people. Of cowards who pretend not to notice the aggressive war against Ukraine unleashed by our obviously insane czar. I cannot, do not want and will not remain silent watching how pseudo-historical nonsense about the events of 100 years ago has become an excuse for Russians to kill Ukrainians, and for Ukrainians to kill Russians while defending themselves.
It’s the third decade of the 21st century, and we are watching news about people burning down in tanks and bombed houses. We are watching real threats to start a nuclear war on our TVs. I am from the USSR myself. I was born there. And the main phrase from there…from my childhood…was ‘fight for peace.’ I call on everyone to take to the streets and fight for peace. Putin is not Russia. And if there is anything in Russia right now that you can be most proud of, it is those 6,824 people who were detained because…without any call…they took to the streets with placards saying ‘No War.’ They say that someone who cannot attend a rally and does not risk being arrested for it cannot call for it. I’m already in prison, so I think I can.
We cannot wait any longer. Wherever you are, in Russia, Belarus or on the other side of the planet, go to the main square of your city every weekday and at 2 pm on weekends and holidays. If you are abroad, come to the Russian embassy. If you can organise a demonstration, do so on the weekend. Yes, maybe only a few people will take to the streets on the first day. And in the second…even less. But we must, gritting our teeth and overcoming fear, come out and demand an end to the war. Each arrested person must be replaced by two newcomers. If in order to stop the war we have to fill prisons and paddy wagons with ourselves, we will fill prisons and paddy wagons with ourselves. Everything has a price, and now, in the spring of 2022, we must pay this price. There’s no one to do it for us. Let’s not ‘be against the war.’ Let’s fight against the war.”