I woke up this morning and the world has changed during last night. Without a reason Russia has attacked an other sovereign country. They fooled the rest of the world for weeks. They have been not only lying to the world but also to their own people. A fake propaganda has been indoctrinating all inhabitants of Russia in a way that today 96% of the russian population is supporting this war.
The first time I visited Russia I was 17 years old. In my senior year of high school we did a two weeks trip to Moscow and St. Petersburg. What a wonderful country and nice people friendly and very polite. I felt home and welcome. In the last years I have been several times in Russia to support my colleges to develop the market for our automation business, visited exhibitions and met a lot of customers. I always enjoyed these trips and meetings.
And now this situation. My first reaction has been I will never want to have any contact with any Russian. The trust and good spirit is totally lost. Today, I can understand why, when I lived for 15 years in Belgium, some older people did have sometimes issues in talking to me as we Germans have done the same things during the second world war. We did send troops into Belgium and big parts of Europe. Of course this has been a long time before I have been born but people did not forget. The same we will see in the future for my generation but also the 2-3 generations after me, e.g. my kids (19 and 22 years old) that fully realize today what a raid war means. How long will it take them to forgive Russia and build trust again.
Its clear to me, after the first shock, that even if the people have been manipulated to believe with 96% (if that is not even a fake number spreaded for propaganda) that Russia has the right to conquer the Ukraine, the majority of Russian people do not want to have any war. It is the political system with Dictator Putin at the top that is guilty for this disaster.
I am having troubles to explain my daughters the situation and I have no answer to their question: “What to do to end the war before things further escalate?”. And this are the worst things to me, I am feeling powerless and even helpless not being able to change the situation.
My message to Mr. Putin: “Please understand what you are doing to all the young people on earth. Stop it now, talk as an adult to the leaders of the rest of the world and restore peace and work on gaining trust again. Your people and all other young and old people in the world will have the highest respect for you and Russia.”
Peace, freedom, democracy and respect for other people are the highest values in life. I wish we will have this situation back in Europe soon.