Climbers and mountaineers are reacting to the ongoing situation in Ukraine. Two open letters have been signed by over 1,000 Russian climbers, many of whom are also reacting on social media.
Last week, the International Federation of Sport Climbing announced that the upcoming boulder and speed world cups would be relocated. And the UIAA announced that they’d cancel the final two stops of the ice climbing world cup tour, both of which were to take place in Russia.
On March 2, CBC reported, “Ukraine’s emergency service issued a statement saying the Russian invasion has killed more than 2,000 Ukrainian civilians and destroyed hundreds of structures including transport facilities, hospitals, kindergartens and homes.”
More than 6,000 Russian protestors have been arrested according to Euro News, for more information see here. Links to the open letters have been attached to their titles below, along with the English text from each.
An open letter from the climbers of Russia against the war in Ukraine: In our sport age does not separate us. Children, adults and elderly people train and climb together. Children grow up next to their elders, and old people grow younger next to children. In our sport achievements do not separate us. World champions and beginners climb in the same gyms. We belay each other, we cheer for each other, we are friends. We don’t really care who’s better in sport. In our sport international borders do not separate us.
We climb at the same rocks. We meet friends from all over the world. We trust our lives to each other, even if we can’t speak the same language. We understand each other without words, by sign language. We cheer for our athletes at competitions, and immediately after that we cheer for athletes from other countries. We have the best sport and the best people, the best relationships without borders. But today the war divides us. It is impossible to look at it and it is impossible to look away. We do not want this war, it is terrible and disgusting, there is no excuse for it. The attack on Ukraine poisons the soul and breaks the heart. It poisons our sport and breaks our dreams. We demand an end to this war.
An open letter to President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin on behalf of the Russian mountaineers: We, the climbers of Russia, oppose the military actions that the Russian army is conducting on the territory of Ukraine. We know firsthand how fragile human life is. We consider it a crime for the Russian army to invade the territory of Ukraine, as a result of which the people of both countries suffer.
This is a stain on the history of Russia, with which not only we, but also our children will have to live. Ukrainians are our brothers, with whom we have a thousand-year history. Ukrainians are our friends, side by side with whom we have passed the most terrible trials and shared difficulties in the mountains. We cannot accept the unjustified loss of life on both sides and the incitement of hatred between our peoples and demand an immediate cessation of hostilities.