Since February 24, 2022, we have organized more than ten anti-war demonstrations by Russians in exile in Berlin, supported by hundreds and sometimes even thousands of anti-war protesters. We came out to express our horror at what was happening, to draw public and political attention to the terrible crimes being committed in Ukraine by the Kremlin regime. We came out to demand that the German government provide maximum military support to Ukraine, to demand a trade, gas and oil embargo against Russia, to demand personal sanctions for all those responsible for what is happening. We also drew attention to the problems of propaganda and Putinism in Germany. In addition, we held actions of mourning for the dead in Bucha, Izyum, Mariupol and other cities of Ukraine. And we picketed the disgusting pro-Putin car rallies as well as the hypocritical pseudo-pacifist anti-NATO rallies. The entire pro-European Russian community is behind these protests. We have had enough of Putin! We don't want this war! We support Ukraine! We want change in Russia! (and also in Germany).
On April 2 (2022), the Russian-speaking protest community in Berlin attempted to project documentary images of the crimes of Vladimir Putin onto the facade of the Russian Embassy. To watch this, several dozens of Russians gathered at about 7:30 p.m. in front of the embassy and were peacefully protesting against the war and Putin’s regime.
Unfortunately, the projection was quickly interrupted by the German police. Despite our assurances that we would not hurt or insult anyone from the embassy in their dignity, would not damage anything and only show documentary images, we were not allowed by the police to continue the projection. We were told by the police officers that our equipment would be confiscated immediately and we would not get it back, if we continued to project the war images onto the embassy facade.
The respective police officers told us that we should have officially applied for a permit to project onto the Russian embassy. However, they said that the assembly authority (die Versammlungsbehörde) would never give us such a permit, because this is apparently impossible. We asked the police for the legal basis (why would it be impossible?), but did not receive any answer to it. Several journalists and meeting participants were witnessing it. We believe that the action revealed not exactly the police commitment to order as the sacredness of the Russian embassy in Berlin and the deep-seated fear of Moscow.
In spite of what happened at the Russian embassy, we are very lucky with our friends (some courageous private persons) who probably continued the action for us. They managed to project the images of terrible war crimes of the Putin’s regime on the facade of “Gazprom Germania” last night. After that, we discovered some pictures on the facade of the Chinese Embassy in Berlin, that were saying:
Dear people of China, Wake up!
Putin started the war against innocent people of Ukraine!
Putin lies to the World!
Putin lies to Russians!
Putin destroys Ukraine!
Putin destroys Russia!
Also, the film could be projected onto a house facade in Berlin Neukölln.
What's even more amazing is that the next day our friends managed to project a video on the embassies of Belarus and Syria in Prague! This is what an action of Russian resistance looks like when it is not interfered with by law enforcement officers. Take the lead, Berlin!
Our dear unknown Friends and Supporters - We thank you from the bottom of our hearts, whoever you are! All the best to you! This world needs smart, courageous people like you.
We’re doing it because we are in pain and we stand with Ukraine. We also want Putin’s regime to fall--that’s why we have to fight his devilish propaganda machine.
Before the performance, we asked many Russians living in Berlin whether they would stand behind a video projection on the facade of the Russian Embassy. People who have been supporting this action have different reasons for doing so. What we all have in common is: we live in Berlin, we’re mainly (former) citizens of Russia / this war hurts, we deeply condemn it and we must act. Some of the supporters explain their motivation:
● Alexey Kozlov, human rights activist, director of Solidarus e.V.: People must know the truth about this war. And it must be stopped by all means.
● Olga Romanova, head of “Russia Behind Bars”: We shouldn't get tired. We shouldn't get tired of supporting Ukraine, supporting the refugees, saving those Russians who dare speak out against the war. If we get tired, Putin will not stop. And lives of billions might just end up as another projection on the facades of his palaces.
● Svetlana Müller, leader of the Association Chair of “PANDA platforma”: The Russian Embassy in Berlin really wants to look scary. This action reveals the bogus giant Kremlin and its clique. One mustn't be afraid! The military attack of the Russian Federation on Ukraine should be stopped immediately.
● Mischa Gabowitsch, historian and sociologist: Russia is waging a criminal war of conquest in Ukraine. Those who now represent the interests of Russia's leadership in Germany are guilty of mass murder too.
● Elena Stein, sociologist: One quickly gets used to everything. Unfortunately, also to the worst things. Here and now it must not happen. The war in Ukraine is real. The aggression of Russia is also real. It must be stopped.
● Vorontsov Sergey, artist: I would make a permanent projection, 24 hours a day, so that the embassy staff and everyone could see, what Putin and his team are doing.
● Delfinov, Poet and Performer: Ukraine must be free! Russian Empire must be crashed!
● Dr. Nikolai Ivanov, art historian, writer: I am very glad that such a performance is going to take place. The flag of Ukraine, the projection on the building of the destruction caused by the war unleashed by Russia, the images of Russian crimes - this is now the main mirror that Russia can no longer hide from. This mirror reflects the black hole into which the Putin regime has plunged Ukraine, Russia and Belarus.
● Nune Barseghian, writer: The Russian government lies to its citizens in the media that the Russian army is not bombing Ukrainian cities. So we show that this is a lie.
● Lina Khesina, „Zuckerwattenkrawatten“, freelancer: This is the Russian Embassy in Berlin. And OUR Russian message is: STOP THE WAR! Please.
● Jeanne Krömer, civil initiative “Mama Belarus”: It is important for me to reach out to people in Russia and in Belarus. I appeal to Russian mothers to call back their sons who are taking part in the war! I appeal to Belarusian mothers to keep their sons from fighting on the side of the aggressor!
● Fatal Flash, LGBT and human rights’ activist: I support this performance because in the 21st century thinking about military actions on the territory of any country is monstrous! I want peace for Ukraine and protection for its inhabitants from the aggressor - Russian President Vladimir Putin.
● Boris Filanovsky, composer: Painting Russian embassies and consulates in the colors of the Ukrainian flag is an expression of a simple thought: Russia's foreign property as an aggressor state should be confiscated in favor of Ukraine.
● Tatiana Kanarienvogel, project manager: I am doing it for your freedom and ours!
● Wanja Kilber, queer activist: Support queers in Ukraine!
● Elena Ilina, artist, translator: I cannot remain silent when my fellow people are being slaughtered. I have to do something against genocide.
● Maria und Natalia Petschatnikov, artists: We participate in this performance to point out the difference between the official policy of Russia and the opinion of people who deeply condemn the war in Ukraine.