“Hello, I'm in a volunteer in the “Call Russia” program, I'm Kristīne, calling you from Latvia” – so begins the conversation of Kristīne Vītola from Kazdanga parish with an unknown Russian resident. This time she reaches a man from Kursk, the conversation is peaceful. The man says he doesn't watch the news and doesn't know about Mariupol, and says if there must be war, let there be war.
Kristīne notes this conversation as a success because it hadn't been interrupted, no swearing had occurred. She said the most emotional moment had been experienced when a woman had answered "I know everything, dear", started to cry, but did not want to talk.
“I won't be sitting peacefully on the sidelines and watch everything being bombed, children dying, how a pregnant woman with unborn children dies, [..]” said Kristīne.
The “Call Russia” campaign started on March 8 and was set up by a group of Lithuanians with the aim of breaking the information vacuum in Russia by calling randomly generated numbers and explaining in layman's terms what is actually happening. The campaign's website is available in Russian and English at callrussia.org. Statistics show that up to now 116 countries have participated in the campaign, the most active being Lithuania, Poland, and the United Kingdom. More than 100,000 calls have been made.
"This is one of the most remarkable activities of civil society in the world of this moment. Many of us ask how you will change people's beliefs. We're not trying to change people's beliefs. We don't believe we can do that. Our mission is to tell about the humanitarian crisis in Ukraine, and we think most people feel sympathy for it, " explains one of the campaign organizers, Paulius Senūta.