Kharkiv citizens’ appeal to the International Community:
We speak on behalf of nearly two million Kharkiv people. Kharkiv is the second largest city in Ukraine, a hub of culture, education and technology.As well as the rest of Ukraine our city is a multiethnic and multiconfessional community. Here you can meet people speaking Russian (the most common language in any Eastern Ukrainian city), Ukrainian (it is Ukraine after all), Vietnamese (Kharkiv has its own little Vietnam), Dari (there are a lot of people from Afghanistan as well), Hebrew and Yiddish (a large Jewish community has lived in Kharkiv for a long time), Armenian, Georgian, Uzbek, Tajik, Mandarin, Cantonese, and many other languages. Our city has Orthodox churches and a Catholic church, a synagogue, a mosque and a pagoda. And we are proud to have here all this diversity.
Regardless of origin, mother tongue and religion, we tolerate and respect other people’s cultures. There are many Russian people in Kharkiv, Russian by language, origin and culture. However, being of Russian ethnicity is not at all the same as being a national of Russia. We are Russian speaking nationals of a sovereign and independent state — that is Ukraine. And we are willing to keep it this way. We do not want to meddle with internal affairs of any country, including Russia, and we see Russian actions within Ukrainian borders as aggression, an unjustified intrusion into our internal affairs.
We love our country. We support Ukrainian national interests. We strive to redevelop our country on principles of democracy and the rule of law. We unequivocally reject xenophobia and fascism of any kind.
These times are not easy for Ukraine. While we support our newborn democracy, Russia has shown disrespect of a number of international agreements, defied its obligations to protect Ukrainian territorial integrity and dishonorably anschlussed Crimea which is a part of Ukraine. Such aggression threatens not only our fellow countrymen but fundamental principles of democracy and the international law as well. It is not just some local troubles, it is a challenge to the entire civilized world.
We are asking you to support Ukraine and help us stop the Russian aggression.
We are asking you to support economic sanctions against Russia and boycott any Russian goods. Martin Luther King once said: “I have a dream.” And he changed the world. Now we say: “We have a dream.” We want to make our country better.
Please, hear our voices! Ukraine is a European nation and a nation that is united against any foreign intrusion. And say with us:
NO aggression! NO war!