Translators Against Russia’s Invasion of Ukraine

The Russian authorities have unleashed a gratuitous, senseless and inhumane war on independent Ukraine. This war has been enmeshed in lies from the outset, but we, Russian citizens who are able to face the truth, know that it has already caused catastrophic destruction and taken many lives. Each of these victims is on our conscience, and with every moment the war goes on our conscience is impoverished. The dignity of Russia, of Russian culture, and of each of us is melting before our eyes. We should not and cannot tolerate this.

We, Russian translators, feel keenly that the very existence of Russia as a country of culture and the dignity of the Russian language, which we have tried to the best of our abilities and continue to promote, have come into question.

From the very first day, Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has affected our professional work. International cultural organizations, academic institutions, and specific publishers and authors have ceased cooperation with the Russian Federation. This means that books will not be translated and published in Russia, including works of imaginative literature and the latest scientific and academic research. This also means that books by Russian poets and writers, and by Russian scientists and academics (who will thus not be able to contribute to research and be recognized by the international scholarly community) will not be published in the languages of the peoples of the world. Academic exchange programs with many countries, joint publishing programs, and support for Russian cultural initiatives have already been stopped. Russia is moving towards isolation not only in politics, but also in absolutely all other spheres of life. Translators understand this better than anyone else: we give those who read in Russian the opportunity to feel that they are a part of world culture, and we introduce foreign readers to Russia’s great culture. We are the link between Russian researchers and global science and research, and we are proud of our contribution to international recognition of Russian scientific and scholarly achievements. There are also technical translators among us who provide day-to-day support to foreign specialists in Russia in all areas, from documentation of petroleum and pharmaceutical equipment to business negotiations.

It is obvious that what is happening will deal a blow to the professional work of translators, to our lives, as well as to the lives of all Russian citizens, but seeing the pain, horror and loss of life [in Ukraine], we are full of anxiety, first of all, for those who are now under fire.

We demand an immediate end to the war!

Anna Matveyeva

Alexei Shestakov

Valery Kislov

Victor Lapitsky

Alexander Chernoglazov

Timofei Petukhov

Anastasia Zakharevich

Elena Dunayevskaya

Mikhail Shestakov

Catherine Perrel

Paul Lequesne

Olga Grinkrug

Maria Brusovani

Sergei Zenkin

Oksana Yakimenko

Natalya Mavlevich

Natalia Mazur

Elena Berezina

Vladimir Petrov

Vitaly Nuriyev

Mark Grinberg

Olga Varshaver

Sergei Ryndin

Alla Smirnnova

Vera Milchina

Marina Bendet

Source: 1,425 translators had signed the petition as of 6:51 p.m. GMT on March 1, 2022. Thanks to The Village for its complete list of Russian anti-war petitions. Translated by Thomas H. Campbell, a professional Russian-to-English translator and the editor of this website and its sister publication, Chtodelat News (2008-2013) for the last fifteen years. During that time I have logged 2,813 entries, most of them translations of Russian-language traditional media and social media articles and commentary on grassroots political resistance, social and labor movements, alternative culture, and protests in Russia and the post-Soviet world.

3 thoughts on “Translators Against Russia’s Invasion of Ukraine

  1. Glad to see that you’re not being fooled by the Russian authorities. My thoughts are with Ukraine and also with Russians like you, that are also victims. Stop war. Stay strong there!

  2. I admire your courage.
    Please hold on!
    Tell your people what‘s really going on in the Ukraine, this poor country, that is bombed and destroyed by your troops.
    Your leader even warned us, he would use nukes, if anyone would help the Ukraine.
    In the west, no one wants a third world war, so Ukraine fights alone.
    Please help them!
    Putin, and with him Russia, is responsible for this horrible war and the murder of civilians. Ukrainian children died. Putin is a liar and a killer.
    All our sanctions are not directed on you.
    All european countries hope, that they can be ended soon – when there is peace for the Ukraine.
    I really wish the best for all Russians, who want to end this terrible and unjust war.

  3. Herr Putin is the new “Hitler” of the world.

    Russia is now a clone of North Korea. It’s a secret society where no-one opposing Herr Putin can express themselves without been jailed or even worse. People of Russia stop being blinded & fooled by your state media & look further afield to see the real truth. Putin is flattening Ukraine like he flattened Syria with unguided missiles, cluster bombs & banned vacuum bombs. He is committing genocide in Ukraine & the blood of the innocent victims men, women, & children will stain Russia’s conscience for ever. Pity Putin hasn’t got a conscience or soul but is a replica of “Satan” on the world at this present time. To all the “Russians that are standing up to him, you are treasured & your voice will win in the end. To those staying silent you are complicit to his crimes during this war & WAR it is. And a War criminal is “He” the new Hitler of the world. Putin, in the end you will implode.

    I concur with everything the other two contributors have put in print.

    PS. I’m not forgetting either the innocent men women & children he killed in Syria either with his barbaric weapons “Barrel Bombs” as well as (bombs already mentioned above) he dropped on homes, schools & hospitals there. Picture Syria in the aftermath of that war…that is, what he is presently doing in Ukraine. Shame on him & his cronies & state media machine for lying to you, the Russian people.

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