3.9k Share this

More than 150 senior Russian officials have signed an open letter condemning Vladimir Putin‘s invasion of Ukraine as ‘an unprecedented atrocity’ and warning of ‘catastrophic consequences’.

The deputies said they were ‘convinced’ Russian citizens do not back the war and blamed Putin ‘personally’ for ordering troops into Ukraine in an attack ‘for which there is no and cannot be justification’. 

Putin in the early hours of today gave the order to attack, delivering an extraordinary address to the Russian nation in which he declared a ‘special military operation’ to ‘de-militarise’ and ‘de-Nazify’ Ukraine in what amounted to a outright declaration of war.     

Missiles and bombs rained from the sky, tanks rolled across the border, troops parachuted down on eastern regions and explosions were seen across the country in the early hours and into the morning. 

The letter urged Russians ‘not to participate in the aggression’ and called on citizens to speak out against the invasion because ‘only massive popular condemnation can stop the war’. 

Among the letter’s signatories were Moscow deputies Elena Rusakova, Maxim Gongalsky, Andrey Morev, Elena Kotenochkina and Elena Filina as well as St Petersburg officials David Kuvaev and Polina Sizova and Veliky Novgorod deputy Anna Cherepanova.

It was a surprising step for Russian officials to speak out against Putin, who usually holds an iron grip on dissent and last week televised a meeting with Moscow’s top security chiefs in which they appeared to be railroaded into backing his plans to invade Ukraine.

More than 145 Russian municipal officials have signed an open letter condemning Vladimir Putin's 'personal' invasion of Ukraine, describing it as 'an unprecedented atrocity for which there is no and cannot be justification'

More than 145 Russian municipal officials have signed an open letter condemning Vladimir Putin's 'personal' invasion of Ukraine, describing it as 'an unprecedented atrocity for which there is no and cannot be justification'

More than 145 Russian municipal officials have signed an open letter condemning Vladimir Putin’s ‘personal’ invasion of Ukraine, describing it as ‘an unprecedented atrocity for which there is no and cannot be justification’

CCTV cameras at Belarusian-Ukrainian checkpoint Senkovka-Veselovka capture at least four Russian T-72B tanks, at least eight MT-LB tractors, and a Ural truck crossing the border

CCTV cameras at Belarusian-Ukrainian checkpoint Senkovka-Veselovka capture at least four Russian T-72B tanks, at least eight MT-LB tractors, and a Ural truck crossing the border

CCTV cameras at Belarusian-Ukrainian checkpoint Senkovka-Veselovka capture at least four Russian T-72B tanks, at least eight MT-LB tractors, and a Ural truck crossing the border

A huge explosion is seen at Vinnytsia military base, in central Ukraine, as the country comes under all-out attack by Russia

A huge explosion is seen at Vinnytsia military base, in central Ukraine, as the country comes under all-out attack by Russia

A huge explosion is seen at Vinnytsia military base, in central Ukraine, as the country comes under all-out attack by Russia

A blast in Sumy, eastern Ukraine, strikes what appears to be an arms depot which exploded, lighting up the night sky

A blast in Sumy, eastern Ukraine, strikes what appears to be an arms depot which exploded, lighting up the night sky

A blast in Sumy, eastern Ukraine, strikes what appears to be an arms depot which exploded, lighting up the night sky

The letter, which described the signatories as those ‘elected by the people’, said they ‘unreservedly condemn the attack of the Russian army on Ukraine’. 

‘This is an unprecedented atrocity for which there is no and cannot be justification. The decision to attack was made personally by Russian President Vladimir Putin. We are convinced that the citizens of Russia did not give him such a mandate.’

The letter warned of ‘catastrophic consequences’ – ‘Thousands of people will die, be injured and maimed, cities dear to many Russians will be destroyed.’

It said Russia would face ‘the condemnation of the world community’ resulting in ‘isolation, rising prices and poverty’. 

‘Hopes for a good life in Russia are crumbling before our eyes,’ the letter added.

‘We urge you not to participate in the aggression and not to approve of it. Please don’t be silent: only massive popular condemnation can stop the war.’

It comes after heartbreaking images emerged from Ukraine showing bloodied civilians staggering through the streets of towns in the east of the country following Russian shelling in the early hours of today. 

Other civilians were also injured and some others are believed to have died, though numbers of those hurt were not yet confirmed. 

The Russian Defense Ministry said it was not targeting cities, but using precision weapons and claimed that ‘there is no threat to civilian population.’

Yet Luhansk, Sumy, Kharkiv and Chernihiv in the east of Ukraine all reported coming under attack, with blasts also reported in the west – in Zhytomyr and Lviv, close to the border with Poland.

Meanwhile pro-Russian rebel forces pushed out from the occupied Donbass region, capturing two villages and appalling video from Uman, Cherkassy region, central Ukraine, showed the moment a shell hit a cyclists riding by.  

A wounded woman is seen on the streets of Kharkiv in Ukraine after airstrikes hit an apartment complex

A wounded woman is seen on the streets of Kharkiv in Ukraine after airstrikes hit an apartment complex

A wounded woman is seen on the streets of Kharkiv in Ukraine after airstrikes hit an apartment complex

An injured man stands by an emergency vehicle after bombings on the eastern Ukraine town of Chuguiv on February 24

An injured man stands by an emergency vehicle after bombings on the eastern Ukraine town of Chuguiv on February 24

An injured man stands by an emergency vehicle after bombings on the eastern Ukraine town of Chuguiv on February 24

A wounded man is helped by Ukrainian security forces after an airstrike hit an apartment complex in Kharkiv

A wounded man is helped by Ukrainian security forces after an airstrike hit an apartment complex in Kharkiv

A wounded man is helped by Ukrainian security forces after an airstrike hit an apartment complex in Kharkiv 

Emergency unit staff treat an injured man after bombings on the eastern Ukraine town of Chuguiv on February 24

Emergency unit staff treat an injured man after bombings on the eastern Ukraine town of Chuguiv on February 24

Emergency unit staff treat an injured man after bombings on the eastern Ukraine town of Chuguiv on February 24

Ukrainian security forces accompany a wounded man after an airstrike hit an apartment complex in Chuhuiv, Kharkiv, this morning

Ukrainian security forces accompany a wounded man after an airstrike hit an apartment complex in Chuhuiv, Kharkiv, this morning

Ukrainian security forces accompany a wounded man after an airstrike hit an apartment complex in Chuhuiv, Kharkiv, this morning

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, in an address to the nation on Thursday morning, said the history of Ukraine has now changed forever and that Russia has ’embarked on a path of evil’ – comparing the Russian attack to Hitler’s forces in World War Two. But he vowed to fight back, saying the military has already inflicted ‘serious losses’ on Russia. 

He called on all Ukrainian citizens willing to defend their homeland to step forward, saying guns will be issued to everyone who wants one. He also asked for civilians to give blood to help wounded troops. And he asked world leaders to impose the ‘harshest sanctions possible’ on Putin. 

Underlining the gravity of the moment, Ukrainian Interior Ministry advisor Anton Herashchenko said: ‘Starting today, the world has a new geopolitical reality. Either Ukraine and the world will stop the new Hitler now, or there will be a Third World War.’ 

Western leaders lined up to condemn Russia’s actions in the early hours, with security councils convened the world over to mount a response. Heavy sanctions are expected to follow, along with more shipments of military equipment to Ukraine – provided they can find a route in.

But NATO and the US have made it clear that no troops will be sent, leaving Ukraine’s military – far the inferior of Russia – to hold off the assault alone. Few expect it to emerge victorious from what is almost certain to be a prolonged, bloody, and vicious war.  

Source: Daily Mail

3.9k Share this
You May Also Like

Man, 64, finds full three siblings on Long Lost Family: Born Without Trace

This is the tear-jerking moment a man who was abandoned as a baby…

Senior executive who claimed to be ‘hypersensitive’ to Wifi loses disability discrimination tribunal

Senior executive at health supplement firm who claimed to be ‘hypersensitive’ to…

Gang of thieves who blew up 18 ATMs in £100,000 raids and stole 10 trophies are jailed for 75 years

A gang of professional thieves who blew up ATMs and stole ten…

RICHARD LITTLEJOHN: Ignore the killjoys – let’s have a right royal knees-up for the Platinum Jubilee

Within about five minutes of the first lockdown coming into force, councils…

‘I’m Hopeful’ Kamala Harris Will Be ‘the Next President’

California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) said Thursday that he is “hopeful” Vice…

Iris Law flashes her washboard abs in a chic black corset top and skirt co-ord in Cannes

Iris Law and Sharon Stone turned heads as they arrived at the screening…

Palliative care nurse reveals the one type of person who struggles the most in their dying days

Palliative care nurse reveals the one type of person who struggles the…

Active shooter on the loose at Texas elementary school as campus is plunged into lockdown

BREAKING NEWS: At least one person shot at Texas elementary school and…