Help pro-peace Russians escape Putin

Help pro-peace Russians escape Putin

934 have signed. Let’s get to 1,000!

Why this petition matters

Started by Nigel Beck

Since the Kremlin's invasion of Ukraine on Feb 24,  2022, countries around the world have condemned the Putin government, sanctioned Russian institutions and welcomed Ukrainians fleeing the war.

At the same time, ordinary Russians have had their avenues of escape from a government we deem criminal cut off. US embassies around the world have stopped granting visas for Russians, leaving them victims of their own government.

As those who condemn Russia have noted repeatedly, Russia is not a democracy. Ordinary Russians did not choose Putin as a ruler.

In the Cold War era, we understood this. After the disgraceful treatment of people fleeing persecution in the years leading up to World War II, our governments understood in the post war era that citizens of governments we sanction and condemn are also victims.  Any citizen of the Soviet Bloc was granted asylum as a defector if they could find a way out. Similarly, when people around the world isolated South Africa in the 70s and 80s, we realized South African citizens were also victims of its government's policies, and we extended to those citizens the opportunity to leave.

In the post Cold War era, we have forgotten this distinction. We have simultaneously argued a country's government is autocratic, deserves to be cut off from the world community, and oppresses their own citizens, while denying those same citizens the ability to leave.

We call on the United States, Canada and the EU to grant ordinary Russians without ties to the regime and its oligarchs the ability to leave Russia and work and live in and contribute to our countries before the Putin regime entirely seals Russia off from the free world.

Nothing undermines a dictator more than their citizens choosing freedom.

934 have signed. Let’s get to 1,000!