To our Russian colleagues: not long ago, we called you our friends and brothers. We attended the same schools and sat through the same university lectures. We stood side-by-side as we operated furnaces to produce steel and mined ore from the depths. Please hear this truth, which we could never have thought possible. This is the truth that we, your Ukrainian colleagues, want to tell you
It has been almost a week since columns with tonnes of heavy armour monsters began trying to break through, bringing gloom and death. Thousands of bombs are falling on Ukrainian cities; they are being shelled by missiles and artillery of all types and calibres. Ukrainian men, soldiers and those enrolled in the territorial defence are being killed. But the most devastating thing is that our children, women and elderly people are under fire and are dying every day, every hour and every minute. Thousands of families are losing their homes and trying to flee from their cities and villages in Ukraine. This is a full-scale war, which your leaders in Russia falsely call a ‘special operation’ to hide its true extent.
When Hitler began waging a war of aggression against our nations on 22 June 1941, he also tried to avoid using the word ‘war’ in his speech. He instead spoke of an operation that aimed solely to defend against the Soviet threat. Today, 75 years later, does this sound familiar, Russian colleagues
The heavy armour bearing down on us was smelted by the hardworking hands of the steelworkers at Magnitogorsk and Severstal using the ore that you mined in Russia. We are being shelled by the non-ferrous metal of Norilsk and Krasnoyarsk. The missiles and military jets that kill our people are made from your steel. The most grieving thing to see is that these jets and tanks are operated by your children, young guys who are barely 19 or 20 years old.
The steel capital of Ukraine – the border city of Mariupol, which has become one of the most prosperous cities of the Donbas area – is under fire today. Residential neighbourhoods are being razed to the ground, and civilians are suffering and dying. The Russian army is shelling it from all sides, hitting residential and civilian targets, aiming its missiles at the city centre. Three schools have already been bombed.
Do you agree with this? Do you support the regime that sends your people to certain death and kills our children? If not, why do you stay silent? Throughout history, miners and steelworkers have been the first to firmly say NO to the kind of high-handed political adventurers who are now sending your sons to Ukraine as cannon fodder. Kremlin leaders and generals with big stars on their epaulettes are hiding the truth about losses from you. More than 6,000 such Russian guys have already found their death on our soil, and several hundred have been taken captive. This is not the best place for these young men to be at the start of their lives. They are hiding huge losses of military equipment from you. And this is just the beginning
You must understand. Today, they are killing not only Ukraine and Ukrainians. They are killing you and your children, robbing the future from generations to come, killing Russia itself and its entire economy. Numerous appeals to the authorities by hundreds of thousands of Russian doctors, teachers, scientists, writers and artists attest to this. Why do you refuse to raise your voices, you ore and metal craftsmen? Staying silent about these crimes means taking some responsibility for the ongoing genocide of our nations.
Even the owners of your businesses are beginning to understand this. They have started to understand and grumble because they have much to lose, not only in Russia, but also in Ukraine, where they own a lot of property, primarily in the mining and metals sector. They no longer have the opportunity to fly around in their private jets (the airspace has been closed to Russian planes) or ride in their fancy yachts around the Mediterranean Sea (ports have also been closed to them). In addition, their palaces and villas in London and Monaco, and their accounts in Swiss banks are under threat of confiscation. But, they will not suffer alone. The serious sanctions adopted by our Western allies are already affecting the well-being of ordinary people. This is your well-being. You feel it with your own wallets and fridges, which the propaganda on your televisions cannot fill. Russia has already found itself in complete isolation from almost the entire civilized world. If the top brass is beginning to talk about this, then once again we ask, where are you, whose hands ensure the development of the Russian economy? The share of Russian iron ore and steel in the national income of the Russian Federation is quite large, and the opinion of the industry, the demands of steelworkers and miners have always been considered at all levels of power in the country
Remember, war will always return to whence it came. Unfortunately, the Kremlin has studied the lessons of history poorly, including recent history. It turns out that the inglorious end of Hitler, who came to Ukrainian and Russian soil three quarters of a century ago, also has not taught them anything.
If the lives of children and loved ones are as dear to you as they are to us; if you finally refuse to believe the unscrupulous lies of corrupt propagandists; if you are exasperated, horrified and outraged by the numerous and senseless deaths of citizens of Russia and Ukraine – do not stay silent! There are many ways to express this and demand an immediate end to the so-called ‘special operation’, which is in fact a full-scale war in Europe. It could easily develop into a nuclear war that will leave no one and nothing in its wake. Your hands hold the opportunity to end this by saying a resounding NO TO WAR!
From your colleagues – the steelworkers and miners of Ukrainе.
Today is the 7th day of war.