President Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin,

We are both almost 70 years old, so I guess we are pretty experienced men who have accomplished a lot in their lives. We are probably each thinking about how to complete our life’s work in a meaningful, peaceful and sustainable way in our remaining time.
Of course, we have made mistakes too, but I assume that we both strive to learn from them for the benefit of our fellow human beings. We could meet on the same level, exchange views, discuss fairly and find the right path.

I have a great desire to understand you and what you do, because I am convinced that you are highly intelligent, otherwise you would not have made this remarkable career. Soon I will have achieved my most important goals in life, but not yet one particularly important one: to help bringing more peace to the world. I should have gone into politics like you. So I can only express my humble opinion here.

It is only too understandable that great minds, philosophers, psychologists, children, athletes, politicians, people of all genders, of all skin colors, of all ages and of all political persuasions are appealing to you, calling for rapid peace. But no one will be able to fully understand your difficult situation. I am quite sure that rapid peace is basically your goal and that you can achieve this very quickly and without further bloodshed!

It is all over town that the army of the Russian Federation has been invading Ukraine with force of arms since Feb. 24, 2022 destroying entire cities and extinguishing precious human lives. There are countless civilian casualties. For many weeks now, all those involved have been suffering from the consequences of what you and your propaganda apparatus call a “special operation“.

You have seen your reasons for starting an arms race with tanks, bombs, grenades and missiles that has brought unimaginable suffering and great sorrow not only to Ukraine, but also to Russian families. Thousands of young Russians and Ukrainians who had their lives full of hope have also died – and they continue to die every day as long as this military conflict continues.

Before Feb. 24 I believed that Ukraine could play a neutral and balancing role. But now, because of the shattered confidence, this is no longer quite conceivable. Or do you see a realistic way of putting this option back into the realm of possibility? This could be the key to the solution!

I will continue to try to understand you, but I would also like to ask whether you can put yourself in the position of your neighbors as well. After the nuclear disempowerment, Ukraine has not been able to threaten the powerful Russian Federation in approach.

Censorship no longer fits into our modern enlightened world. Your speeches can be followed. But can people in Russia also listen to speeches by, for example, the Ukrainian or American presidents or Arnold Schwarzenegger (Twitter: @arnold)? Wise people deserve the right to a self-formed opinion.

I suppose the Russian people would understand if you were strong enough to admit an explainable mistake. The hoped-for assumption that you would be welcomed or tolerated by the Ukrainian people was obviously wrong. We should admit that we are fallible, just human. Clever minds know that they know nothing, but fortunately they also know that through insight and repentance one can show convincing strength.

As history shows, at some point the truth will prevail. But that doesn’t help the victims anymore. Let us avoid further casualties on both sides! We must not rule over the lives and bodies of others while we sit in the safe ivory tower.

Bells of peace

There are two Russian presents on the table in front of me. These are little Moscow bells that I would like to hear soon ringing as peace bells.
I was in Moscow and St. Petersburg, love the Russian as well as the Ukrainian culture and appreciate the Russian as well as the Ukrainian people. I am proud to have contributed to the construction of Moscow Airport and to have Russian ports built with our products from Germany.   I want to continue using Russian gas and buy Ukrainian products and soon cooperate for mutual benefit.

You are mistaken when you say in your speeches that someone wants to destroy Russia. On the contrary! It would be fantastic if we could soon return to peaceful coexistence and respect.

It depends very much on you! When will we find a peaceful solution, for example, in direct dialogue with the Ukrainian President Volodymyr Oleksandrovych Selensky? You are both elected by your fellow human beings to listen to each other, to understand each other and to spare potential victims cruel suffering or death.

We should all be happy to have the most beautiful, satisfying and challenging of all tasks, which is the creation of peace and freedom.

Freedom always stops where the freedom of others begins. We do not need more weapons, but above all more responsibility, consideration, tolerance, education and morality.

Unlike many hardliners and arms dealers, I still believe in diplomacy.

Let’s go! This can still be done today. Let’s surprise ourselves – and the world!

I would be delighted to receive a comprehensible answer from you, but even more if you succeed in restoring peace.

Thank you for your valuable time and attention.

Best regards from Westphalia
Representing many peace-loving citizens of the world

Dirk Schroeder


This letter may be distributed to interested people, with reference to the source “www.MEnschenskinder.ME”, in order to allow a broad discussion about our common goal of peace in Ukraine and the world.



2 Responses

  1. Dear Dirk
    Thank you for taking the time to craft the letter to Mr. Putin (and his people). You are eloquent and I echo your sentiments. My gut-feel is that the innocent (perhaps even naïve) words will fall onto deaf ears. They will not go further than a Russian functionary’s email inbox at the Embassy.

    However, EVERY healing and conciliatory word and sentiment will have a positive effect on this unholy situation. As American Anthropologist Margaret Meade (1901 – 1978) said: „Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world: Indeed it’s the only thing that ever has.“ The more people we can engage in a peaceful resolution of the current situation, the sooner it can be resolved – peacefully.

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