STOP THE WAR: An open letter from Ekaterina Degot

Dear comrades, friends and colleagues,

in these dark days as the Russian Duma announces its intention of an armed invasion of Ukraine, and that invasion is in fact already undertaken, I want to express my support for all those who - like me – are experiencing horror and amazement as we see the prospect of war between our two nations. Two societies held nearer and dearer than any we have ever enjoyed or ever will.


I ask you all for forgiveness that we here in Russia have not been as selfless and resolved as you have been in your struggle. And we have not overthrown Putin and his regime which now threatens you. We’ve become soft, comfortable, putting up with something that shouldn’t be tolerated.  We are, for our part, to blame for what is taking place.

I am deeply hopeful that this difficult lesson will serve to our benefit, but that you will not bear the cost of it.


Currently, I’m neither there with you, nor in Russia, and am only able to follow what is happening on the news, by reading your blogs, and seeing your photos. But I am following it closely.


It’s clear to me that your situation is politically complex, but again, I am hopeful.  Hopeful that the citizens of Ukraine, Crimea and Kharkiv will be able to move forward to the benefit of all, without any need for Russian troops.  I oppose Russian interference in Ukrainian affairs, just as I would have opposed American intervention.  But as a Russian citizen I am particularly ashamed of what is going on now.  I only hope that this terrible chapter of our history will not supply you with a new definition when you hear the word “Russian”.  The true shame is borne by the one called Putin.

Ekaterina Degot Art Critic and Curator