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Roger Waters has penned an open letter to Russia's Vladimir Putin calling for an end to the "heinous war" in Ukraine.
The Pink Floyd co-founder has made his views clear to the president - who ordered a full-scale invasion of the neighbouring country on February 24 -after he was told he should write him a letter to address both sides of the conflict after his note to Ukrainian first lady Olena Zelenska, in which he called for a ceasefire with Russia to “stop the slaughter”.
And in his note to Putin, the 79-year-old rocker asked what his intentions are and told him "f*** you" if he's planning to "overrun the whole of Europe", starting with Poland, where Waters had two shows cancelled at the weekend by Polish officials due to his opinions on the war.
The rocker had said in an interview that “this war is basically about the action and reaction of NATO pushing right up to the Russian border, which they promised they wouldn’t do when [the final leader of the Soviet Union, Mikhail] Gorbachev negotiated the withdrawal of the USSR from the whole of Eastern Europe."
And Kraków councilman Lukasz Wantuch responded saying Waters “doesn’t understand what is going on in Ukraine”, and subsequently had him barred from playing the Tauron Arena in Krakow in 2023.
Waters began his frank address to the Russian leader: "Dear President Putin, since The Russian Federation invaded Ukraine on February 24th this year I have tried to use my small influence to encourage a ceasefire and a diplomatic settlement that addresses the security needs of both Ukraine and The Russian Federation. In that endeavor I have written two open letters to Mrs. Olena Zelenska the wife of the Ukrainian President. These letters are readily available on the internet. I am increasingly asked to write to you too, so here goes."
The 'Comfortably Numb' lyricist asked Putin to give his "assurance" that he's not going to "blow the world to smithereens".
He wrote: "Firstly, would you like to see an end to this war? If you were to reply and say, “Yes please.” That would immediately make things a lot easier. If you were to come out and say, “Also the Russian Federation has no further territorial interest beyond the security of the Russian speaking populations of The Crimea, Donetsk and Lubansk.” That would help too. I say this because, I know some people who think you want to overrun the whole of Europe, starting with Poland and the rest of the Baltic states. If you do, f*** you, and we might as well all stop playing the desperately dangerous game of nuclear chicken that the hawks on both sides of the Atlantic seem so comfortable with, and have at it. Yup, just blow each other and the world to smithereens. The problem is, I have kids and grandkids, and so do most of my brothers and sisters all over the world and none of us would relish that outcome. So, please Mr Putin indulge me, and make us that assurance."
Waters is hoping for a response from Putin and called for him to make moves towards a "sustainable peace".
He continued: "Alright back to the table, if I’ve read your previous speeches correctly, you would like to negotiate a state of neutrality for a sovereign neighboring Ukraine? Is that correct? Assuming such a peace could be negotiated it would have to include an absolutely binding agreement not to invade anyone ever again. I know, I know, the USA and NATO invade other sovereign countries at the drop of a hat, or for a few barrels of oil, but that doesn’t mean you should, your invasion of Ukraine took me completely by surprise, it was a heinous war of aggression, provoked or not.
"When Mrs. Zelenska replied to me via Twitter, I was very surprised and mightily moved, if you were to reply to me, I would mightily respect you for it, and take it as an honorable move in the right direction towards a sustainable peace.