UKRAINE: EUROPEAN AND INTERNATIONAL WRITERS AGAINST WAR AND VIOLENCE
2022 February 25 d.
We condemn Putin’s crimes against democracy and humanity
Today’s violent attack by the Russian government on Ukraine is a war against all democracies, our values, our convictions of peace, freedom and human rights.
Russian President Putin’s despicable war attacks in Ukraine massively violate the democratic freedom won in many states in Eastern Europe after 1989.
Putin, who called the dissolution of the totalitarian Soviet Union a “tragedy”, aims to destabilise Europe. The military offense on Ukraine on 24 of February 2022 with Russian troops is thus an attack on peace and all democratic values in Europe.
“The bloodshed must be stopped. The people of Ukraine and our fellow writers must be supported at this difficult time”, demands Arno Jundze, Chair of the Latvian Writers’ Union in Riga. “What is happening in Ukraine is a threat to democracy throughout Europe. If the war in Ukraine is not stopped, it will be a sign that the aggressor can do whatever he wants throughout Eastern Europe.”
Already over 1.5 million people have been forced to leave their homes in Donetsk and Luhansk. The belligerent measures are expected to force another 5 million Ukrainians to leave the country if Russia continues to invade. Putin’s recognition of the Donetsk and Luhansk People’s Republics could also be only the beginning of a larger, anti-European trend of Russian violent action to conquer more former Soviet territories: The Baltic states see the presence of Russian troops in Belarus as a threat, above all because of the so-called “Suwalki Gap”. This term refers to the 100-kilometre-long border area between Poland and Lithuania, which is framed by the Russian exclave of Kaliningrad and Belarus. Because it is the only land connection between the three Baltic States and the other NATO members, it is feared that Russia could capture the gap in the event of a military conflict, thus isolating the Baltic from the rest of the NATO area. This could allow for a rapid capture of the Baltic. Lithuania, which has borders with Russia’s exclave of Kaliningrad on the Baltic Sea, has declared a state of emergency.
“The Lithuanian Writers Union stands with Ukraine and with our Ukrainian colleagues — our shared community of writers and translators. We condemn the illegal and unjustifiable Russian invasion of Ukrainian territory. We support Ukraine and will do what we can to help in difficult circumstances.”
Birutė Jonuškaitė Augustinienė, Chair, Lithuanian Writers Union.
“February 24th is Estonian Independence Day. On the very same day Ukrainians started to defend their independence against the full scale attack of the aggressor.”
Tiit Aleksejev, Chair, Estonian Writers’ Union
“The European Writers’ Council (EWC) and its 46 member organisations from 30 countries stand with their fellow writers from Ukraine”, says Nina George, President of the European Writers’ Council. “We request from the EU Member States to intervene strongly to the ongoing violence in Ukraine. We appeal to the Ministers of Culture of all EU Member States to support the Ukrainian people, our fellow writers in these difficult and life-threatening war times.”
Our solidarity is with our colleagues in Ukraine and the Ukrainian people.
Nina George, President, European Writers’ Council
Arno Jundze, Chair, Latvian Writers’ Union
Birutė Jonuškaitė Augustinienė, Chair, Lithuanian Writers Union
Tiit Aleksejev, Chair, Estonian Writers’ Union
Chairs, Presidents and writers’ and translators’ organisations supporting this joint manifesto and declare their solidarity with the Ukrainian people and our fellow Ukrainian writers and translators
Jitka Bret Srbová, Chair, The Czech Writers’ Association, Czech Republic
Nicolas Couchepin, President of the Swiss writers’ and translators’ association AdS Autrices et auteurs de Suisse Jacek Dehnel, Chair, Unia Literacka, Literary Union, Poland Kevin Doyle, Chairperson, The Irish Writers’ Union, Republic of Ireland Lena Falkenhagen, Chair Woman, Verband deutscher Schriftstellerinnen und Schriftsteller / German Writers’ Association, Germany Dr. George Farrugia, President of the Academy of Maltese (Akkademja tal-Malti), Malta Zoran Ferić, President, The Croatian Writers’ Society, Croatia Anne Sofie Hammer, Vice Chair, The Danish Authors’ Society Eystein Hanssen, Chair, Norwegian Society of Authors – Forfatterforbundet, Norway Christophe Hardy, Président, La Société des Gens de Lettres, France Joanne Harris, Chair of the Management Committee, The Society of Authors, United Kingdom Sirpa Kähkönen, President, Finnish Writers Union, Finland Tobias Kiwitt, Chair, Union of Young Authors, Germany Per Kornhall, Chair, The Swedish Association of Educational Writers, Sweden Jens J. Kramer, Chair, The German Language Crime Writers – Syndikat, Germany-Austria-Switzerland Zlatko Krilić, President, The Croatian Writers’ Organisation, Croatia Heidi Marie Kriznik, President, The Norwegian Authors’ Union, Norway Nicolae Manolescu – President, Writers’ Union of Romania Nicole Pfister Fetz, Secretary-General of the Swiss writers’ and translators’ association AdS Autrices et auteurs de Suisse
Barbara Pogačnik, ZAMP – Society of Slovenian Authors and Rightholders, Slovenia
Manuel Rico Rego, President, Spanisch Writers’ Association – Asociación Colegial de Escritores de España, Spain
Grethe Rottböll, President, Sveriges Författarförbund, The Swedish Writers’ Union, Sweden
Hannele Mikaela Taivassalo, The Society of Swedish Authors in Finland
Marion Tauschwitz, President, Society of Women Writers, Germany
Timo Tossavainen, President, The Association of Finnish Nonfiction Writers, Finland
Karl Ágúst Úlfsson, chairman of the Writers’ Union of Iceland (Rithöfundasamband Íslands)
Arne Vestbø, Secretary General, The Norwegian Non-fiction Writers and Translators Association, Norway
Maria Vlaar, Chair, Auteursbond / The Dutch Authors’ Association, The Netherlands
Shaun Whiteside, President, CEATL – European Federation of Literary Translators’ Organisations: “CEATL, the European Council of Literary Translators’ Associations, deplores the invasion of Ukraine and stands fully behind the Ukrainian people. We join the EWC in expressing solidarity with our fellow-translators and writers at this terrible time.”
Guy Stern, President, PEN Center for German Language Writers: The PEN Center for German Language Writers condemns the unprovoked and illegal Russian military invasion of Ukraine in the strongest terms. It constitutes an attack on democratic values that puts innocent civilians at risk and turns them into refugees overnight. Many of our members had first-hand experiences fleeing wars and oppression, from the Shoah to persecution under the Honecker regime in the German Democratic Republic. Today, we stand in solidarity with our fellow writers and the people of Ukraine to demand an immediate end to violent action. We request that the EU Member States and the United States intervene through economic sanctions on behalf of the Ukrainian people to protect democracy and restore peace. We will do what we can to support our shared community of writers and translators.”
James Madison Davis, Chairsperson, International Association of Crime Writers – North America: IACW/ NA JOINS EUROPEAN WRITERS COUNCIL IN CONDEMNING UKRAINE INVASION: “The IACW North America Executive Council joined this afternoon with the European Writers’ Council, the Latvian, Estonian and Lithuania Writers unions, the Irish, Writers’ Union, and writers’ organizations in Germany, Czechia, Finland, France, the United Kingdom, Sweden, Poland, Finland, Croatia, Norway, Spain, Denmark, Austria, the Netherlands, Malta, Switzerland, the Netherlands, and several other countries, in condemning in the strongest possible terms the totally unconscionable and unjustified attack upon the nation of Ukraine.
IACW/NA calls upon the leaders of the Russian Federation to cease their barbaric attempt to conquer the independent nation of Ukraine and to withdraw their military forces back to the previous internationally agreed upon borders.”
To the Statement on the official EWC website: