Roger Waters asks Ukrainian First Lady to help “persuade our leaders to stop the slaughter” in open letter

Roger Waters has penned an open letter to Ukraine’s first lady, Olena Zelenska, suggesting she persuade her husband to work toward a ceasefire with Russia and “stop the slaughter”.

The letter from the former Pink Floyd member comes by way of response to Zelenska’s interview on the BBC program Sunday with Laura Kuenssberg, which aired on Sunday (September 4.)

In it, Zelenska was asked what message she had for British people regarding the rise in energy bills that has come in part due to the current war between Ukraine and Russia.


Zelenska said: “People must understand [rising energy costs] are not coming through the West’s support to Ukraine. The prices are going up in Ukraine as well. But in addition, our people get killed. So when you start counting pennies on your bank account or in your pocket, we do the same and count our casualties.”

Zelenska said “If the support [from the West] is strong, this period will be shorter”, which Waters took issue with. Posting to Facebook yesterday (September 6), Waters addressed Zelenska.

He begins by saying his “heart bleeds for you and all the Ukrainian and Russian families, devastated by the terrible war in Ukraine”. Waters then argued against the West providing armaments to Ukraine, suggesting it would be better to “seek a different route”.

He wrote: “If by ‘support for Ukraine’ you mean the West continuing to supply arms to the Kiev government’s armies, I fear you may be tragically mistaken.

“Throwing fuel, in the form of armaments, into a fire fight… won’t work now, particularly because, in this case, most of the fuel is (a) being thrown into the fire from Washington, DC… and (b) because the ‘fuel throwers’ have already declared an interest in the war going on for as long as possible.”

Waters added that the “previously stated good intentions” proffered by Zelenska’s husband, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, might offer a different outcome for “people like you and me who actually want peace in Ukraine”.


Waters referenced Zelenskyy’s 2019 election campaign promises, which included an “end the civil war in the East and bring peace to the Donbas and partial autonomy to Donetsk and Luhansk” and “ratify[ing] and implement the rest of the body of the Minsk-2 agreements.”

“Please help me in my honest endeavors to persuade our leaders to stop the slaughter, the slaughter which serves only the interests of the ruling classes and extreme nationalists both here in the West, and in your beautiful country, at the expense of the rest of us ordinary people both here in the West, and in the Ukraine, and in fact ordinary people everywhere all over the world.”

Read Waters’ full post below:

"Did you exchange a walk on part in the war for a lead role in a cage?"An Open letter to Mrs. Olena Zelenska from…

Posted by Roger Waters on Monday, September 5, 2022

In a recent interview with CNN, a politically-charged debate saw Waters defend labelling US President Joe Biden a war criminal.

Speaking with the news channel’s Michael Smerconish (who, though a noted fan of Pink Floyd, disagrees with some of Waters political views), Waters was asked why he considers Biden fit for the slideshow of people branded by Waters as war criminals and featured in his latest stage show, ‘This Is Not A Drill’.

“Well, he’s fuelling the fire in the Ukraine, for a start – that is a huge crime,” Waters began of Biden. “Why won’t the United States of America encourage [Volodymyr] Zelenskyy, the [Ukrainian] president, to negotiate, obviating the need for this horrific, horrendous war that’s killing… We don’t know how many Ukrainians and Russians.

“You could say it started in 2008 – this war is basically about the action and reaction of NATO pushing right up to the Russian border, which they promised they wouldn’t do when [the final leader of the Soviet Union, Mikhail] Gorbachev negotiated the withdrawal of the USSR from the whole of Eastern Europe.”

Back in April 2020, Waters hit out at Biden ahead of his presidential win, calling him a “fucking slime ball” who is “so weak, and has no appeal to anybody”.