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Prof. Woke Soyinka
Not less than 164 Nobel Laureates across the world, including Nigeria’s Wole Soyinka, have in an open letter called on Russia to stop its invasion of Ukraine and withdraw its military forces.
Said the laureates said in the letter published in The Economist magazine Thursday: “We gather in this appeal to call upon the Russian government to stop its invasion of Ukraine and withdraw its military forces from Ukraine”.
Condemning the invasion of Ukraine by Russian troops, the group noted that there were peaceful ways to resolve disputes.
Noted the laureates: “We join in condemning these military actions and President Putin’s essential denial of the legitimacy of Ukraine’s existence.
“There is always a peaceful way to resolve dispute, the Russian invasion blatantly violates the United Nations Charter, which says ‘All members shall refrain in their international relations from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any state.’ It ignores the Budapest Memorandum of 1994, which obligated Russia and others to respect the sovereignty, independence, and existing borders of Ukraine”.
The Nobel Laureates noted that the death of soldiers and civilians, including children, was “so sad, so unnecessary”.
They said Mr. Putin’s ‘unprovoked military aggression’ against Ukraine recalled the infamous attack of Nazi Germany on Poland in 1939 (using similar tricks of feigned provocation) and on the Soviet Union in 1941, the government of the Russian Federation.
Stated they: “We choose our words carefully here, for we do not believe the Russian people have a role in this aggression, the Russian invasion will stain the international reputation of the Russian state for decades to come.
“It will pose barriers to its economy and inflict hardships on its population. The sanctions imposed will restrict the ease of movement of its talented and hardworking people in the world.
“Why raise this fence between Russia and the world now?”
Acknowledging Russia’s security concerns, the laureates said it could be addressed within the framework of the UN Charter, the 1975 Helsinki Final Act, and the 1990 Paris Charter.
Said they: “To make war, as President Putin and his collaborators have done, is an unwarranted, bloody, and unproductive way to a future.
“We respect the calm and the strength of the Ukrainian people. We are with you. Our hearts go out to the families and friends of all Ukrainians and Russians, who have died and been injured already. May peace come to this piece of our beautiful world”.
On the tenth day of consistent attacks on Ukraine, Russian shelling allegedly set the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant ablaze.
Local officials and the Ukrainian nuclear inspectorate said that Russian troops had also seized control of the plant.
Russia attacked Ukraine last week Thursday in what President Vladimir Putin said was a ‘special military operation.’ At least one million people have fled Ukraine since Russia’s invasion, the United Nations said, warning that “at this rate” the exodus could become “the biggest refugee crisis this century”.