Ethereum’s Buterin Reiterates Support for Ukraine, Educates Chinese on Patriotism

Tim Alper
Last updated: | 3 min read
“Volunteers place sandbags around one of Odesa’s landmarks, the monument to Duke of Richelieu, to protect it from potential Russian bombardment.” Source: Twitter/@KyivIndependent, Odesa City Council


The Ethereum (ETH) co-founder Vitalik Buterin has been hitting out at Russian president Vladimir Putin over the Ukraine war – and has even taken the time to respond to his Chinese-speaking critics.

Buterin, who was born in Russia but moved to Canada when he was six years old, hit out at Putin on the first day of the Russian “military operation,” claiming that the Russian leader’s actions had ditched peace in favor of war and committed “a crime against the Ukrainian and Russian people.”

He has since followed up by sharing tweets criticizing Putin and calling for an end to hostilities.

And on March 9, he replied to a call to allow Russian students “kicked out” of universities for “protesting war” “to signal that Europe stands with those in Russia that oppose Putin and oppose the war.”

Buterin wrote that the “first priority” was “supporting Ukrainians.” And he added, next, it was also “really important” and a “priority” to “support those Russians and Belarusians who refuse to let Putin’s Z-ombie regime represent them and take action to oppose it.”

Social media observers on the platform offered their support for Buterin’s call, including the founder of the crypto exchange giant Binance, Changpeng Zhao, who said that “the world” was “lucky to have” the Ethereum co-founder.

Not all were so welcoming of Buterin’s opinion, however – including the owner of a Chinese language account. The latter wrote:

“Aren’t you Russian? You are a traitor. Did you have a bad experience with Putin?”

Buterin did not miss the chance to make a comeback, however, answering – in Chinese – that insisting that the “people of a country must support their own government is not patriotism, but actually a form of slavery.”

He added:

“True patriotism sometimes entails fighting against the evil coming out of your own country. That is the way to help your own country become a more beautiful place.”

Many Chinese-language posters voiced their support for Buterin’s response, but others continued to voice skepticism.

A voice in favor of Buterin’s message wrote:

“When a country does something wrong, its citizens have the right to stand up and say no, and criticize the country’s mistakes.”

But one claimed that there were essentially “no differences between the Ukrainian government and the Russian government,” other than the fact that the former was “controlled by the United States government.” The commenter added that Ukraine was “no paragon of virtue.”

The war in Ukraine has been met with a lukewarm response by the Chinese government, but Chinese netizens have been exceptionally vocal in their support of Russia – and their condemnation of the West’s response to the conflict.

On Weibo, one commenter opined that “after Russia loses, China will become the next country to be targeted by Europe and the United States – and will fall into the same predicament.”
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