Stop Russian men from entering Europe – they must see the horrors of the war and rebel against Putin

Instead of taking to the streets and rebelling against Putin, Russian men are sticking their tails between their legs.

The Russian population has so far been rather quiet when it comes to showing opposition to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Studies even show that a majority support for the war. Yes, I am aware that the regime is brutal and that you risk going to prison, being beaten, or poisoned if you speak out against the system. But that consequence doesn’t hold the Russians back now that the war is suddenly affecting them personally.

It amazes me that the Russian population has not previously filled the streets with demands that Putin immediately pulls its troops out of Ukraine, a sovereign and independent country. I guess, to the average Russian citizen it didn’t feel like the atrocities taking place in their neighboring country affected them personally – and so they remained silent and continued with their daily lives. In Russia, he who lives quietly, lives well.

Until now. Now Russian men and the families who part with them have to take a stance when it comes to the war their leader started. Putin wants to draw on the reserve. He says he intends to mobilize 300,000 from the reserve. He still has access to 25 million Russians if he manages to summon every single able bodied person.

There are simply too many Russians for Putin to send into war as cannon fodder.

Western journalists report mile-long queues of cars, all heading one way – out of Russia. CNN showed a graphic that made it clear that planes are taking off from Russian airports faster than you can say “hypocrisy,” while plane tickets out of the country within hours were either sold out or increased to nine times their normal price.

But what happens if Europe starts to do like Lithuania, Estonia, and Poland? These three countries have announced that they will not allow Russian men fleeing military conscription into their country – a rather stark contrast to the ever-clumsy Germany’s announcement that it will welcome Russian men.

Today, BBC reported that more victims of Russian brutality have been found in Ukraine. Several have had their throats cut, others have been raped. The victims are as young as four years old. Further, we know that Russia kidnaps children and sends them to Russia, deliberately goes after bombing schools, and has a clear strategy to target children in the Ukrainian hospitals.

Apparently, the knowledge of the war crimes we have known about for months, is not enough to mobilize the Russians to take to the street. As I said, there has been general support for the war in Russia. But that was before ordinary Russian men were called up for service, something Putin had previously said would not happen. So now, now that it affects the very ordinary Russian – now they are finally reacting.

I have previously written that Russian tourists should not be allowed to travel to European tourist destinations – while their compatriots are carrying out horrific acts of war. It shouldn’t be easy to be Russian – it should be difficult. It should be so difficult that the Russians begin to rebel against their despotic leader.

There is no point in thinking that it is enough to donate money or support the West sending military goods to bring an end to this war. There are simply too many Russians for Putin to send into war as cannon fodder. A change must take place from within. The West must assist with that help by putting pressure on Putin and the Russian population. The West should sanction free movement, apparently that is the only way to force the population to stand up – not for Ukrainians but for their sons, fathers, and brothers.

By forcing the population to stay in Russia, the West may be able to get Russians of gun-bearing age to take a stand against their regime and leadership and throw Putin out the door.

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Stop russiske mænds adgang til Europa – de skal se krigens rædsler og gøre oprør mod Putin

I stedet for at gå på gaden og gøre oprør mod Putin stikker russiske mænd halen mellem benene.

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Stop Russian tourists from strolling around in Denmark and other western countries

Denmark and the rest of Europe is at war with Russia, not just with Putin.

Several Danish politicians argue that we are not at war with Russia. It’s Putin we don’t like, not the country’s citizens, they argue. Therefore, we should not make restrictions on whether Russians can travel to Europe on holiday, they argue.

To this I just have to say: What nonsense!

“Doesn’t it shake the inner moral compass up when we with one hand financially support Ukraine to fight the Russia’s invasion, while with the other let the country´s citizens spend their rubles in the Copenhagen Magasin mall and Harrods ?

The ordinary Russian does not have the means to travel abroad. Those who travel do not speak out against the regime. If they did, their situation would look completely different. Because in Russia it is wisest not to stick your nose out and speak against the system. If you stay silent, you can live well. And although we in the West want to believe that it is only Putin who has imperialist superpower dreams, many Russians support his regime.

Secondly, some voices say it would be a good to continue to allow Russian students to study in the West. Who knows, the argument goes, maybe they’ll go back and spread the ideas of democracy they’ve been introduced to outside of their censorious, authoritarian homeland. Again, it is the children of wealthy Russians who travel abroad to study. And you have to be more than naive if you think that young Vladimir or Anastasia will go home and speak out against the system that has made it possible for their mother and father to send them away – a system that can bring their parents status down if the offspring speaks against the the system.

Either they are extremely naive or cynical when voices in the public arena argue that individual Russians should not pay a price for Putin’s madness. Especially when it is widely known that Russia is keeping captured Ukrainians in camps, using mass rape as a strategic weapon of war, and bomb towns specifically targeting the civilian population.

You can obviously choose to close your eyes to that knowledge. You could also choose to have integrity and stand up for principles instead of choosing to look at the situation from a monetary perspective. It can be difficult to open your eyes. You risk seeing something you don’t want to.

If you have previously taken a position that does not align with the real world, this can be difficult. But that is what gives a person integrity and character – that he or she dares to let his or her worldview be influenced by the real world and not the world we all wish we were living in.

The school year has just started in Denmark. Many new Ukrainian students have arrived, children who struggle every day to fit in and understand the childhood and the world that has changed for them overnight.

Isn’t it a mockery of the many victims of the war that we let rich Russians luxuriate in the same society we have invited Ukrainian citizens to find peace? Doesn’t it shake the inner moral compass when we with one hand financially support Ukraine to fight Russia’s invasion, while with the other let the country´s citizens put their rubles in the Copenhagen Magasin mall and Harrods ?

The West is not only at war with Putin – we are at war with Russia. The leader of Russia is Putin, and his system penetrates everything in Russia. Putin sends his people to war, and many voluntarily go to fight for him. It may be very convenient to want to separate the leader of a country from its people – but this argument is naive semantics. We have to punish collectively.

If the West dares to stand up for common decency, it may start to hurt the privileged sections of the Russian population who travel to the West and pretend the war has nothing to do with them . Maybe that way they will finally get the courrage to remove their terrible leader – if only to get their comfortable life back for and their children into Europe.

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Selvfølgelig skal russiske turister ikke spankulere rundt i Danmark og andre lande, som Rusland er i proxykrig med

Danmark og resten af Europa er i krig med Rusland, ikke kun med Putin.

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Forfattere i USA står op for ytringsfrihed

Hvad siger det om vestlige demokratier, at de ikke beskytter deres borgeres ytringsfrihed?

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Writers in the US are standing up for free speech

What does it say about Western democracies if they do not protect their citizens’ freedom of expression?

This Friday prominent American writers like Paul Auster and his wife Siri Hustvedt gathered on the stairs in front of The New York Public Library on Fifth Avenue under the slogan “Stand with Salman: Defend the Freedom to Write.” (“In solidarity with Salman Rushdie: Defend the right to write freely.”)

A week ago, Salman Rushdie was stabbed during a literary event north of New York City when a man jumped on stage and stabbed him several times with a knife. Ironically, Rushdie was about to talk about how the United States is a safe heaven for writers who cannot stay safely in their own countries.

For more than thirty years, Salman Rushdie has lived a life with security guards 24/7 – simply because he did what writers do – used his creativity in a literary work. In one such experiment he played with the idea that the holy book of the Muslim faith, the Koran, was not divinely inspired but rather the result of a whispers from Satan. For that work, The Satanic Verses, he garnered a fatwa from Iran’s top Islamic leader that encouraged any Muslim to murder Rushdie. In addition, a bounty of 3 million dollars was put on his head.

For more than thirty years, Rushdie has lived with the knowledge that radicalized Muslims all over the world had a desire to kill him or would rejoice if others did. Rushdie moved from Europe to the United States, where he, for more than twenty years, was almost able to live a normal life. Until now.

Unfortunately, he is not the only one who has had to move from Europe because he criticized Islam. As Europe becomes more Islamized, several people with inside knowledge of Islam have spoken out and problematized various cultural and value attitudes that are not compatible with Western, free democracies. For their outspokenness, they have received death threats. Several have even paid the ultimate price. In several cases, the European governments have not wanted to spend the financial means needed to protect people who spoke against Islam. For example , Ayaan Hirshi Ali, who is originally from Somalia and became a politician and critic of Islam in the Netherlands, also had to move to the United States because her Dutch homeland could not guarantee her safety.

When an author, journalist, comedian or writer is attacked for what he or she has as a profession, namely his words, what does he have left?

“An attack on a writer, cartoonist, comedian, politician, or public figure because of his or her statements and writing is an attack on each and every one of us who believe in democratic values.

Salman Rushdie has never compromised on his beliefs, but has again and again and again pleaded for the right to express himself freely. He has done this with intellectual depth and quirky humor. Despite living under a constant threat, he has helped other writers and intellectuals who were in vulnerable positions because they spoke out against authoritarian regimes or extreme religious groups. Most recently, he has joined a network that helps Ukrainian writers.

It shouldn’t be necessary to say. But these days, writers and other creative souls cannot freely use their creativity and write without fear. All over the world there is a keen sense of awareness that when you speak out or write critically about totalitarian regimes and Islam, there might be a price of violence to pay.

Our rights and freedoms here in the West are more fragile than we dare to admit. Because if we admit that premise, then we also admit that our societal model and form of government have failed. If we can only feel safe within the borders of our own countries, when we shut down criticism, turn a blind eye, and refuse to speak out on specific subjects, and self-censor ourselves, then the rights we think we have are a hollow illusion.

We are faced with a choice: we can remain silent in fear. Or we can do as the writers who, without face coverings and with their names clearly stated today on the steps in the heart of New York to the library that contains thousands of books – all the result of a creative, free process, refuse to let violence destroy the principles we believe in.

An attack on a writer, cartoonist, comedian, politician or public figure because of his or her statements and writing is an attack on each and every one of us who believe in democratic values in a society with individual liberties.

May the voices that dare to speak against regimes of violence, hatred and religion never remain silent when threatened! May we fight for them to be able to write and say what they wish without fear of reprisals. And may our western democratic states wake up soon, so that you don’t have to be brave to express yourself freely. #StandWithSalman

Stålværket i Mariupol bliver en humanitær katastrofe, mens verden ser på

Står vi foran en massakre, der ikke kan løses med diplomatiske midler?

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The steel plant in Mariupol is turning into a humanitarian disaster while the world is watching

Are we facing a massacre that wil not be solved through diplomacy?

Are there new reports about the discovery of new mass graves and more signs of massive human rights violations in Ukraine on today´s news? Is there a new account from a horrified woman with a rushed adrenaline fused voice or the sound of deep grief standing in front of a tv-reporter?

Several times a day I check the news and my podcasts. What’s the latest developments in Ukraine? Where are the Russian forces, how are the Ukrainians doing? I find myself wondering if I am borderline morbid, if it is tasteless to follow a development where people’s lives and horrific circumstances unfold before my eyes, while I intensely follow the development as if I was watching some kind of Netflix series.

Why am I and the rest of the world just sitting here, waiting for what is going to happen next to the surrounded soldiers and civilians at the steel plant in Mariupol ?

I am fairly sure I cannot be the only one feeling this way. If you look at the news coverage of the war in Ukraine, there must be viewers like me following the development closely. The war in Ukraine is covered massively by news outlets, experts of all sorts are brought in to explain the geography and military movement in Ukraine to the viewers while pointing to an electronic map, military experts and politicians are interviewed about the latest development, and every day journalists in Ukraine are ready with a new affected Ukrainian citizen telling his or her personal horror story.

I remember the feeling of constant alert from the first year of the Corona virus. The feeling that it was crucial, a necessity to get the most current details, graphs, personal accounts to better understand and figure out the best way to handle my own life and my family’s situation.

But the truth is, the more I try to understand, the less I actually understand. Of the horrors, of the slow reaction of the Western states, of the human psyche. It should not come as a surprise – it was after all in the high school’s ancient knowledge classes, I became acquainted with the phrase “I know, I know nothing”.

So why do we follow developments so intensely when we are powerless and the only thing many of us can do is to send donations? Why am I and the rest of the world sitting in front of our screens waiting, watching in slow-motion, for what is going to happen to the surrounded soldiers and civilians at the steel plant in Mariupol?

It is an accepted and convenient truth that humanitarian disasters must be resolved through diplomacy. But what happens when one humanitarian corridor after another is either canceled or much smaller than agreed upon? What happens when the Russian forces move closer and closer and hermetically hold women, children and the elderly in an iron grip, where it is only a matter of time before either there is no more food or they are stormed? Is it still, then, up to diplomacy to let the Russian bear call the shots and use the West in their sick manipulatory propaganda program?

As an individual citizen it is hard to to anything about the situation in Mariupol, isn´t it? Think about it. Had it not been for individuals taking the initiative when Russia invaded Ukraine, hundreds of thousands of Ukrainians would have arrived in Poland without a roof over their heads. Before the politicians were done negotiating solutions, individuals in Denmark, Sweden, Germany, Poland, and many other countries felt compelled to do something.

The steel plant in Mariupol is what we are all watching these days, watching and waiting for what is going to happen. One one hand side I want to yell: “Do something! The West must send forces and get people out, this ends in a terrible disaster!”

On the other hand, the consequences of what a military intervention from the West would mean for Europe is beyond what I can fathom. Would this be the beginning of a great war in which the western countries, including Denmark, was at war with Russia and its allies?

So here I am, watching. I do believe, everyone can contribute change – if nothing else then with donations and shouting from the rooftops. But when you cannot act in other ways, we in the West have learned to trust a political solution through diplomacy. Let’s hope for a diplomatic solution before a massacre in Mariupol unfold on our screens.

Findes der er en rød linje, Rusland ikke må overtræde, før Vesten griber ind?

Hvis Vesten ikke vil gribe ind, kan Ukraine lige så godt give op nu og skåne sin civilbefolkning for flere lidelser.

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Is there a red line, Russia cannot cross before the West intervenes?

If the West does not want to intervene, Ukraine might as well give up now and spare its civilian population more suffering.

As the Russians relocate their troops, we have watched the results of the atrocities committed by the soldiers in Ukraine.

A man is intertwined in his bicycle. He must have been shot while biking down the street in his village.

A woman shares her story with a journalist. She had to bury her husband in her backyard. He had never held a gun in his life but the Russian soldiers dragged him out of their house and shot him.

A witness shares what he saw. Lines of cars trying to escape with signs taped to them – on the roofs, trunks, and on the sides of the cars. “Children,” the letters said in Cyrillic, clearly visible from the air and from the ground – bombed and left with the dead still trapped in the burned-out cars.

The TV screen shows Ukrainians lying in piles or in mass graves. In some places they are left in the street a few meters apart. Shot and then burned to hide what the Russians did to the Ukrainians. Some bodies have their hands tied behind their backs, some are shot from behind – deprived of life and a dignified burial.

Even in war, there are rules. They appear to have been violated again and again. Russia stubbornly denies this and says in claims the images are a setup with professional actors.

And then there is the disgusting weapon, the attempt to crack women and those who care about them. Rapes, some committed while children and men were forced to watch. Some women were barely left alive, while others were shot and burned.

Violence against women has always been used strategically in war – to break a population, to exercise power, to infiltrate ethnic populations with “foreign” blood when a baby gives off its first cry nine months later.

The world is interconnected. Perhaps that is one of the reasons why we seem to be watching, while Zelenskyj repeatedly begs us to close the airspace and provide more help.

There is no shortage of condemnation from the leaders of the Western world. USA, Germany, UN. Everyone has strong words to reassure the Western and democratically-minded world that Putin’s despicable actions are beyond their comprehension.

One sanction after another hit Putin and his cronies. One load of military hardware after another is being sent towards Ukraine. One country after another, with Poland as the main recipient, opens their borders and hearts to fleeing mothers, children, and the elderly.

Meanwhile, the carpet bombings continue targeting civilians – families in suburbs, hospitals, cultural and religious buildings.

The world is interconnected. Perhaps that is one of the reasons why we seem to be watching, while Zelensky again and again begs us to close the airspace and provide more help.

Brazil is dependent on fertilizers, Europe on oil and gas, etc., etc. The Western world buys much more from Putin than we contribute to Ukraine’s resistance.

No one is interested in a world war. And Putin knows that. But what does it take before the world has to react? What more can Putin do to the Ukrainian people that he has not already done?

If the answer is “nothing,” Ukraine might as well surrender now. The alternative is far too devastating to the civilian population.