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Ethereum Founder Vitalik Buterin to Putin: Ukraine Invasion Will ‘Harm Humanity’

In brief

  • Vitalik Buterin took to Twitter in his mother tongue to urge Putin to avoid war.
  • The Ethereum founder’s tweet comes as Russia is preparing to invade the smaller country.

Ethereum founder Vitalik Buterin made a foray into geopolitics on Friday, taking to Twitter to urge Russian President Vladimir Putin not to invade the country’s neighbor Ukraine.

Vitalik’s message came as the Ukrainian crisis continues to escalate, as a massive Russian military force encircles the smaller country on three sides, and diplomatic efforts flounder.

Buterin, who was raised in Toronto by Russian emigré parents, typically tweets in English but on Friday morning used his native tongue to says an invasion would harm both countries and humanity as a whole. Vitalik added that the choice to avoid war lay entirely with Putin and the Kremlin. Here’s a screenshot of the tweet and its translation:

This is not Buterin’s first interaction with Putin. In 2017, he briefly met the Russian President in person as part of a broader effort to promote Ethereum in his parents’ country. That effort included an extended tour of Russia’s Tatarstan region (chronicled in this VICE video).

More recently, Vitalik’s outspoken father Dmitry has stepped up criticism of Putin’s regime, describing the Russian President as a KGB murderer in an interview with Decrypt last year. Both Vitalik and his father have described their passion for Ethereum as driven in part by a desire to promote democracy, decentralization and freedom.

Under Putin, Russia—a country once celebrated for its achievements in literature, physics, chess and ballet—has devolved into a gangster. Most notoriously, Putin’s agents jailed and poisoned Russia’s opposition leader Alexei Navalny in 2020.

In his tweet, Vitalik tagged the Kremlin’s Twitter account @KremlinRussia. The account has yet to reply to the Ethereum founder.

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