Evgeny Vitishko, a letter from prison: "Thank you for your courage in expressing solidarity with me"

posted 25 Jan 2015, 08:11 by Rights in Russia   [ updated 27 Jan 2015, 05:46 ]
8 December 2014

Dear Friends! 

Many thanks for this joint gift you have made me of your favourite photos and your best wishes.

I'm very pleased to know that what has happened to me, and those actions of the government of our our country, are viewed by most people in exactly the way that Suren and I and our supporters would like them to be seen.

What we did with “Tkachev's fence” was neither an act of vandalism nor a criminal offence.

Its purpose was simply to show that citizens of our country are capable of independently protecting their rights in accordance with the Constitution, and of confronting lawbreakers and enemies of the environment.

But as time has shown, things are not exactly like that.

Nonetheless, society still has opportunities to express itself, not only through consumption, but by meaningful political action, and also by an unwillingness to be deceived.

At that time, parliamentary elections were taking place and we tried to expose the self-serving interests of the authorities and their unlawful actions. But what has changed since then?

Disappointment, awareness of the country’s backwardness and simply a healthy envy of how people live in other countries can quite easily become a mobilizing and constructive force. But the authorities are not going to help society in this in any way.

The history of government in Russia is catastrophic. It is a continuous history of crimes down to the present day. Every region of the country was been transformed into an invincible bastion of authoritarianism, and Kuban is no exception to this rule.

Elections are non-existent and in reality the Constitution, like a rusty tin can labelled “All Power Belongs to the President”, has effectively closed down on civic political liberties and the development of the country for many years to come.

I can only continue my struggle against the demons of fear, vanity, depression and despair in a joint effort with you. But a nation of people is, in itself, neither better nor worse. And subjects can never be turned into citizens by order.

We must make this bold step ourselves. Only then will Russia become a free country, and the environment will be saved by authorities that are intelligent, and take lawful and carefully weighed decisions, and by our own good and caring hands.

Good luck to all of you, and see you soon!

And, once again, thank you for all the beautiful things you have sent me. But beauty will not save the world. It's only by working together that we can restore justice — as well as the trees that have been illegally felled.

Thank you for your courage in expressing your solidarity with me. After all, our task together is not to imitate civic and political engagement, but to use it in the best interests of ourselves and of our country.

Yours truly,

Evgeny Vitishko

Translated by Liza Zhbankova
Rights in Russia,
25 Jan 2015, 08:15