Views from inside Russia

We received the following email from an agency leader in Russia in response to our request for their personal perspective on the current situation.

Dear Julian,

Thank you for your letter. I would like to describe how I see this situation and my attitude to it.

ONE. Me, as our team, are against the war and Putin’s power. We believe that the actions of our president surely can be called a crime. It is essential to immediately stop shooting the and to command Russian troops to return to the territory of Russia, LNR, and DNR (the territories of Luchansk and Donetsk regions).

TWO. This is an indisputable fact that thousands of people are killed and wounded every day on both sides. This is a catastrophe for both Russian and Ukrainian people. It is a catastrophe that the houses of Ukrainian civilians are being destroyed every day (missiles fly into houses and civilians die).

THREE.  The idea of the President of Russian Federation to remove power of Zelensky and return ex-president Yanukovych (who is widely disliked both in Russia and Ukraine) seems to be an insane, a demonstration of dementia by Russian president.

FOUR.  Many Russian citizens have relatives in Ukraine, including us. We call them from time to time. It is terrible that people need to hide in the basements of their houses keeping in mind that their house can be destroyed. This is an absolute disaster that russian and Ukrainian nations quarrel at the moments (People are dying), as we have always been together.

FIVE.  Sanctions. The sanctions that have recently been introduced don’t affect our president anyhow. Even more, the government’s organizations/companies earn double money from selling the energy resources with current exchange rate USD/Ruble.

At the same time, medium and small businesses suffer greatly. Our clients (from Bulgaria, for example) have to cancel the advertising campaigns due to the blockage of the medicine transfer to Russia.

European companies are suffering (XXXX in our case).

The introduced sanctions have an enormous impractical on people that want to change the government in Russia, on people that travel and work in Europe, on people that want Russia to have strong economy, on people that want to live in freedom, in European Russia, that want the rise in the investment of western countries in Russia. My son is currently studying in London (in XXXX College, in XXXX School next year). Such children can be russian government and effectively rule free Russia. This would be a huge mistake to deprive russian students from a quality education in the UK and in other countries (Some European countries cancel the applications of russian students to universities, and send them back to Russia. This reminds of nazism which is terrible

SIX.  Russian TV. Russian TV has an enormous propaganda campaign at the moment which have a strong impact on people with low income. Such people are too lazy to analyze the information and search the truth.

These people are happy that other russian citizens (we) cannot travel to Europe anymore and that we cannot make the money transactions abroad. The independent TV and Radio Channels, such as TV Rain, “Echo of Moscow”,  and many others, are closed because of the objective information that had been told there.

SEVEN.  However, CNN, BBC, Sky News, and other TV channels also present one-side information.

EIGHT.  Crimea. I have been in Crimea several times. Ukraine has done practically nothing there for 25 years of ruling of Crimea. Crimea was in decline. For past 8 years some large investments were made, this changed the life of people there. The highways were built, hotels, shops, etc. were also constructed.

More than 70-75% of Crimean population are happy to be part of Russia.

I think that the Crimean issue needs to be resolved by the legal, official voting of the people that live there.

NINE.  LPR and DPR. We have relatives and friends there. It has been 8 years of shelling on the buildings where citizens live. People that live in these territories would never like to live in Ukraine. There also should be official voting in these regions

TEN.  Ukraine. Minsk agreements and Crimea. Holding fair elections in Crimea (with the admission of international research campaigns for analytics, with European observers) will show that about 70-75% of Crimean residents want to stay in Russia. That is, holding an honest vote on Crimea will lead to the loss of Zelensky’s power in Ukraine (he will not be forgiven for the loss of Crimea).

Also, voting in the LPR and DPR, the implementation of the Minsk agreements, will be perceived by the western part of Ukraine as a betrayal of Zelensky, as a transfer of land to the Russian Federation and Putin’s victory. Thus, Zelensky does not resolve these issues for fear of losing power.

ELEVEN. Ukraine. War.  The Ukrainian army tries to survive by any possible methods.Therefore, they really conduct shelling, hiding in residential areas of houses in Kharkov and other cities (they using people as shield). When suppressing combat points, part of the Russian shells fly into residential buildings in Kharkov and other cities.

TWELVE. USA. This conflict is beneficial for the USA.

All these would have a serious impact on the strongest economy in Europe – Germany. I think that the final goal is Germany. The investments would flow into US economy from EU. NATO leaders would get some good investments. The senators in US that are responsible for the military sphere would also have an increase in their budgets.

THIRTEEN.  Ukrainian president. Ukranian president has the highest level of support at thew moment. He was elected on the fair elections. However, he is not that great as it seems.

We don’t understand why for the past 8 years the war on the Luchansk and Donetsk territories could not be stopped. There war bases that are not ruled by president Zelenskiy (Aidar troops, etc.). We don’t understand why Ukraine denied to carry out Minsk Agreement.

FOURTEEN.  Negotiations.  In order to stop the war, there must be negotiations in the format that will include the presidents of Russia, Ukraine, USA + France and Germany.

What you can do to help people or stop the war: you can’t help.

FIFTEEN.  The only thing is to inform people that Russia is not only president Putin!. Major part of russian society is against the dictatorship of Putin and against the war. Today I have signed the petition on for the impeachment of president Putin.инициировать-импичмент-президента-российской-федерации-владимира-владимировича-путина

The sanctions of western countries against people of Russia (not government) can change positioning of some doubt people to Putins side.

SIXTEEN.  What I am currently doing is I try to deliver to all people in Russia with whom I communicate the real image of the happening. I try to inform people that free Russia is Russia without the president Putin. A lot of people have already been disinformed by Russian TV.

SEVENTEEN.  Protests and streets of Moscow:  It is impossible to arrange in demonstrations, protests in Russia at the moment because of the brutal actions of Russian Police. They beat the people. Students are kicked out of universities.

We are grateful to the people that are taking part in the protests and that are not afraid.

This is what I think. We will pray to stop the war!