Russians Have a Choice, Too

Today you are your brother’s keeper.


Then the Lord asked Cain, “Where is your brother Abel?”

He answered, “I do not know. Am I my brother’s keeper?”

God then said: “What have you done? Your brother’s blood cries out to me from the ground!”

—Genesis 4:9-10

The war is in its second week. Ukraine’s cities suffer. Missiles launched from Russia and Belarus strike them. Cars, tanks, and trucks burn in their streets. Children cry. The toll rises.

For every Ukrainian soldier, civilian, and child who perishes under bombardment, for every Russian conscript who is killed in battle, today Putin and his lackey Lukashenko are responsible.

My friends, the people of Russia and Belarus, you say Ukrainians are your brothers. Be it so; for today you are your brother’s keeper. Only you can stop your tyrants from killing him. And if you cannot stop them, then nonetheless in valiantly attempting, in the streets of Moscow and Minsk, St. Petersburg and Kazan, Yekaterinburg and Novosibirsk, and cities across Belarus and Russia, you can share in the glory of the heroes, the free people of Ukraine.

But with every day that you do not, the responsibility for your brother’s murder steadily becomes yours. And his blood will cry out from the ground to you.

Cain and Abel, by Titian c. 1542.