We condemn Putin’s crimes against democracy and humanity
The violent attack on 24 February by the Russian government on Ukraine is a war against all democracies, our values, our convictions of peace, freedom and human rights.
Russian President Putin’s despicable war attacks in Ukraine massively violate the democratic freedom won in many states in Eastern Europe after 1989.
Putin, who called the dissolution of the totalitarian Soviet Union a “tragedy”, aims to destabilise Europe. The military offense on Ukraine on 24 of February 2022 with Russian troops is thus an attack on peace and all democratic values in Europe.
“The bloodshed must be stopped. The people of Ukraine and our fellow writers must be supported at this difficult time”, demands Arno Jundze, Chair of the Latvian Writers’ Union in Riga. “What is happening in Ukraine is a threat to democracy throughout Europe. If the war in Ukraine is not stopped, it will be a sign that the aggressor can do whatever he wants throughout Eastern Europe.”
Already over 1.5 million people have been forced to leave their homes in Donetsk and Luhansk. The belligerent measures are expected to force another 5 million Ukrainians to leave the country if Russia continues to invade. Putin’s recognition of the Donetsk and Luhansk People’s Republics could also be only the beginning of a larger, anti-European trend of Russian violent action to conquer more former Soviet territories: The Baltic states see the presence of Russian troops in Belarus as a threat, above all because of the so-called “Suwalki Gap”. This term refers to the 100-kilometre-long border area between Poland and Lithuania, which is framed by the Russian exclave of Kaliningrad and Belarus. Because it is the only land connection between the three Baltic States and the other NATO members, it is feared that Russia could capture the gap in the event of a military conflict, thus isolating the Baltic from the rest of the NATO area. This could allow for a rapid capture of the Baltic. Lithuania, which has borders with Russia’s exclave of Kaliningrad on the Baltic Sea, has declared a state of emergency.
“The Lithuanian Writers Union stands with Ukraine and with our Ukrainian colleagues — our shared community of writers and translators. We condemn the illegal and unjustifiable Russian invasion of Ukrainian territory. We support Ukraine and will do what we can to help in difficult circumstances.”
Birutė Jonuškaitė Augustinienė, Chair, Lithuanian Writers Union.
“February 24th is Estonian Independence Day. On the very same day Ukrainians started to defend their independence against the full scale attack of the aggressor.”
Tiit Aleksejev, Chair, Estonian Writers’ Union
“The European Writers’ Council (EWC) and its 46 member organisations from 30 countries stand with their fellow writers from Ukraine”, says Nina George, President of the European Writers’ Council. “We request from the EU Member States to intervene strongly to the ongoing violence in Ukraine. We appeal to the Ministers of Culture of all EU Member States to support the Ukrainian people, our fellow writers in these difficult and life-threatening war times.”
Our solidarity is with our colleagues in Ukraine and the Ukrainian people.
Nina George, President, European Writers’ Council
Arno Jundze, Chair, Latvian Writers’ Union
Birutė Jonuškaitė Augustinienė, Chair, Lithuanian Writers Union
Tiit Aleksejev, Chair, Estonian Writers’ Union
Chairs, Presidents and writers’ and translators’ organisations supporting this joint manifesto and declare their solidarity with the Ukrainian people and our fellow Ukrainian writers and translators
- Sophie Aslanides, President of ATLF – Association des Traducteurs Littéraires de France, France
- Ana Badurina, President, Croatian Literary Translators’ Association DHKP, Croatia
- Ivan Bakovic, Chairman of Croatian Writer’s Society of Herceg-Bosnia, Bosnia-Herzegovina
- Vanessa Bertran, President, UPAD – Union Professionnelle des Auteurs de Doublage (Dubbing Writers), France
- Jitka Bret Srbová, Chair, The Czech Writers’ Association, Czech Republic
- Nicolas Couchepin, President of the Swiss writers’ and translators’ association A*dS Autrices et auteurs de Suisse
- Jacek Dehnel, Chair, Unia Literacka, Literary Union, Poland
- Kevin Doyle, Chairperson, The Irish Writers’ Union, Republic of Ireland
- Lena Falkenhagen, Chair Woman, Verband deutscher Schriftstellerinnen und Schriftsteller / German Writers’ Association, Germany
- Dr. George Farrugia, President of the Academy of Maltese (Akkademja tal-Malti), Malta
- Zoran Ferić, President, The Croatian Writers’ Society, Croatia
- Bogdan Ghiu, President, Romanian Association of Literary Translators, Romania
- Anne Sofie Hammer, Vice Chair, The Danish Authors’ Society
- Eystein Hanssen, Chair, Norwegian Society of Authors – Forfatterforbundet, Norway
- Christophe Hardy, Président, La Société des Gens de Lettres, France
- Joanne Harris, Chair of the Management Committee, The Society of Authors, United Kingdom
- Marieke Heimburger, Chairwoman, Verband deutschsprachiger Übersetzer/innen literarischer und wissenschaftlicher Werke e. V. / German Literary Translators’ Association
- Sirpa Kähkönen, President, Finnish Writers Union, Finland
- Tobias Kiwitt, Chair, Union of Young Authors, Germany
- Per Kornhall, Chair, The Swedish Association of Educational Writers, Sweden
- Jens J. Kramer, Chair, The German Language Crime Writers – Syndikat, Germany-Austria-Switzerland
- Zlatko Krilić, President, The Croatian Writers’ Organisation, Croatia
- Heidi Marie Kriznik, President, The Norwegian Authors’ Union, Norway
- José Jorge Letria, President of the Board and CEO, Portuguese Society of Authors, Portugal
- Nicolae Manolescu – President, Writers’ Union of Romania
- Dušan Merc, President of the Slovene Writers’ Association, Slovenia
- Lídia Nádori, Chair, Association of Hungarian Literary Translators, Hungary
- Bel Olid, President, AELC (Associació d’escriptors en llengua catalana)
- Tanja Petrič, President, Društvo slovenskih književnih prevajalcev (Slovenian Association of Literary Translator) (DSKP), Slovenia
- Nicole Pfister Fetz, Secretary-General of the Swiss writers’ and translators’ association A*dS Autrices et auteurs de Suisse
- Barys Piatrovich (Sachanka), Chairperson of the Community of the Belarusian Writers, Belarus
- Barbara Pogačnik, ZAMP – Society of Slovenian Authors and Rightholders, Slovenia
- Vesselina Rayjekova, President, Bulgarian Translators’ Union, Bulgaria
- Werner Richter, Chair, IGÜ – Association of Austrian Literary and Scientific Translators, Austria
- Manuel Rico Rego, President, Spanish Writers’ Association – Asociación Colegial de Escritores de España, Spain
- Grethe Rottböll, President, Sveriges Författarförbund, The Swedish Writers’ Union, Sweden
- Gerhard Ruiss, Chair, IG Autorinnen Autoren, Austria
- Hannele Mikaela Taivassalo, Chair, The Society of Swedish Authors in Finland
- Marion Tauschwitz, President, Society of Women Writers, Germany
- Timo Tossavainen, President, The Association of Finnish Nonfiction Writers, Finland
- Tanja Tuma, President, Slovene PEN, Slovenia
- Karl Ágúst Úlfsson, chairman of the Writers’ Union of Iceland (Rithöfundasamband Íslands)
- Arne Vestbø, Secretary General, The Norwegian Non-fiction Writers and Translators Association, Norway
- Eva Valvo, President, Strade – Italian Literary Translators’ Union, Italy
- Maria Vlaar, Chair, Auteursbond / The Dutch Authors’ Association, The Netherlands
(order by family name)
Federations and international organisations
- Shaun Whiteside, President, CEATL – European Federation of Literary Translators’ Organisations: “CEATL, the European Council of Literary Translators’ Associations, deplores the invasion of Ukraine and stands fully behind the Ukrainian people. We join the EWC in expressing solidarity with our fellow-translators and writers at this terrible time.”
- Guy Stern, President, PEN Center for German Language Writers: The PEN Center for German Language Writers condemns the unprovoked and illegal Russian military invasion of Ukraine in the strongest terms. It constitutes an attack on democratic values that puts innocent civilians at risk and turns them into refugees overnight. Many of our members had first-hand experiences fleeing wars and oppression, from the Shoah to persecution under the Honecker regime in the German Democratic Republic. Today, we stand in solidarity with our fellow writers and the people of Ukraine to demand an immediate end to violent action. We request that the EU Member States and the United States intervene through economic sanctions on behalf of the Ukrainian people to protect democracy and restore peace. We will do what we can to support our shared community of writers and translators.”
- James Madison Davis, Chairsperson, International Association of Crime Writers – North America: IACW/ NA JOINS EUROPEAN WRITERS COUNCIL IN CONDEMNING UKRAINE INVASION: “The IACW North America Executive Council joined this afternoon with the European Writers’ Council, the Latvian, Estonian and Lithuania Writers unions, the Irish, Writers’ Union, and writers’ organizations in Germany, Czechia, Finland, France, the United Kingdom, Sweden, Poland, Finland, Croatia, Norway, Spain, Denmark, Austria, the Netherlands, Malta, Switzerland, the Netherlands, and several other countries, in condemning in the strongest possible terms the totally unconscionable and unjustified attack upon the nation of Ukraine.
IACW/NA calls upon the leaders of the Russian Federation to cease their barbaric attempt to conquer the independent nation of Ukraine and to withdraw their military forces back to the previous internationally agreed upon borders.”
The European Writers’ Council (EWC) is the federation of 46 national organisations of writers and translators in 30 countries including the EU, as well as Belarus, Iceland, Norway, Switzerland, Turkey, and Montenegro, representing 160,000 authors, altogether writing in 31 languages.
Share this document by link: https://europeanwriterscouncil.eu/stopthewarinukraine
To the statement in Ukrainian:
To the statement in Russian:
To the statement in German:
How to support aid organisations, free media and Ukrainian refugees:
To the solidarity resolutions by the international book sector:
To the solidarity statement by the Lithuanian Writers’ Union:
To the solidarity statement by the Irish Writers’ Union:
To the solidarity statement by the German Writers’ Union VS:
To the solidarity statement by The Society of Authors, UK: https://societyofauthors.org/News/News/2022/February/We-StandWithUkraine
To the solidarity statement(s) by the A*dS – Autrices et Auteurs de Suisse:
(n German, French and Italian)
To the solidarity resolution by the Writers’ Union of Romania: https://uniuneascriitorilor.ro
To the solidarity statement by the Romanian Association of Literary Translators, Romania: https://www.artlit.ro/stiri/solidaritate-ucraina
To the solidarity statement by the Bulgarien Translators’ Union: https://www.bgtranslators.org
To the solidarity statement by STRADE, the Literary Translators Union of Italy: http://www.traduttoristrade.it/2022/ucraina-statement-ewc-ceatl/
To the solidarity statement by L’Associació d’Escriptors en Llengua Catalana (AELC) https://www.escriptors.cat/index.php/noticia/ewc-comunicat-atac-ucraina
To the joint solidarity statement by five Writers’, Illustrators’ and Translators’ Associations in Finland: https://forfattarna.fi/aktuellt/article-41988-81044-lat-lasfrid-rada-i-ukraina
Suomen Kirjailijaliitto ry – Suomen Nuorisokirjailijat ry – Finlands svenska författareförening rf – Illustratörerna i Finland rf – VaLas-kollektivet
To the open letter of solidarity by PEN International, signed by several EWC President Nina George, EWC member organisations, Chairs and over 1000 authors worldwide: https://pen-international.org/news/nobel-laureates-writers-and-artists-worldwide-condemn-russias-invasion-of-ukraine
To the solidarity statement by the Croatian Literary Translators’ Association Društvo hrvatskih književnih prevodilaca (in French and Croatien): http://dhkp.hr/home/objava/27726
To the solidarity statement of SPA, Sociedade Portuguesa de Autores, Portugal:
EWC member, the Sociedade Portuguesa de Autores, declares the solidarity (English translation:The Portuguese Society of Authors condemns the Russian violence and prepares support actionsOutraged by the critical military and political situation currentlyexperienced by the Ukrainian people, the Portuguese Society of Authors sent a message to UACRR Board, the Ukrainian Society of Authors based in Kiev, condemning the criminal actions perpetrated by Russia and announcing its full support for the Ukrainian authors in these dark times. “We hope that courage and freedom continue to enlighten your people and ensure their heroic resistance”, states the message.SPA was recently in contact with its European partners in search of effective measures to penalize Russia and also mobilise radio stations, streaming platforms and the civil society for the symbolic and solidary disclosure of Ukrainian music.In the meantime, by decision of the Board, and considering the suffering of hundreds of thousands of refugees seeking help in Europe, SPA made a donation to the Portuguese Red Cross, to be sent to Ukraine. Aware of the importance and significance of the Ukrainian community in Portugal, for the past two decades, SPA remains available to those who, as refugees, seek freedom and salvation, especially the children.For this purpose, SPA has put Casa Gião at the disposal oforganizations operating and fostering in Portugal solidarity actions with the Ukrainian people. SPA also intends to organize and promote very soon a concert in Lisbon to show Ukrainians that Europe supports them and to condemn the violence of Russia.
EWC Member Εταιρεία Συγγραφέων – Hellenic Authors Society, Greece declares as follows:
“Declaration of the Hellenic Authors’ SocietyThe Hellenic Authors’ Society declares its unequivocal opposition to the Russian invasion of Ukraine and its firm support of peace and the values of civilization, without any exception or discrimination, while at the same time expressing its unwavering support for all those who suffer from the war, and for the intellectuals, writers and artists in the war zones. The Society considers that cultural communication between peoples/nations contributes to the consolidation of peace and, consequently, opposes all types of exclusion in the realm of artistic creation, whether it involves authors, artists, works of art or artistic activities.”
The CROATIAN WRITERS ASSOCIATION HERZEG BOSNIA – MOSTAR declares:
“Horrified by the news about Russian aggression on Ukraine, and destruction of Ukrainian cities and the death of their soldiers and civilians, Croatian Writer’s Society of Herceg-Bosnia (Mostar, Bosnia and Herzegovina) supports and co-signs the statement “Ukraine, European and International Writers and Translators against War and Violence“ initiated by the European Writers’ Council. Traumatic experience of war in our recent history obligates us to solidarity with Ukrainian people experiencing hardships and we join in appeal for stopping the aggression over Ukraine. “
The declaration by the Icelandic Writers’ Union Rithöfundasambands Íslands:
The declaration by the Spanish Writers’ Union ACE – Asociación Colegial de Escritores de España:
Como presidente de la Asociación Colegial de Escritores de España, de la que forman parte, como secciones autónomas, ACE Traductores, AAT (Autoras y Autores de Teatro) y ACE Andalucía, quiero expresar, en coincidencia con el Consejo Europeo de Escritores – EWC y en nombre de la Junta Directiva de ACE y a los más de 2000 autores que la componen, nuestra solidaridad y apoyo al pueblo de Ucrania, a sus escritores, traductores y dramaturgos así como a todos sus creadores, en la dramática situación que están viviendo en estos difíciles y terribles momentos.
Así mismo, expreso la más rotunda condena de ACE a la invasión ordenada por Putin, una acción que recuerda las páginas más negras de la historia de Europa, y exigimos el inmediato alto el fuego y la retirada de las tropas. Por la libertad y la democracia, en defensa del pueblo de Ucrania y de su derecho a construir una sociedad democrática y un país independiente. Fuera las tropas de Putin de Ucrania. No a la guerra. Si a la Paz y a la democracia. Madrid, a 9 de marzo de 2022 // Junta Directiva de la Asociación Colegial de Escritores de España.
Society of Authors’ (UK) Open Letter in Support of Ukrainian Writers, also translated into Russian and Ukrainian:
To the writers, illustrators and translators of Ukraine,
The members, directors and staff of the UK Society of Authors stand with you.
As the illegal invasion of your country continues, we cannot imagine what you and your families are experiencing.
Beyond the horrors of the humanitarian crisis endured by your people, this war is an assault on the rights that underpin your lives and livelihoods: the right to think, speak, write and create freely. It is an assault on a people’s right to self-determination.
Yet Ukraine is more than its borders and land. Ukraine is its people, its rich culture – its history, its present and its future. You, as the country’s thinkers and creators and makers are at the heart of that – whether you report what is happening today, write what must happen tomorrow, or create moments of reprieve to inspire those around you through impossible times.
Create freely. Write fiercely. Share your story. The authoritarian mind is right to fear you. You have the power to counter it.
We look forward to meeting you and your work in better times. Until then, if we can help or if you want us to share your thoughts and writing, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Wherever the weeks and months ahead take you, you are in our hearts.
Read and sign: