Russian famous people – including athletes, actors and Eurovision stars – have publicly condemned the attack, saying their careers are at great risk due to the government’s heavy influence in the entertainment industry. In an Instagram video, popular singer Valery Meladze appealed for an end to the attack.
“History will be the judge of these events,” Meladze said. “But today, I beg you, please stop the war.”
On Wednesday, before the offensive began, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky called for peace on television and highlighted the close ties between Russia and Ukraine.
“This is our land. This is our history. What and who are you fighting for? ” said Zelensky. “Many of you have been to Ukraine. Many of you have relatives in Ukraine. Some have studied at Ukrainian universities. Some have made friends with Ukrainians. You know our quality. You know our people. You know our principles. “
Zelensky addressed the Russian people directly, urging them to stand with Ukraine and tell their own government that they do not want war.
“I know your address won’t be shown on Russian television, but Russian citizens need to see it. They need to know the truth, and the truth is that this needs to be stopped before it’s too late,” and if the Russian leadership doesn’t want to sit at the table with us for the sake of peace, maybe they will sit at the table with you. Do the Russians want war? I would like to answer that question, but the answer depends only on you.