Ilja Repin: Die Wolgatreidler, Бурлаки на Волге
I don’t think your parents raised you to obey the orders of an old man and tyrant, who has lost his mind, his heart, his soul and his dignity. Raise your head, be a true soldier and put your weapons down. Your role is to defend your beautiful and proud country. Right now, all you defend is the fragile ego of an old man (or several old men) who is/are living in the past where the striving for greatness was mistaken to mean bullying and crushing smaller players. While your head of state is sitting comfortably in his office spinning his intrigues, you are ordered to endanger your life to commit a crime against humanity and you are staining the reputation of your great country. If you continue to kill your fellow humans, many of whom even speak the same language as you, and you survive, the shame and guilt will stay with you all your life. And if you don’t feel shame and guilt for what you do, you might as well better die. Right now, you and your colleagues are taking your country’s dignity down to a level that so far has been occupied by one country in history alone: Germany under Hitler. Do you truly want to join them down there? Or commit yourself to true greatness and help lift up all of humanity instead? You have a choice, as a soldier and a man or woman in military service. There was no excuse for Germans obeying orders of a malignant man and there is no excuse for you doing so now. Before obeying orders, do a sanity check of your leader.
From a mother…
(I don’t speak Russian. You can translate this via DeepL machine translation. However, any resulting mistakes or strange wordings in Russian were not intended by me)