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Tell Putin You're Sorry!

"Dear President Putin and Russian People, please accept our apologies for the behavior of our governments and media," the letter, translated into 19 languages, begins.

Are you a citizen of a Western country who is sick and tired of your government's warmongering in Ukraine? Are you fed up with Western media's constant lying about Russia? Don't you just wish you could apologize to Russian President Vladimir Putin?

Well, relax. Now you can.

An online petition called "Dear Putin" allows anybody in the world with an e-mail address to sign an open online letter of apology to the Kremlin leader.

"Dear President Putin and Russian People, please accept our apologies for the behavior of our governments and media," the letter, translated into 19 languages, begins.

"Western nations, led by the United States, seem determined to start a war with Russia. A sane person would recognize the terrible consequences of such a war and would do everything in their power to avoid it. In fact it appears that this is exactly what you are doing. In the face of an endless stream of lies and provocations you have managed to keep Russia from being drawn into a nuclear war."

The petition was posted on the website and is available in 19 languages. The website's origin is unclear. The site has no contact details and it has been circulated mainly via Russian social networks. But it has received ample attention in the Russian media.

"Europeans ask for Vladimir Putin's forgiveness," read a headline for a story about the petition in the Russian government's official newspaper, "Rossiiskaya gazeta," on September 11.

LifeNews, the hugely popular tabloid connected to Russia's security services, also carried the story on September 11, writing, "The resource is gaining popularity."

According to the website, more than 55,000 people had signed the letter as of December 4. Among the purported signatories are citizens of the Czech Republic, Germany, France, Australia, the United States, Kazakhstan, Sweden, Paraguay, Slovenia, Bulgaria, and -- oddly -- Russia.

The authenticity of the signatures is impossible to verify since all one needs to do to sign the petition is to provide a name, country, and e-mail address.

In addition to lauding Putin as a man of peace and blaming the United States for trying to start a nuclear war, the petition also assails the Western media for blaming Russian-backed separatists in Ukraine for the downing of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 and condemns Western governments for supporting "neo-Nazis" in Ukraine.

"Why are you the target of these lies and provocations? The pathological criminals of the West are pushing for war with Russia because they need an external enemy," the petition reads.

"As long as the people are focused on 'Russian aggression' they remain unaware of those truly responsible for the decline of the American economy and social system. In Europe, with its history of brutal wars sparked by arrogance and greed, European leaders have undergone a complete moral collapse and have naively fallen into line behind the USA's policy of imperial aggression."

-- Tom Balmforth

About This Blog

Written by RFE/RL editors and correspondents, Transmission serves up news, comment, and the odd silly dictator story. While our primary concern is with foreign policy, Transmission is also a place for the ideas -- some serious, some irreverent -- that bubble up from our bureaus. The name recognizes RFE/RL's role as a surrogate broadcaster to places without free media. You can write us at

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