Illustration photo – Russian President Vladimir Putin in Moscow on October 9, 2023.
Prague – Ukraine does not exist for Vladimir Putin, a Russian artist and activist said in an interview with ČTK Anton Litvin, who has been living in the Czech Republic for eight years. According to Litvin, the Russian president, like Vladimir Lenin once, “thinks that Ukraine is not an independent state and Ukrainians are not a separate nation, but only a kind of branch of the Russians”.
When the war in Ukraine began almost a year ago, Litvin said of Putin that he behaves like “a terrorist and a rapist who wants Ukraine to love him, but she doesn't like him, so he wants to rape Ukraine.” He wants to be a tsar, an emperor, says an activist about the Russian president today. According to him, Putin wants to show who is the master in Ukraine. “Where did it go? What has Russia already done? I think Putin will want to continue the war until his death,” he adds.
What is clear according to Litvin is that the Russian regime did not expect the war in the neighboring country to last so long. “They wanted to hold a victory parade in Moscow last year on May 9, in honor of the second victory over the fascists. They did not succeed. The Ukrainian army is strong. They are fighting for the independence of their country and for freedom. And we stand by them,” said Litvin.
Russians in the Czech Republic, who are not indifferent to the lives of Ukrainians, have been organizing a large number of political and civic events throughout the year. They are also trying to send money to Ukraine, as well as generators and other necessary things.
“We also organize various educational and cultural events for Ukrainian children and women. Tutoring in several subjects. They are mostly here without fathers, without friends. We try to help them integrate into Czech schools. In cooperation with the Faculty of Arts of Charles University and the Boris Němcov Academic Center we also organize Czech language courses for Ukrainian women,” calculates Litvin.
“In the beginning it was a shock, but today when we see how the whole world is helping, we also want to show that Russians living here together as Europeans, but also the whole world stands by the side of Ukrainians,” adds the Russian artist, who in the past in the Czech Republic organized several events in support of political prisoners in Russia and Belarus.
According to him, only once recently has it happened to him that Ukrainians have attacked him because he speaks Russian. “There were about eight of us and we were in a Ukrainian restaurant where we had a meeting of the Prague anti-war committee. We spoke Russian and talked about the events we were going to organize. There were three Ukrainian girls sitting next to us who turned to us and asked why we speak Russian, what are we doing here, that we are in a Ukrainian restaurant and that there is a war,” says a Russian activist who comes from Moscow.
“I understand their reaction, it's normal. But the owner of the restaurant stood up for us, who knows me and who explained to them who we are. I go to that restaurant about once a week because they cook well there. And its owner is also great,” adds Litvin.
According to him, Putin has been serving war since the beginning as a conflict in which Russia is not fighting Ukraine, but the whole world. And when it comes to support from the Russian public, political scientists say that around 20 percent of Russians are against the war, while 80 percent support Putin's policies, Litvin said. March, from April, we'll see. Nobody knows what will happen. The newly elected Czech President Petr Pavel says that the war will last this year, but then it could end. So let's try to trust him, he's a general,” he concludes.