Open letter to the President of the Russian Federation, HE Vladimir Putin

As a group, we condemn aggression, we condemn the neglect of action to control climate change and we condemn any action risking nuclear disaster.

1. WAR AS A TOOL OF POLITICAL ACTION: The World’s 193 States, all members of the UN, must get together to appeal to Russia to end its unjustifiable, criminal aggression on an independent nation, Ukraine, citing both historical reason for this and the false statement “that Ukraine is not a legitimate nation”.

It is similar to Iraq’s occupying Kuwait in 2001, on the totally false basis “that Kuwait was a province of Iraq”.

We appeal to you, President Putin, to immediately open negotiations, together with Presidents Biden, Xi, von der Leyen, Zelensky and the UN Secretary-General, for a ceasefire, for stopping the war and to start the rebuilding of a destroyed nation.

2. CLIMATE: At the time when entire sectors of the planet are roasting under extreme heat, which, if not controlled will increase further. Many places reached 50o C in Europe and North America. East Africa is having the worst drought in History. ALL STATES must, as we have done at COP 26, CONTROL AND LIMIT CLIMATE CHANGE. We know the measures needed to control and limit climate change by at latest 2030/40 and we all must start implementing them fully. Scientifically advanced countries, including Russia, should contribute a maximum to research to achieve this climate aim.

In such a planetary emergency, there is no time, no justification for the old style of empire building, of going to war as a tool of political action. There is no justification for Russian action to fire rockets on inhabited residential areas in Ukraine, killing innocent civilians. Surely you do not wish for an accusation of genocide?

3. NUCLEAR SAFETY: On 26 April 1986, there was the nuclear disaster at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant. Our planet does not need another Chernobyl (August 2022).

How large an area was affected by the radioactive fallout of Chernobyl? Some 150,000 square kilometres in Belarus, Russia and Ukraine were contaminated, in an area stretching northwards of the plant site as far as 500 kilometres.

“The Chernobyl disaster caused irreversible damage to the environment that will last for thousands of years”, says Greenpeace in its 2016 study of the accident. “Never in human history has such a large quantity of long-lived radioisotopes been released into the environment by a single event.”

Although the accident occurred nearly two decades ago, controversy still surrounds the real impact of the disaster. As you are aware, the IAEA, in cooperation with other agencies (FAO, UNDP, UNEP, WHO and others), as well as the competent authorities of Belarus, the Russian Federation and Ukraine, established the Chernobyl Forum in 2003. The mission of the Forum was to generate “authoritative consensual statements” on the environmental consequences and health effects attributable to radiation exposure arising from the accident, as well as to provide advice on environmental remediation and special health care programmes, and to suggest areas in which further research is required.

Regrettably, the belligerents are putting the world at risk by the military activities at the huge Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant, which came under attack in August 2022. Shelling led to damage in the non-radioactive elements of the facility, including power lines. Those fears were renewed last week after shelling intensified around the massive Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant, Europe’s largest, which has been under Russian control since March 2022. Apart from threatening the use of nuclear warheads, which will affect the entire planet negatively and for thousands of years.

You know very well that Russia holds about 6,850 nuclear warheads, the USA 6,550, France, 290 and China, 280. The UK has 215, Pakistan 145, and India 135. Even Israel and North Korea hold some.

Except for North Korea, ALL of these 9 nations having nuclear warheads have agreed to completely control their use, but Russia recently put its military nuclear facilities on ‘preparedness’. Is preparedness to be interpreted as a menace to the rest of the world?

The negative effect on your own population of sanctions should end and free trade re-established, as soon as possible. We fully support the full resumption of production and export of cereals, grain and natural gas from Russia. The ball is in your court, Mister President!

We invite all groups in every nation of the world to run a similar appeal to the Russian President.

Dr. Michael ATCHIA

For Democracy Watch Mauritius

22nd August 2022

NOTE : Les points de vue exprimés dans cette rubrique ne reflètent pas nécessairement ceux de la rédaction et n’engagent que les auteurs eux-mêmes.