Corsock man whose parents fled Russian revolution condemns Ukraine invasion

A 99-year-old man, Corsock, whose parents fled the Russian revolution, condemned the invasion of Ukraine.

Ivan Tolstoy blames Vladimir Putin for the war and hopes the brutal conflict can be stopped.

The naturalized US citizen, who has lived in Corsock for 46 years, had close ties to the former Soviet Union.

But despite the academic achievements in Russia, Mr. Tolstoy fiercely criticizes Putin and the destructive war he unleashed.

He told the News: “It’s quite terrifying what’s happening in Ukraine.

“Putin is behaving very badly and risks triggering a global conflagration.

“I have no confidence in the current Russian government that it will behave in a civilized manner if it has a free hand in Europe.

“Putin is a former KGB with basically very little compassion for the misery that war could bring to large numbers of people – not just in Russia but around the world.”

During a distinguished academic career on both sides of the Atlantic, Mr. Tolstoy delivered the keynote address at the 1968 All-Soviet Acoustics Conference in Moscow.

And in 1989 he was made an honorary member of the Science Center, Eastern Branch Akademya Nauk in Vladivostok.

But despite his scientific achievements in Russia, he strongly condemned the actions of the current regime.

Ivan Tolstoy.

Mr. Tolstoy also does not believe that NATO’s military expansion eastward to the Russian border triggered the invasion.

He said: “Ukraine would like to join NATO and Russia wants to get involved.

“I have very little sympathy for the idea that this war is somehow NATO’s fault.

“Russians can feel that – but I don’t know how honest that feeling is.

“Most of the time they don’t appreciate that these particular countries have united with the West. But they did so out of fear of the Russians.

“The history of Russia is such that it makes people very careful in their dealings with Russia.”

He added: “This war is totally unethical – you can’t walk into a country and take over it just because you want to.

“NATO is creating a barrier against further Russian expansion westward.

“When you have someone like Putin in charge, you better have a deterrent – ​​and NATO is that deterrent.

“NATO just did the job of holding the line.

“Russia should be stopped – hopefully by non-military methods.”

Mr. Tolstoy was born in the German spa town of Baden-Baden in 1923 and later lived in France.

His aristocratic grandfather, Count Dmitry Ivanovich Tolstoy, was a distant cousin of the famous Russian writer Lev Tolstoy.

Ivan fled Nazi-occupied France in 1944 and rebuilt his life in the United States as an ocean acoustics specialist before bringing his family to Corsock in 1976.

Her daughters Eline and Maya were educated at Kilquhanity School near the village.