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  • Open letter from European journalists, media associations to Russian journalists, who are engaged in war propaganda

    Open let­ter from Euro­pean jour­nal­ists, media asso­ci­a­tions to Russ­ian jour­nal­ists, who are engaged in war pro­pa­gan­da

    You, the employ­ees of the Russ­ian media, are clear­ly and direct­ly respon­si­ble for one more war start­ed by the Putin’s regime. For many years you ignored an impor­tant pos­tu­late of jour­nal­ism — ver­i­fi­ca­tion of infor­ma­tion. You broad­cast lies from Krem­lin and esca­late its degree by arrang­ing long-run­ning pseu­do-dis­cus­sions, while not allow­ing any dis­sent in essence. You lied to Rus­sians about the Russ­ian inva­sion of Geor­gia in 2008; the ille­gal and ille­git­i­mate “ref­er­en­dum” in Crimea in 2014 was pre­sent­ed by you, accord­ing to Krem­lin guides as a “tri­umph of the people’s will”; and now the audi­ence hears from you about the Nazis, who exist only in the man­ic mind of one per­ish­able, cow­ard­ly lit­tle man who has locked him­self in a deep bunker even from his accom­plices. The non­sense and ver­biage of not always lit­er­al­ly sober and ade­quate pro-gov­ern­ment speak­ers was pre­sent­ed by you as the ulti­mate truth. Now the blood of chil­dren and elders of Ukraine, the crip­pled fate of besot­ted Russ­ian sol­diers is on your con­science.

    It’s true, Putin’s regime is cru­el. Yes, not every­one will have guts to speak the truth in front of micro­phones and tele­vi­sion cam­eras. But there is always the oppor­tu­ni­ty to refuse — not even to quit the job but just not to give out lies pub­licly. Do not pick up pieces of paper with “news” forged by Krem­lin — at which the sane peo­ple of the whole plan­et loud­ly laugh. When sol­i­dar­i­ty wins, the regime will not be capa­ble of find­ing rats for this dirty and mur­der­ous job.

    Moment of truth is today. Putin’s clique, which shred­ded the Con­sti­tu­tion numer­ous times for the sake of retain­ing pow­er, destroyed the coun­try’s econ­o­my. You now are the direct accom­plices and sup­port­ers of this crim­i­nal regime. Please do not waste your time on futile talk shows and lengthy sto­ries a la “how can we avoid sanc­tions.” Speak tru­ly – tell the rea­sons why these sanc­tions are intro­duced. Should you lack courage — again, step aside: take sick leave, go on vaca­tion, take unpaid leave. In a cou­ple of weeks, peo­ple who are left with­out infor­ma­tion dope, alone with emp­ty shelves, will draw the prop­er con­clu­sions them­selves. Once again — today there is still a win­dow to get out of this trap into which you have wit­ting­ly or unwit­ting­ly, fell.
    Per­haps you may lose your job, per­haps you may have a mort­gage, but con­sid­er — if the coun­try changes — your pro­fes­sion will sur­vive, but if not — what do you need mort­gage apart­ment for if you can­not then buy nei­ther wall­pa­per, nor tile, nor a faucet to the kitchen? And you run the risk of becom­ing for many years rep­re­sen­ta­tives of the last gen­er­a­tion of Rus­sians who freely trav­elled abroad or acquired a good car.

    To stop work­ing for Putin’s pro­pa­gan­da now means avoid­ing crim­i­nal pros­e­cu­tion. Cur­rent Russ­ian laws, although adopt­ed by the Putin’s regime, make it quite pos­si­ble to con­demn any­one who con­tributed to the spread of lies from the Krem­lin for pro­mot­ing an aggres­sive war. In addi­tion, the inves­ti­ga­tion of crimes of the Russ­ian mil­i­tary in Ukraine has been already com­menced by the Inter­na­tion­al Crim­i­nal Court in Hague. Cap­tured Russ­ian sol­diers are already tes­ti­fy­ing that they were deceived by their com­man­ders, as well as by Russ­ian tele­vi­sion and radio — and this will be enough rea­son to ini­ti­ate crim­i­nal cas­es against any­one who will be flagged on the air and in the press with false reports from war­mon­gers.

    The mon­i­tor­ing starts at 00:00 on the day fol­low­ing this man­i­fest is pub­lished. And the names of those who con­tin­ue to flood Rus­sia with streams of fakes will be repli­cat­ed in the world’s lead­ing media.

    Mar­gari­ta Simonyan, for exam­ple, will soon be put on the inter­na­tion­al want­ed list. She is the first, but not the last. Human­i­ty will ful­ly repay those who have for­got­ten the lessons of WWII. Main one is the com­pli­ance with unleash­ing the war and killing civil­ians — the worst crime. And a ter­ri­ble sin — if words about faith are still able to touch your souls.
    Let us remind you of the fate of Hans Fritsche — the head of the Impe­r­i­al Radio of the Third Reich. He was sen­tenced to 9 years in prison — just for par­tic­i­pat­ing in the Nazi pro­pa­gan­da machine. And he died in soli­tary con­fine­ment.

    Think about it, if your mind has­n’t left you yet — your supe­ri­ors, when giv­ing orders to pub­lish lies, do not do it in writ­ten form. And when the time of reck­on­ing comes, they will declare, in order to mit­i­gate their fate, that you did all this of your own free will. You will be betrayed. The way Russ­ian gen­er­als betray their sol­diers and offi­cers, leav­ing them half-naked and hun­gry to the mer­cy of fate. And along with crim­i­nal cas­es and harsh sen­tences, you will also be addressed to the claims of thou­sands of rel­a­tives of those who died in Ukraine from Russ­ian shells and bombs. And your mort­gage apart­ments are def­i­nite­ly not enough to pay them off. Do not turn your life, the life of your par­ents and chil­dren, the life of all Rus­sians into Hell! Get off this crazy carousel of hypocrisy, mean­ness and deceit. Leave the sin­gle crim­i­nal alone — in fear of immi­nent ret­ri­bu­tion. 

    Right now. Tomor­row may be too late!

    Andrei Bas­tunets
    Chair­man of the Belaru­sian Asso­ci­a­tion of Jour­nal­ists

    Helle Tiik­maa
    Pres­i­dent of Eston­ian Asso­ci­a­tion of Jour­nal­ists

    Dr. Wolf­gang Ress­mann, 
    Chair­man of  Nation­al board of pub­lic access chan­nels (bvbm), Ger­many, 
    Orga­niz­er Medi­a­di­a­logue, Lud­wigshafen, Ger­many

    Imants Liepiņš
    Mem­ber of the board of the Lat­vian Union of Jour­nal­ists

    Ilja Kozins 
    Chair of the board of the Lat­vian Asso­ci­a­tion of Jour­nal­ists

     Dainius Radze­vičius
    Chair­man of Lithuan­ian Jour­nal­ists union

    Krzysztof Skowrońs­ki 
    Chair­man of Pol­ish Asso­ci­a­tion of Jour­nal­ists

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