We woke up in a war. Yes­ter­day we were just cit­i­zens. Today we are cit­i­zens of an aggres­sor country.

And no mat­ter how the pro­pa­gan­dists play with words, try­ing to present what is hap­pen­ing as a kind of «mil­i­tary spe­cial oper­a­tion» by Russ­ian troops, the name for this despi­ca­ble mad­ness is war. A war that will go down in his­to­ry as the Russ­ian aggres­sion against Ukraine. Because it was one par­tic­u­lar coun­try — Rus­sia — that invad­ed the ter­ri­to­ry of anoth­er coun­try — Ukraine — in order to estab­lish there the order that seems right to one insane Kremlin’s head named Vladimir Putin.

Today it is dif­fi­cult even to imag­ine the con­se­quences that we will all face: the grief of those who will lose loved ones, bro­ken lives and des­tinies, births that did not hap­pen, and untime­ly deaths. 

War is mur­der. The heav­i­est bur­den for all those who by the will of the crim­i­nals who unleashed it, were involved in it. And every­one is involved: those who want­ed to or did not want to, who under­stood or did not under­stand, who thought about it or was car­ried along by Putin’s pro­pa­gan­da. And the bur­den will have to be borne. Moral, above all. The only way to light­en it some­how is to show every­where, by all means, one’s aver­sion and dis­agree­ment with the crime that is tak­ing place before the eyes of the aston­ished world.

In Putin’s Rus­sia, inde­pen­dent jour­nal­ism, espe­cial­ly inves­tiga­tive jour­nal­ism, has long had its dark­est days: in recent years, it has been labeled every­thing it could be to intim­i­date, humil­i­ate, and shut it up – “for­eign agents”, “fifth col­umn”, “unde­sir­ables”. But those were peace­ful times. Today, these are times of war. Chal­lenges are incom­pa­ra­ble. For a jour­nal­ist this is not only a test of civ­il courage when infor­ma­tion has to be extract­ed at the risk of death, but also a test of pro­fes­sion­al respon­si­bil­i­ty requir­ing the abil­i­ty to assess, check and recheck this infor­ma­tion, with­out suc­cumb­ing to emo­tions and, of course, over­come bans. We are already wit­ness­ing the first deten­tions of jour­nal­ists who cov­er anti-war actions in Russ­ian cities. Col­leagues who write the truth about the cur­rent «mil­i­tary oper­a­tion» — Denis Kamalya­gin, edi­tor-in-chief of Pskov Province, and sev­er­al jour­nal­ists of the news­pa­per have been persecuted.

We are against this crim­i­nal war! We are with all those who expose it!

Gali­na Sidorova

Grig­o­ry Pasko

Alex­ei Shlyapuzhnikov

Veronika Shlya­puzh­niko­va