It is a sad state of affairs that I have to write this as I try to avoid all politics in my public posts, not just here in my blog. The world can be a harsh place and there are plenty of unpleasant or even just plain nasty and/or evil people out there. Problem is this is not just despotic dictators.
At the time of writing the people of Ukraine are struggling to survive as the result of the violent invasion of their country by Russia under the orders of Vladimir Putin. Many Russians are unaware of what is really happening due to state manipulation of the media and they are sold lies that the hardships they are starting to suffer are due to the West picking on their country, however many still do know what is happening and are protesting in the streets against the war despite the risk of prison sentences of up to 15 years. Today the BBC News website reported that so far over 10,000 people have been detained with over 4,000 today alone across 53 different cities in Russia. Even making anti-war/invasion posts on social media or showing support for Ukraine carries a risk.
So why do I mention this and Benu Pens. As many of you will know they are a Russian company and a number of bloggers have been attacked over mentioning them at this time or reviewing their pens. The thing to remember is they have openly come out and made posts that will have put them at risk with their own authorities including on Instagram:
And on Facebook (which I believe has now been blocked in Russia).
So remember while Russia as a country and a military under Putin may be an evil and enemy to freedom, peace, and more importantly at present, the people of the Ukraine, we need to remember there are many actual Russians who are opposed what is happening. It is the big companies, the oligarchs, Putin’s allies and cronies who need to be targeted and sanctioned, not the little people who have put themselves at risk by openly opposing what is happening.
So if you want to make a difference, do not attack those who show opposition for what is happening, instead look to assist by donating to one of the appropriate charities such as (note some of these are the British pages or are British charities).
I know our hearts and thoughts are with those in Ukraine who are desperately trying to survive, but please also remember there are those who have lost or are at risk of losing their freedom for opposing what is happening from within Russia itself.
Update 9th March 2022
Apparently to yesterday’s Penboy Roy Podcast (7’30” in) with Tom Otto, Alex Semanin of Benu was arrested for joining one of the protests, around the time the Facebook and Instagram posts were made. Presently I can’t find his reference source, which I believe might have been Luxury Brands of America. Thanks to pennoob.com for their post continuing the support for Benu in the present times and showing that they are have demonstrated their opposition to the invasion (quite literally from what we can tell).
I know some of you will have noticed this has been posted on the day of the London Spring Pen Show, however my decision to write this came about near the start when I discovered a number of UK bloggers had been the target of social media attacks and even threats of physical violence for covering Benu Pens or showing their produce in their present fountain pen rotation. Fortunately while this is occurring within our supposedly peaceful community, it was good to see much support coming from attendees and retailers at the show.