From a citizen of the Russian Federation

Kirienko Olga Valentinovna

To a citizen of the Russian Federation 

Putin Vladimir  Vladimirovich

Open letter

Mr. Putin, I am an ordinary citizen of the Russian Federation, who has provided for you my taxes for many years, and I am writing to you as a person to whom you are subordinated.

In my understanding, the whole point of the position that you have occupied for such an indecently long time is to ensure the safety and quality of life for people like me - young people with education, with a profession that allows to feel an integral part of the global community, with a desire to develop and build a strong future for ourchildren.

I personally never voted for you, because the level of your managerial competencies had always seemed doubtful to me, and previous work experience had been clearly insufficient for such a strategic position as the president of the country. Narrowness and inertia of thinking would never allow you to become a truly successful leader of the future. And most importantly, you had never given me the impression of a decent person.

Since 2012, you have usurped the power in our country, having carried out a scam with the so-called ‘castling’. I was an active participant in almost all the protests of that time. I saw how many of us went out to the streets dissenting and unprepared to swallow your insulting deceit. 

But the majority of the population then remained silent. And people like me had to shut up. It became more dangerous to speak every year. You deliberately began to incite hatred in the society. You substituted yourmissing modern competencies with the archaic hatred.

In 2014, having occupied Crimea and invaded Eastern Ukraine, you bound the entire population of Russia with hatred and blood. Overnight, a huge proportion of my compatriots turned into invaders, reveling in the robbery of the neighbor.

In 2018, I took my daughter away from Russia forever, because in my homeland I could not find a single school where she wouldn’t be taught that robbing neighbors was good and even honorable. It didn't meet my moral standards.

My personal values - human rights, freedom of speech, respect for any minorities, cosmopolitanism - in the fourth decade of my life, suddenly made me an outlaw in Russia. I did not accept the occupation of Crimea by the Russian troops and the gangster joy of my compatriots about it. And the only thing I, an ordinary woman, could do was to take my family to another country. It is important for me that my children do not grow up in a society where attacks on neighbors are the norm. And it is important for me to be able to speak openly about it.

After Russia's perfidious invasion of Ukraine on February 24, 2022, the citizenship of the Russian Federation ceased to be just inconvenient for me, it turned into a shameful stigma. The stigma of murderers, rapists, robbers and those who are silent about it.

My mother is Russian. Her family has lived in Pereslavl-Zalessky since at least the 17th century (what could be more Russian?!). Our family included monastery peasants, kvass brewers, merchants, tavern owners, artisans, journalists and teachers. There are many of us now - the descendants of this Russian family, all with higher education, successful in their professions, and all left Russia with their children.

My father is Ukrainian. His parents did not speak Russian until they were quite mature. Most of my grandfather's family was starved to death on Stalin's orders in 1933 for being too independent. Today, my grandfather's native village is occupied by the Russian troops.

Unlike you, I know history well, and not only from textbooks, but also from the events within my own family. It is all the more terrible for me to watch the attempts of you and your accomplices to justify their selfish atrocities with supposedly historical right. You will not find excuses neither in the past, nor in the present or the future. The only reason for a condescension towards you can be the fact that your own parents seemed to fail to take care of you and did not instill in you either honor or morality.

And I am, first of all, a mother and should think about the future of my children. I want them to live in a world where they will not be told whom and how to love, with whom to sleep, what to believe in, and most importantly, in a world where bloodthirsty grandfathers will not demand from them to kill and die.

Unlike you, I am responsible for my culture, which my parents so generously passed on to me, and theirs to them. And I'm not ready to let you stain our values with your bloody hands. The Russian culture is my grandfather, who came to Berlin in 1945 as an unarmed war correspondent, and never in his life would have said “we can repeat it.” The Russian culture is my mother, a schoolteacher who, unlike many of her colleagues, did not forge votes for you in the elections. The Russian culture is me!

You are a Russian savage, whom we failed to muzzle on time. Your regime is unworthy of citizens like me and my family. You do not know how to interact with people like us. You are afraid of us because we are not afraid of you.

The main purpose of this open letter is to notify you of my withdrawal from the citizenship of the Russian Federation.

The Russian system is designed in such a way that, as a standard procedure, it is impossible to withdraw from your citizenship without visiting the territory of Russia. My safety on the territory of Russia now cannot be guaranteed by anyone. Therefore, I am notifying you directly. If you are rewriting the Constitution so easily, then you can make some changes in the procedure for renunciation of citizenship. The Constitution you have spoiled has ceased to suit me. I terminate the contract with your state.

The status of an apatride at the moment will be less traumatic for me than the status of a citizen of the Russian Federation.

Any taxes that the Russian Federation will accrue in my name, I will transfer to support the Army of Ukraine. I will wait for the victory of Ukraine and the entire civilized world over your wild horde.

Kirienko Olga Valentinovna

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