Valerios Aslanidis, the President of the Hellenic Association of the city of Anapa and the Committee of Elders of the Greeks of the Krasnodar Region of Russia, has made an impassioned plea for all Greeks to unite to assist the Greeks of Ukraine.
My dear compatriots. I address this letter to the whole Greek society, to all Greek citizens, politicians, journalists and public officials, also wishing to hear from all Greeks abroad, our brothers all over the world.
We, the Greeks of Russia, have proved many times with action that we are firmly by the side of all our brothers, Greek citizens and the diaspora, every time they are tested, like today our brothers in Ukraine, and specifically in Donetsk, Mariupol, Lugansk and Berdyansk.
We do not do this without taking into account the political propaganda and the efforts of various opportunists to tarnish our sincere effort to support our brothers. We consider it our duty to always be by the side of our Greek brothers who suffer, wherever they are, whatever the conditions.
Recently, completely degrading and defamatory publications took place in the Greek press, which scandalously presented the news of humanitarian aid from the Greek Organisations of Russia to the tried residents of Mariupol and the surrounding villages, which caused a riot and outrage among members of Russia’s local Greek communities.
Addressed to the authors of the above publications, I ask:
Gentlemen, are you sure that you understand the real situation in Mariupol and in Ukraine in general? Every day, we receive hundreds of phone calls and text messages calling for help from relatives, friends and acquaintances who have been trapped and isolated in the war zone.
The villages of Sartana, Talakovka, Termalik, Bougas, Granitnoe and other villages with Greek population are sending calls for help.
Donbass is experiencing an unheard of humanitarian crisis. Large shortages of water, food, heating, electricity and medicine have resulted in the loss of daily human lives.
Houses have been completely destroyed.
Due to the great damage to the road network, settlements and villages have been isolated, which as a result means that the humanitarian aid, that is vital for them, cannot reach them.
Gentlemen, have you ever wondered if there are any ways for humanitarian aid to reach the residents of the isolated areas? I would like to inform you that the only road that remains open today for the sending of humanitarian aid to the tested area of Mariupol passes through Donetsk.
I also inform you that you are working in vain, we will continue our humanitarian mission, because above political games and temporarily served legitimate and non-interests, is human life.
The Greeks of Russia, we have already offered to the inhabitants of Mariupol twenty minibuses, which serve the daily needs of the inhabitants of the region by delivering to them, necessary food and medicine, while they are also used for the removal of the wounded and of patients from the area.
We also offer daily drinking water to the residents, serving hundreds of citizens each time, who are waiting in huge queues to get water. We have also provided a significant number of generators, which are used by the Civil Protection Directorate of the area to electrify the victims.
Please tell me, if you really believe that you have been granted the exclusive privilege and right to judge how and who can offer help to our tried compatriots?
Do you really think that under the current circumstances, when every glass of water and every plate of food offered counts, is time to argue whether the route chosen for the transport and delivery of humanitarian aid is the most appropriate according to European standards?
The lessons it offers, our recent historical past full of tragedies, do not allow dilemmas to arise in our minds, whether or not we should respond to our brothers’ request for help, whether or not we have the right to deprive them of the help they absolutely need to survive.
Believe me, today is not the time for political speculation, accountability and “witch hunts”.
We Greeks, like any civilized people, in order to save even one extra existence – a life that is trapped in the basement of a building in Mariupol, we must stand up to the circumstances, to get rid of prejudices and stereotypes, the which is imposed on us from the outside.
By order of the future of the Greek Communities of Russia.
The President of the Hellenic Association of the city of Anapa and the Committee of Elders of the Greeks of the Krasnodar Region of Russia.