Donetsk businessman Serhiy Taruta appealed to Ukrainians to unite under threat of Russian occupation.
His open letter was published by Ukrainska Pravda on March 1.
“Dear compatriots, I’m appealing to you not as the Chairman of the Board of Directors of the ISD Corporation, but as a Russian-speaking citizen of Ukraine and as a resident of Donbas who has both Russian and Ukrainian blood,” he writes.
“I urge all who cherish Ukraine and its future, whose heart is breaking at today’s news, to unite all your efforts to protect the integrity of our country. I’m sure that everyone understands that the decisions taken in Moscow could lead to a division of our country and a long civil conflict with many casualties,” he says.
For Taruta, the deployment of Russian troops on the territory of Ukraine can only be viewed as the “military occupation of a peaceful territory.”
“Do I need to explain how all this will end for us?” he asks. “I think not. We simply will lose everything. Everything that we have built and invested in our country over the past 23 years of independence will be destroyed — if not by fire, then through economic collapse. We must defend Ukraine. Yes, imperfect. Yes, multilingual. But ours!”
Taruta also urged Ukrainian businessmen, citizens and politicians to unite.
“Today we are all Ukrainians. We are all under our one national flag. It is time to settle scores with each other. Later on we’ll be able to work out how to continue to live as a large family. Today we must defend our country with everything that we have. Because if we do not join forces today, there may not be a tomorrow,” he concluded.
Translated by Anna Mostovych, edited by Robin Rohrback