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(who will thus not be able to contribute to research and be recognized by the international scholarly community) will not be published in the languages of the peoples of the world.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.

No Tulips and No Fear: International Women’s Day in Petersburg


“March 8. I Choose Feminism.” Banner courtesy of the VK event page for the International Women’s Day rally in Petersburg

Russian Socialist Movement
May 9, 2018

No Tulips and No Fear: March 8 in Petersburg
International Women’s Day in Petersburg. Unlike last year, this year’s rally was cleared with the authorities. It attracted several hundred women and men, and touched on all aspects of gender inequality, from discrimination in paying women’s labor, harassment, and domestic violence to attempts criminalize abortion. Female socialists from the Russian Socialist Movement (RSD) in Petersburg and other leftist organizations played an important role in organizing the event, assembling a coalition of women from various women’s pressure groups. Despite the fact that Russian women today are not in the mood for fun, those who attended the rally sang (the songs included the first performance of RSD activist Kirill Medvedev’s Russian translation of “L’hymne des femmes”), laughed, and chanted slogans. A samba band played, and there were many striking, creative slogans. After the rally, around two hundred people took part in an improvised stroll down Nevsky Prospect. The marchers sang protest ditties accompanied by an accordion, and unfurled scarves and plaid throws emblazoned with anti-sexist slogans.

Photos courtesy of Moi Rayon, LeftFem, and Marx Was Right.

#marcheighth #feminism #leftists

29026030_189873954952831_306116518347800576_n.jpg“Putin is no friend to women.”

28958936_189873331619560_3156760705831534592_n“Bread and Roses”


“A woman has two choices: either she’s a feminist or a masochist. — Gloria Steinem”

28870464_189875584952668_571633668624220160_nMarching down Nevsky Prospect


Hymne du MLF (“L’hymne des femmes”)
sur l’air du Chant des marais

Nous, qui sommes sans passé, les femmes,
Nous qui n’avons pas d’histoire,
Depuis la nuit des temps, les femmes,
Nous sommes le continent noir.

Debout femmes esclaves
Et brisons nos entraves
Debout! debout!

Asservies, humiliées, les femmes,
Achetées, vendues, violées,
Dans toutes les maisons, les femmes,
Hors du monde reléguées.


Seule dans notre malheur, les femmes,
L’une de l’autre ignorée,
Ils nous ont divisées, les femmes,
Et de nos sœurs séparées.


Reconnaissons-nous, les femmes,
Parlons-nous, regardons-nous,
Ensemble on nous opprime, les femmes,
Ensemble révoltons-nous.


Le temps de la colère, les femmes,
Notre temps est arrivé,
Connaissons notre force, les femmes,
Découvrons-nous des milliers.

Russian Translation by Kirill Medvedev

Нет у нас прошлого, женщины.
Нет у нас истории, нет.
В темное время, женщины,
Мы как черный континент

Рабыни, восставайте
И цепи разбивайте.
Вперед, вперед

Куплены, проданы женщины.
Загнаны, изнасилованы,
Заперты дома женщины,
Прочь из мира изгнаны.

Рабыни, восставайте
И цепи разбивайте.

В чем наше горе, женщины?
Каждая сама по себе.
Нас разделяют, женщины.
Не поможет сестра сестре.

Подруги, восставайте
И цепи разбивайте

Встанем же рядом, женщины.
Будем всем видны и слышны.
Вместе страдаем, женщины.
Вместе мы восстать должны

Работницы, вставайте
И цепи разбивайте

Время для гнева, женщины
Наконец наступил наш час
Чувствуем силу, женщины,
Много нас, миллионы нас.

Рабыни, восставайте
И цепи разбивайте.