How can I harm Putin? Drive less, fuel less

Russia is committing heinous war crimes in Ukraine. If we are prepared to modify ourselves little or not, we will help the crushed country a great deal.

What can I do to stop this? What can I do to help Ukraine? One of the questions I hear people send me every day. No wonder, every day, every hour, we are confronted with the horrors, the war crimes that the Russians are deliberately committing in Ukraine.

Overwhelming images of the Ukrainian-liberated town of Bucha, not far from kyiv, have been seen around the world. Russian soldiers “accidentally killed local civilians” during the month-long occupation. Some of the victims have their hands tied behind their backs, the streets of the city are littered with corpses. Terrible what the Russian regime is doing, the frightening idea that this is a Russian offer to the Western world. How to stop it? How to help Ukraine – and also to oneself?

We send money to the homeless, to arms, we welcome refugees. Western countries have imposed sanctions on Russia, but they are still insufficient. Putin was not arrested by the war criminal. Other means are known to fight against misinformation, the Russian hybrid war, which is regaining strength, I see it daily in the content of the email chains that reach me.

We already know the next way today, it just lacks popularity and touches our daily lives more deeply. But where we have to give up our comfort, our convenience, there really is a question of value. I would like to start with the fact that millions of people in Ukraine have been driven from their homes, their houses and apartments have been destroyed and often have no news of their relatives. They flee with one or two pieces of luggage and a phone in their pocket. These people have lost more than comfort.

Journalist Newspaper N Petra Procházková answered Forbes’ question about whether we could somehow stop the Russian war without the active participation of NATO. She answered clearly: “If we pay for energy, gas, oil, Russia’s resources will not dry up. Leave the sanctions, but they will fall on the citizens and either they will get angry and overthrow Putin, or they will get angry with us and continue to recognize it. But if Europeans were to demonstrate for anything, then not for peace, but for their governments to turn off the gas, to convince them that we are willing to compromise on our comfort. Ukrainians are worth it. »

Then she added: “It will be spring, I would not be afraid of the gas supply being cut off. We cannot be blackmailed by our own desire for comfort, it is our weak point, the weak point Europeans that we are spoiled”. The Russians laugh at us because it’s true, unlike us, it’s going to last a long time. »

What each of us can do

It’s already happening somewhere. Since the beginning of April, Lithuania has stopped obtaining gas supplies from the Russian company Gazprom. Lithuanian President Gitanas Nausėd says Procházková, the European Union, must stop buying oil and gas from Russia and should impose new sanctions. Because the Kremlin is using Europe’s money to destroy Ukrainian cities and attack civilians. Lithuania does this because it borders Belarus, which intensively helps the Kremlin, and serves as a base for Russian troops. It is therefore directly threatened by Russia. We don’t feel that in our comfort and naivety, for us it’s still a specific UFO threat.

The International Energy Agency (IEA) has offered the world, and so on, a similar path – to break free from Russia’s oil supply. Virtually any of us can participate, so it offers itself as one of the answers to the question “what can I do”. The IEA recommends ten points, which mainly relate to transport. You have to drive as little as possible and limit thefts as much as possible. Most of the EU’s oil is used to produce fuels, which are then used mainly for passenger cars.

The ten points, which are also clearly green, eco-friendly, include: lower the speed limit on highways by 10 km/h, reduce public transport and facilitate micromobility, walking and cycling, abandon in large cities on Sundays who can and must work up to three days from home, telecommuting, limit individual car journeys in large cities, develop car-sharing, car-sharing and reduce fuel consumption, rationalize delivery of goods, speed up electromobility or motors from alternative sources, if possible, reduce business trips, give preference to high-speed trains and night trains instead of air travel where appropriate.

These measures, if implemented worldwide, would rapidly reduce oil consumption by 2.7 million barrels per day. Putin would be greatly burdened and relieved about the environment, which means Putin is “polluted”.

The hardest discipline

It’s not just about oil, we also depend on Russian gas. Industry and Trade Minister Jozef Síkela (for STAN) recently wrote on Twitter“In Czech homes, we heat at an average temperature of 4 degrees higher than in other EU countries with a comparable climate. At the same time, each step down represents savings of around 6%. C That’s also the way to go.” Reducing the household temperature to an ideal level of 20 degrees Celsius would save almost a quarter of the gas burned. It’s a good easy trip.

Sikel said the IEA said: “The basic thesis is that it will help us the most in this economic war if we reduce consumption. Reducing consumption is really our most effective weapon against Putin. Car, or if we don’t put more of ourselves in this car, if we actually have to take a trip, we will increase our chances of succeeding in this economic war with Putin.”

The answer to the question of what practically each of us can do does exist. But until the bombs and rockets fall on us, until our corpses roll in the streets, this solution seems too much to us. Restricting others is easy, limiting yourself is one of the hardest disciplines. I’m cycling around Prague, during the pandemic covid was managing the traffic, it was better, now the capital suffers from congestion, access to the center is still not limited, cars rule over Prague as if the price of the diesel and gasoline did not increase at all. At the same time, public transport in Prague is basically good and cheap. We have a chance to change it here. We also offer alternative means of transport – e-bikes and e-scooters. And your own feet.

It is the same with heating, walking at home in winter and spring is not normal, it is one of the typical care. But it’s still true that we’re not fighting, that war is relatively close, but not here. Moreover, we are reassured that Putin has a surprisingly incompetent army, so he will not come here with tanks. Maybe, but his savage army is decimating Ukraine, the refugees can tell us if we are ready to listen to them. Restricting Putin’s Russia would be detrimental, it would help our environment. – And I already see the emails that the misinforming people sent me to this text. I have a message for them: Идите на хуй.

Svobodová: The refugees lived in shelters with the dead. They don’t care where they go, especially far from hell (DVTV video from March 26, 2022)

The worst was in Buče, they lived there with the dead in shelters, the humanitarian corridor failed. Thousands of people waited in vain for the buses. | Video: Daniela Drtinová

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