“The Ukrainian Garrison in Mariupol can Still be Saved”: Urgent Address to European Leaders

Ukrainian human rights defenders, former dissidents and scholars call European leaders to act now. Read the appeal.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan,
German Chancellor Olaf Scholz,
President of France Emmanuel Macron,
Federal Council of Switzerland

Highly respected leaders!

We, Ukrainian scholars, human rights defenders, former dissidents who survived the extraordinary pressure of the totalitarian system, appeal to you, political leaders, who are empowered to help Ukraine and its heroes.

The Ukrainian garrison in Mariupol is completely surrounded by a disproportionate number of Russian troops.

For more than 70 days, the military, as well as civilians who had no chance to survive the occupation, remain in the shelter of the Azovstal plant. Without access to water, food, medicine. The military cannot stockpile weapons. They are bombarded from the air, sea, land. Fights don’t stop for an hour.

The battle for Mariupol is the Ukrainian Thermopylae.

But we live in the humanistic 21st century, and it is our duty, the duty of the entire civilized world to save 300 Spartans of Ukraine. Their children, wives, and mothers will not forgive us all for our inaction.

The history of world wars knows many examples when the parties showed goodwill and allowed the military to leave the encirclement. Unfortunately, Ukraine’s diplomatic resource is not enough for such agreements.

We encourage you, highly distinguished leaders, to act as a third party in the extraction procedure. History will not forget your efforts. The Ukrainian nation will thank you for ever.

The Ukrainian garrison in Mariupol can still be saved. But the time is measured now in hours.

With respect,

First December Initiative Group:

  • Ola Hnatiuk
  • Ihor Kozlovsky
  • Myroslav Marynovych
  • Yaroslav Yatskiv
  • Volodymyr Yermolenko
  • Ihor Yukhnovskyj
  • Yevhen Zakharov
  • Yosyf Zisels

The First December Initiative Group is a group of Ukrainian human rights defenders and intellectuals, including some former Ukrainian dissidents of the Soviet regime.

See also

In Ukraine, the Pressing Commitment of International Law

International law sometimes seems to be a forgotten authority among commentators of the Russian war against Ukraine. Often...

Beyond the “negotiations”, a long war

Is the timid opening in the negotiations between Ukraine and Russia on March 29 in Istanbul a "positive...

Most read

The Great Russian Pretence

The Russian propaganda discourse resonates with certain conservatives. Our author looks at the way in which, far from defending a European “civilization”, the Putin regime has transformed into an “eschatological sect”.

When Soft Power Turns Hard

The Ukrainian political scientist calls on the West to be lucid, because Russian propagandists are using culture to give a more “humane” image to the genocidal barbarity of the Putin regime.