Dear President Zelensky.

We reply to your letter, which we were able to read late, because we refused to follow the last evening of the festival live.

We boycotted this evening because although we also love music, we love peace more. That peace that you, dear president, did not mention even once in your letter. That same peace that neither you nor the European governments have ever made any effort to seek. The beleaguered peace that the pacifists in your country are clamoring for, receiving in return humiliation, imprisonment and death from your government.

And if peace seems to have disappeared from your vocabulary, we have heard the word ‘victory’ many times instead. In your letter, you invited our artists to come to your country on the day of victory.

What you neglected to tell us is that unfortunately, if that victory comes, it will only be after the fire of war has consumed not only your country but also ours, involving them in the greatest catastrophe imaginable: the third world war. A possibility that seemed so remote, but is now beginning to seem possible, if not probable.

The applause you received yesterday was not that of the Italian people, but that of a small tame media circus. Because the majority of the Italian people are against the war and the continued sending of weapons to your country, which will only cause more deaths and make peace even more distant.

President Zelensky, our words do not stem from any animosity towards the Ukrainian people, for whom – on the contrary – we have great esteem and affection.

And it is precisely because of the great solidarity and love we feel for our Ukrainian sisters and brothers, that we ask you with all our hearts to step aside and make way for someone who is capable of managing a process of détente and peace, before it is too late.

And when peace returns, we will be very happy to come to Ukraine to celebrate together with all other European, Ukrainian and Russian pacifists.