Margaret Atwood joins writers condemning Russian invasion of Ukraine

The author was among more than 1,000 signatories to an open letter by PEN International saying there ‘can be no free and safe Europe without a free and independent Ukraine’

Salman Rushdie, Margaret Atwood and Tsitsi Dangarembga are among more than 1,000 writers from around the world who have condemned Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and expressed their solidarity with the Ukrainian people.

The open letter, released by literary and free expression organisation PEN International, is addressed to writers in Ukraine, and “urgently” calls “for an end to the bloodshed” that started last week.

“We stand united in condemnation of a senseless war, waged by President Putin’s refusal to accept the rights of Ukraine’s people to debate their future allegiance and history without Moscow’s interference,” say the international writers, who include Nobel laureates Orhan Pamuk, Svetlana Alexievich and Olga Tokarczuk, as well as Jonathan Franzen, Colm Tóibín and Elif Shafak.

“We stand united in support of writers, journalists, artists, and all the people of Ukraine, who are living through their darkest hours. We stand by you and feel your pain,” they add, in a letter also released in Ukrainian, Russian and Arabic. “All individuals have a right to peace, free expression and free assembly. Putin’s war is an attack on democracy and freedom not just in Ukraine, but around the world … There can be no free and safe Europe without a free and independent Ukraine. Peace must prevail.”

The Handmaid’s Tale author Atwood also shared a photograph of herself attending a march in Toronto to protest against the invasion of Ukraine, complete with Ukrainian flag and knitted cat hat. “Thousands at #ukraine rally in #toronto; great to hear Canadian political parties all agreed for once and are supporting Ukraine,” she tweeted.


Alison Flood

The GuardianTramp

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