the True Cost of Russian Energy – Opinion

So the saying goes, “A picture paints 1,000 words.” A video shared by Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky Friday morning packs a powerful gut punch highlighting the costs of the war in Ukraine — funded, in large part, by the sale of Russian oil and gas.

A pleasant and upbeat music plays as a serene woman leaves her car and parks at a gas station. As she puts the gas pump into the tank, these words appear on the screen: “You don’t pay in euros or rubles for Russian gas and oil.” It then cuts to a missile launch pad with Russian signage on it, followed by a montage of the havoc being wreaked by bombs raining down, mortar fire, and Russian tanks rumbling through the streets of Ukraine.

Between the chaos and destruction scenes, we also see the lady at the gas station waiting patiently for her fuel to arrive. Then we see other people doing the same as the message continues: “You pay in the lives of the same Europeans as you.”

Scenes of broken bodies, bound hands, and a now-lifeless, well-maintained hand are shown as the woman at the station smiles from her car while other customers continue to fill up their cars.

Then we see three flags appear on the screen, with the words: “Only three countries, Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia have the courage to refuse funding genocide.” Then…”What about the rest?”

The video then shows a gas pump with the liters and euros racking up juxtaposed with multiple ruined bodies, and asks: “Is there still enough courage in Europe to stop Ukraine’s genocide?”  It ends with a link to “bloody energy,” which includes a statement from DTEK Group, NJSC Naftogaz of Ukraine, and NPC Ukrenergo:

Each dollar spent on russian oil is an investment in a war that will endanger innocent civilians. It is not possible to remain neutral about whether or not you do business with Russian energy companies. And we have a clear message for those who haven’t realized that: what your margins cover today is a specific number of Ukrainian children killed, homes destroyed, cities decimated and millions of lost or war-torn lives.

DTEK Group and NJSC Naftogaz Ukraine, as well as NPC Ukrenergo, called for Western companies not to cooperate with Russia in the energy and fuel sector. Major Ukrainian energy companies are represented by us. We have joined forces to form an expert platform that can fight for the energy sector.

Every company that funds this war on the heart of Europe will be exposed.

Your shareholders will be shown how many Ukrainians your money has killed.

This is the only way to end the war.

To expand our front line against the enemy, we are looking for experts!

The President Zelensky posted the video to Instagram and Twitter. Warning: This video contains graphic content.

“By buying Russian oil and gas, you are financing the killings of Ukrainians. Act more decisively. This is sufficient to fuel the Russian military machine. Poland, Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia have already refused to finance the genocide,” the (translated) tweet reads.

Clearly, the video is aimed at persuading Europe (and the rest of the world) of the dangers of continuing to finance Russia’s exploits. It has been viewed more than a million times as of writing. It’s a powerful statement — as intended. We will see if the effect is what we want.

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