War in Europe – Russia’s Assault on Ukraine

Sir, – As writers, we address everyone who speaks the Russian language. To people of all nationalities. To those who are native speakers. For those for whom Russian is the second or third language.

Today, the Russian language is used by the Russian state to stir up hatred and justify the shameful war against Ukraine. In Russian, the official media keeps repeating endless lies that create a smokescreen around this aggression.

Russians have been fed lies for many years. Independent news sources have been almost completely destroyed. Opposition leaders – silenced. The state propaganda machine is working with all its might.

In this situation, it is essential to reveal to Russian citizens the whole truth about Russian aggression against Ukraine. About the sufferings and losses of the Ukrainian nation. About civilians targeted and killed. About the danger for the whole European continent. And perhaps to all of humanity, given the nuclear threat.

Please use all possible means of communication. Phone (s. Messengers. Emails. Reach people you know. Reach people you don’t know. Tell the truth. If Vladimir Putin is blind and deaf, maybe Russians will listen to those who speak the same language.

This unjustified war must be stopped. – Yours, etc.,

VLADIMIR SOROKIN,

SVETLANA ALEXIEVICH,

LIOUDMILA OULITSKAYA,

DMITRI GLUKHOVSKY,

VICTOR CHENDEROVICH,

MARIA STEPANOVA,

SERGEI LEBEDEV,

Lisa

ALEXANDROVA-ZORIN,

SASCHA FILIPENKO,

ALISA GANIEVA,

VIKTAR MARTINOVICH,

MAXIM OSIPOV,

ALEXANDRE GENIS,

LEV RUBINSTEIN,

ALEXANDER

ILICHEVSKY,

Mikhail Shishkin,

BORIS AKOUNINE,

and in support

HERTA MÜLLER,

(Germany/Romania);

ELFRIED JELINEK,

(Austria);

OLGA TOKARCZUK,

(Poland);

JM COETZEE,

(South Africa/Australia);

MATHIAS ENARD,

(France);

NURUDDIN FARAH,

(Somalia/South Africa);

PANKAJ MISHRA,

(India/England);

JUAN

GABRIEL VAZQUEZ,

(Colombia).

Sir, – All nations offering tangible or moral support to Ukraine must now prepare for a long economic war to face the tyranny of the Russian dictatorship.

Although the outcome remains fluid, Russia’s military might is likely to trigger a bad outcome for Ukraine in the short term in the form of some sort of heavily weighted settlement in Russia’s favor due to the negotiating leverage of his bombs.

All democratic countries must signal to Russia that we are in this war for as long as it takes and let their citizens know that they must be prepared for such a long and costly war. The center must hold and never bend. The free world has never been so united, and at the foot of this unity, our leaders must publicly declare that economic, cultural and sporting sanctions will only be reconsidered when the integrity of Ukraine is fully restored, with reparations of war paid for by Russia.

We should never spoil a crisis. Russia’s malign activities are confusing the West, seeking to undermine the free world while its dictators subjugate its own citizens and those of other countries like Belarus. – Yours, etc.,

JOSEPH M DODDY,

Dublin 14.

Sir, – Here we are on the island of Ireland facing the western Atlantic Ocean with no air or naval cover to protect us while clinging to that cherished ideal called neutrality. Looking east, we have come to realize that war is an ever-present reality. We should be wise. – Yours, etc.,

RICHARD RODGERS,

Malhide,

Co Dublin.

Sir, – When there is a chill in the air, we have come to use the term Baltic. Perhaps it would be prudent to rethink this particular description. – Yours, etc.,

Frank Byrne,

Dublin 9.

Sir, – No sane person wants the conflict to widen, but militarily the West has warned Vladimir Putin that the line is drawn at the borders of NATO. This confirms Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s assertion to the world last week: Ukraine stands alone.

Doesn’t the West want this conflict to be contained because its real priority is fear of the economic fallout that sanctions against Russia could have on the global economy? Presumably.

Did the West ever consider the consequences of supping with the devil when Mr. Putin and his oligarchs were stripping Russia’s assets and these billionaires started pumping money into its savings? Joe Biden during his eight years in the Obama White House? Or Boris Johnson, then mayor of a London full of Russian money? Who could deny Mr. Putin’s crony capitalism as the West ignored his 2008 invasion of Georgia and 2014 annexation of Crimea? At least now we see sanctions to strip Mr. Putin and his oligarchs of their own assets. It’s a matter of economics, isn’t it?

Meanwhile in Ukraine, it’s not about economics. It is about democracy and self-determination; things not found in any market but tangible enough to die. Volodymyr Zelenskyy understands this and accepts it. For him, there will be no safe plane and a suitcase full of dollars. Staying in Kiev, he galvanized his fellow citizens and encouraged the diaspora to return. This is real political leadership that hasn’t been seen in decades. – Yours, etc.,

BRIAN FALTER,

Ballyshannon,

Co Donegal.

Sir, – The need to increase defense spending over the next few years to give the defense forces the capabilities to adequately defend the state is clear to many. Whether we remain neutral and are willing to spend to defend that neutrality, or enter into defense agreements with other European countries, where costs and capabilities can be shared, is a discussion we need to have urgently. The threats to the state have evolved and changed, our defense and security policy too. – Yours, etc.,

CONOR HOGARTY,

black rock,

Co Dublin.

A chara, – I suggest that in solidarity with Ukraine, the tricolor be replaced by the Ukrainian national flag for the upcoming St. Patrick’s Day celebrations. – Yours, etc.,

DAVID COLLINS

Ennis,

C Claire.

A chara, – If we need one more proof of Vladimir Putin’s madness, it’s the bombing of a nuclear power plant. – Is set,

SEAN O’KIERSEY,

black rock,

Co Dublin.

Sir, – In your editorial ‘Stopping the Flow of Dirty Money’ (3 March) you write ‘Ireland has been very successful in attracting foreign investment’ and ‘we need to publicly fund the best tax and regulatory regimes’.

A refuge is a place of shelter. I’m sure I’m not the only one who sees the glaring contradiction in the statements above. What does anyone think all this money is doing here? – Yours, etc.,

DAVID McCARTER,

Hillsborough,

Co down.

Sir, – Surely, in criticizing Yuri Filatof, the Russian ambassador, isn’t it legitimate to consider that any deviation from Putin’s line could lead him to be appointed chief taster in the Kremlin? – Yours, etc.,

Mick O’Brien,

spring mount,

Kilkenny.

Sir, – Trevor Troy urges us that “while we are still free, we should stand with the other free nations of the West and join NATO” (Letters, March 4).

If, as is commonly assumed, a free media is a vital pillar of a free nation, then the Irish Times’ recent transformation into a NATO-uncritical recruitment agency disqualifies it from such status.

The absence of rational criticism of NATO – described in the Guardian a few days ago by Ted Galen Carpenter of the conservative Cato Institute as “arrogant” and “deaf” – whether in your letters or your opinion is unworthy of a medium with claims to democratic accountability. – Yours, etc.,

RAYMOND DEANE,

Dublin 1.

Sir, – The photos on the front page of the Irish Times on Tuesday and Thursday were striking. The first showed a baby and its mother sheltering in a hospital, and the second an elderly woman crying outside a house littered with debris. What terrible weather to be young or old, wide-eyed or war-weary. – Yours, etc.,

Mary Fogarty,

Balbrigan,

Co Dublin.

Mary I. Bruner