Roger Waters Shares His Brutally Honest Thoughts On The Russia-Ukraine War
By Katrina Nattress
March 11, 2022
Roger Waters did not mince words when he shared his thoughts on Russia's invasion of Ukraine. The former Pink Floyd singer penned an open letter on Facebook after a 19-year-old Ukrainian fan named Alina Mitrofanova wrote a note to him asking why such an outspoken humanitarian has stayed silent while her country gets destroyed.
"I read your letter, I feel your pain, I am disgusted by Putin’s invasion of Ukraine, it is a criminal mistake in my opinion, the act of a gangster, there must be an immediate ceasefire," Waters began his lengthy message. "I regret that Western governments are fueling the fire that will destroy your beautiful country by pouring arms into Ukraine, instead of engaging in the diplomacy that will be necessary to stop the slaughter. Rest assured if all our leaders don’t turn down the rhetoric and engage in diplomatic negotiations there will be precious little of Ukraine left when the fighting is over."
He went on to admit that he feels many world leaders are "gangsters" and even shared a long list of those he believed fit the description. “I will do anything I can to help effect the end of this awful war in your country, anything that is except wave a flag to encourage the slaughter,” he wrote. “That is what the gangsters want, they want us to wave flags. That is how they divide and control us, by encouraging the waving of flags, to create a smokescreen of enmity to blind us to our innate capacity to empathize with one another, while they plunder and rape our fragile planet. I will do everything in my power to help bring peace back to you and your family and your beautiful country.”
In addition to text, Waters also shared the message in a video accompanied with his recent re-recording of Floyd’s anti-war song, “The Gunner’s Dream.”
Read both Mitrofanova's and Waters' full letters below.
A NOTE FROM ROGER REGARDING UKRAINE. BUT FIRST, A NOTE FROM ALINA: Hello! My name is Alina Mitrofanova, I am 19 years old, and I live in Ukraine. Today my country is resisting the Russian invasion and the real war started by Russian president and led by Russian army. I am a huge Pink Floyd and Roger Waters fan, and it was very important for me to hear Roger's opinion on this whole situation. It may not seem as urgent and critical, because this war can be considered as only "our problem", but unfortunately it rapidly becomes a catastrophe for the entire Europe and world. The war started 11 days ago, and everyday we hear sirens that signalize about bombs thrown by Russian occupants. Russia's aggression destroys MY country, kills hundreds of innocent adults and children in MY country, and I cannot explain how many Ukrainians are forced to leave their homes and run away from this madness. Ukrainian Eastern cities are being destroyed by Russian army, hundreds of thousands of people are evacuating and becoming refugees, and their number is increasing every minute. I'm in pain, as many other Ukrainians, because it hurts a lot to see how MY country becomes a military target for Russia and its mad leader, who's convinced that there are "neo-Nazis", who have to be killed. It's absolutely false, because I live here, and I can tell 200% that there are no such people there! I ask Roger to speak publicly about this war, because I still cannot understand how a person, who wrote a significant number of anti-war lyrics, hasn't spoken about tragedy yet. Furthermore, fully understand that Roger's point of view may be different, but I ask him to share his own opinion on this war. It's better than just being silent, because in this situation, silence is one of the worst enemies - it's impossible to build a wall in this situation and stay isolated from this problem. I'm 95% sure that this letter will not be delivered to Roger directly, and it would be just a miracle if a have an answer. However, a man who speaks about risks of nuclear catastrophe and about the senselessness of the war cannot be silent in this situation. Tell the world your position! Best regards from Ukraine, Alina Mitrofanova --- Dear Alina, I read your letter, I feel your pain, I am disgusted by Putin’s invasion of Ukraine, it is a criminal mistake in my opinion, the act of a gangster, there must be an immediate ceasefire. I regret that Western governments are fueling the fire that will destroy your beautiful country by pouring arms into Ukraine, instead of engaging in the diplomacy that will be necessary to stop the slaughter. Rest assured if all our leaders don’t turn down the rhetoric and engage in diplomatic negotiations there will be precious little of Ukraine left when the fighting is over. A long drawn out insurgency in Ukraine would be great for the gangster hawks in Washington, it’s what they dream of, “playing the game” as they do, ”with the bravery of being out of range” I desperately hope your President is not a gangster too and that he will do what is best for his people, and demand of the Americans that they come to the table. Sadly however, many world leaders are gangsters and my disgust for political gangsters did not start last week with Putin. I was disgusted by the gangsters Bush and Blair when they invaded Iraq in 2003, I was and still am disgusted by the gangster government of Israel's invasion of Palestine in 1967 and its subsequent apartheid occupation of that land which has now been going on for over fifty years. I was disgusted by the gangsters Obama and Clinton ordering NATO's illegal bombings of both Libya and Serbia. I am disgusted by the wholesale destruction of Syria initiated, as it was, in 2011 by outside interference in the cause of regime change. I was disgusted by the invasion of Lebanon in 1982 when the gangster Shimon Peres connived with the Christian Phalangist Militias in the murder of Palestinian refugees in Sabra and Shatila refugee camps in the south of that country. I feel for you Alina, and your Mum and Dad and your uncles and aunts and brothers and sisters and cousins, I lost both my father Eric Fletcher Waters and my grandfather George Henry Waters in wars fighting the Germans. Please believe me when I tell you that I believe in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights signed in Paris 1948. I have fought as hard as I know how to foster and support human rights for all my brothers and sisters all over the world for as long as I can remember, and I support you and yours now, with all my heart. Speaking of gangsters, I do have to take issue with you about one thing in your letter, your “200%” belief that there are no Neo-Nazis in your country is almost certainly mistaken. Both the Azov Battalions in your army, the National Militia and C14 are well known self-proclaimed Neo Nazis groups. They are gangsters too. Also, I have not been silent on Ukraine, I wrote a piece which was distributed six days ago by Globetrotter, I shall append it to this post: https://braveneweurope.com/roger-waters-the-war-profiteering-gangsters-will-kill-us-all-unless-we-unite-against-them What else Alina? Well, we the people, all of us in every country in the world, including Ukraine and Russia, can fight the gangsters, we can tell them we will not be part of their obscene and deadly wars to garner power and wealth at the expense of others, we can tell them that our families, in fact all families all over the world mean more to us than all the power and money in the world. Where I live in the USA we can join Black Lives Matter or Code Pink or BDS or Veterans For Peace or myriad other anti-war, pro law, pro freedom, pro human rights organizations. I will do anything I can to help effect the end of this awful war in your country, anything that is except wave a flag to encourage the slaughter. That is what the gangsters want, they want us to wave flags. That is how they divide and control us, by encouraging the waving of flags, to create a smokescreen of enmity to blind us to our innate capacity to empathize with one another, while they plunder and rape our fragile planet. I will do everything in my power to help bring peace back to you and your family and your beautiful country. The long drawn-out war/insurgency that Hillary Clinton and Condoleezza Rice and the rest of the has been gangster Washington Hawks are encouraging is not in your nor Ukraine’s best interests. I wish you well Alina. Thank you for your letter, and if you chose to send a reply to this. I will print that reply. I promise. Love R. PS. Have you got a dog? If so please send a pic.Posted by Roger Waters on Wednesday, March 9, 2022