Against the war in Ukraine: Over 700 Russian climbers sign an open letter

Global solidarity with the civilian population in Ukraine is great. As one of the first Russian climbers, Vadim Timonov showed a lot of courage and expressed himself pointedly. In a recently published open letter, over 700 Russian climbers made their point of view clear: No war.

Speechless, stunned, dismayed - Russia's invasion of Ukraine has alienated many people. This initial shock quickly gave way to a great wave of solidarity. Numerous climbers have shared their personal feelings and fates on social media and called for people to stand together.

Jakob Schubert wrote last night about the international ties of the climbing scene and probably spoke to many people: "Seeing the news these days was extremely shocking and irritating in many ways. Perhaps adding to the sense of shock as a climber is that there is so much cultural interaction both in competitions and on the rocks around the world, giving a sense that the climbing scene is more of a global family.”

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Vadim Timonov calls not to remain silent

In the traditional media, as well as on social media, the Russian perspective has so far found relatively little space. Say: How do people in Russia think about the war? Can or may they express themselves freely without the threat of reprisals? The Russian professional climber Vadim Timonov broke the silence two days ago and published a statement that is not only very touching, but also shows a lot of courage:

"We don't want war! We want peace! What is happening now is unacceptable in the 21st century!”

Vadim Timonov

Statement by the Russian climber Vadim Timonov

“When I see what is happening in Ukraine, my heart bleeds. Relatives, friends and acquaintances post things that really scare me when I imagine myself in their place. We don't want war! We want peace! What is happening now is unacceptable in the 21st century! How can we fight them? I don't know, I can't even imagine. And I understand that this post will not save the situation.

vadim-timonov-russian-climber
Speaks out against the war in Ukraine: The Russian professional climber Vadim Timonov. image Vladek Zumr


Yesterday I was at my first anti-war rally in the center of St. Petersburg. A sentence like 'No to war' leads to 20 riot police in full gear and with batons grabbing a man, putting him in a police car and putting him behind bars indefinitely. People are afraid to speak their mind!

That's why I appeal to the athletes, to the climbers: People, don't be silent! Do not be afraid! If it doesn't change the situation, at least it saves your honor and reputation. The whole world thinks that you agree with what is happening now. I know it's not you!

"Guys, don't be silent! Do not be afraid! If it doesn't change the situation, at least it saves your honor and reputation.”

Vadim Timonov

We want to compete and travel in the future. We want to be friends and not be ashamed of our nationality when we find ourselves outside our country!

Climbing is a sport that is practiced in a close circle of friends and like-minded people. We travel together, we are friends and support each other. Peace!"

Closed against the war

At least since yesterday it has been clear that many climbers think the same way as Vadim Timonov. As of today, 721 athletes have spoken out in a joint open letter against the war in Ukraine. Following her Statement:

rainbow-peace-in-ukraine

In our sport, age does not separate us. Children, adults and the elderly train and climb together. Children grow up alongside their elders, and old people grow younger alongside their children.

In our sport, performance doesn't separate us. World champions and beginners climb in the same gyms. We back each other up, we cheer each other on, we're friends. We don't care who is better in sport.

In our sport, no international borders separate us. We climb the same rocks. We meet friends from all over the world. We trust each other with our lives, even if we can't speak the same language. We understand each other without words, through sign language. We cheer on our athletes at competitions, and right after that we cheer on athletes from other countries.

We have the best sport and the best people, the best relationships without borders.

But today the war separates us. It is impossible to look and impossible to look away. We don't want this war, it's terrible and abominable, there's no excuse for it. The attack on Ukraine poisons the soul and breaks our hearts. It poisons our sport and destroys our dreams. We demand an end to this war.

How you can help

If you would like to do more than express your solidarity with the people affected in Ukraine verbally or in writing, the following non-exhaustive list may help:

  • Taking in Ukrainian refugees: Those interested can apply to the List of the NGO Campax and indicate how many people they can accommodate
  • Donate money: Collect for people in need Caritas Switzerland, the lucky chainwhich Swiss Red Cross or Save the Children
  • Donate clothes, blankets, hygiene items or diapers: association "Help us". Collection point: Saturday from 24 a.m. to 8115 p.m. in Hüttikon. By post: Help us, Zürcherstrasse XNUMX, XNUMX Hüttikon.
  • The Ukrainian embassy in Bern collects medical supplies for the people of Ukraine, such as mobile defibrillators, sterile gloves, surgical instruments, painkillers and first-aid kits. The material can be brought to the embassy in Bern from Monday to Friday from 16 to 19 p.m. Advance registration and further information at [email protected]

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Credits cover photo: Heiko Wilhelm, picture statement: Alex Jackman

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