Why we keep our Russian Saab site online

In the Ukraine, the Russian war of aggression is raging unabated, and I have no words to write about how I feel about it. As a result, Russia is experiencing an unprecedented wave of boycotts and sanctions out of solidarity with the attacked Ukraine. However, our Russian Saab page is still online and will remain so. Even if we were initially tempted to take them offline. Because there are good reasons not to do it.

Saab connects - 9-5 NG with Russian flag
Saab connects - 9-5 NG with Russian flag

In peacetime, which seems incredibly long ago, between 10 and 15% of readers came across the Russian side. Saab has loyal fans in the Russian-speaking area, just as there are in Ukraine. Cars from both nations often stood side by side at international meetings – there was no sign of mutual hatred.

With the Russian aggression, the flow of visitors to the Russian-speaking site suddenly collapsed. The firewall service provider raised the walls, the foreign-language pages hosted by a US server were given tightened security measures. After a week, visitor traffic normalized slightly, but without reaching peacetime traffic levels.

Since then, only an estimated 5% of people who visit here read the blog in Russian. And we want to keep the pages online. If you look closely, the Russian translation has little to do with Russia. It may even be that you cannot access the blog from Russia, because Moscow has also closed the Internet to the West.

The evaluations provided by the American server show us that the blog is read in Russian in Western Europe. People who live somewhere in the EU, who have Russian roots and who like Saab. Should they be penalized and the sites taken offline? Some readers thought so and wrote us emails.

I think that would be the wrong way. It would be a path of exclusion. Because it can hardly be assumed that Russian generals or the Lord of the Kremlin have an affinity for Saab. It would definitely hit the wrong people, and at the international Saab events, the Russian visitors were fans and enthusiasts like all of us.

The blog is a small medium that only plays a role in the Saab world. But I was always proud that the Saab passion was connecting across all borders. There will also be times after war and suffering. Then what has now been barbarically destroyed must be rebuilt. And I'm not just talking about cities and houses. You also have to practice working together again, you have to be able to look each other in the eye and talk to each other. A huge challenge - because it will take decades to close the wounds.

What would be more appropriate than a personal interest when it comes to a small car brand? A banality in the great calamity we are witnessing now. But a bridge for the future that we want to keep alive with the Russian translation site and not tear down. Even if it would seem appropriate at first glance.

17 thoughts on "Why we keep our Russian Saab site online"

  • Hello Tom
    Thumbs up from me for the decision.

  • If someone is a fan of the Saab brand, then they can't be a bad person, can they?
    I think it is the right decision not to close the Russian-language blog. Our Russian Saab friends have already been punished enough with the sanctions against the Russian Federation.

  • Wise and brave decision! Congratulations on that.

  • Absolutely the right decision, Tom

  • Yes, yes, the Russians - none of them have anything to do with the war. Putin is practically alone in Ukraine.
    What's more, they all know nothing about it - all victims of Putin's disinformation.
    Especially from Austria it sounded the same 77 years ago and still today we cling to the narrative that we were the first victims of National Socialism. And of course nobody stood at the Heldenplatz waving until his right arm cramped, or even knew about the genocide to the Jews even if he lived in Mauthausen. History has the fatal urge to repeat itself, but whether in times of global information as a people with the same responsibility can get through, blocked FB or not, I would like to doubt.

    • Good & right...

      , that you remind yourself of personal responsibility here. Be it German, Austrian or Russian...

      And so much the better that this blog doesn't turn off its Russian translation. This is the only way for your valuable and valid thought to go online in Russian. It's not a matter of who should issue carte blanche. If Russians or Russian-speakers find such comments here, you are reason enough for the blog to stick with the translation all by itself...

  • Art, culture, sports and a passion for automobiles and a whole lot more are the connecting points for freedom and democracy. This is Putin's war, not the Russians'. That's why I think hands should always be and remain outstretched to the people.

  • Bravo! I have Russian friends who don't understand why Putin is doing this crime to the world. They are Western-oriented, well educated, like to travel and are now heartbroken about what their country is doing. Especially because of these people, who in my eyes represent the majority of Russians, you have to keep sites like this online!

  • You have my approval!

  • Please, please more Russian...

    Every person who speaks this language should be able and allowed to continue to be part of a global, peaceful and media-free community if he or she wants to...

    We leave the censorship to Putin – especially since many Ukrainians speak Russian as their mother tongue. And yet they feel like Ukrainians and strive for independence, freedom and democracy. And otherwise...
    Many Russians also strive for freedom and democracy. A "Saabblog embargo" against people just because they are or speak Russian?

    Who demands something like that? Why and to whom do you have to justify yourself in the above article? That's really sad. I didn't think that was possible...

    Of course, the world must welcome any Russian or Russian-speaking person with open arms if that person would rather be part of a global world and community than
    to be nationalistic at Putin's mercy.

    I am irritated and enervated that one can also see it differently. The article is almost a little too submissive for me. There is no justification for blogging in Russian here.

    Is good and right. Please continue …

    • PS
      By the way, did you ever notice that apart from oil & gas there is no civilian industry worth mentioning in Russia?

      They used to have everything. Cars, passenger planes, ships from icebreakers to crusaders, trucks, trains, whatever...

      There is nothing today. Nothing at all. But the guns are great. Hypersonic missiles that the “West” cannot defend. Prestige projects such as space travel are also not a problem. But alas, you would like to have a simple car.
      Find the mistake …

      Show me your civilian industry and I'll compare it to your military. And then I know what kind of spirit you are. Psychologists have long agreed on this. Putin is headed for an extended suicide. The man is mentally ill, possibly also physically diagnosed as incurable, but nobody in Russia is allowed to know that ...

      It doesn't matter at all or it doesn't. What is certain, however, is that nobody is our enemy just because his or her mother tongue is Russian. All just people like you and me, who should and must stay in dialogue....

      E-mails that call for linguistic or even ethnic distance right now can safely be ignored without any reason or justification. Nevertheless, it is good and right to seek understanding. Hats off …

      The more people who find themselves on one side after the war, the better. Pretty cool and far-sighted how the Saabblog acts there. Hats off!

      • Didn't even know that Lada, Iliushin, Tupolev, Yakovlev, etc. stopped manufacturing. Thanks for the enlightenment!

        • Let's put it this way, none of this plays a role on the world market. Tupolev was once one of the largest aircraft manufacturers in the world and was busy exporting ...

          MW they currently have no long and no medium-haul aircraft in production / on the market. Long haul last in 2013 and only 30 machines built in total. All in Russian hands. Even China is buying from Boeing and Airbus. If Russian civil aviation isn't dead, then at least it's severely comatose.

        • I have to post this here because it's important - especially for Russian readers and the Russian population, who the blog doesn't ignore, and with good reason.

          In Soviet times, science and industry had a high international reputation. Mechanical and plant engineering as well as vehicle construction were real export hits. Passenger planes were not only produced in 30 copies for an exclusively national market, but in 1.030 pieces for Asia, Europe, Africa and South America ...

          And even the "class enemy" in Western Europe appreciates the products and services to this day. There are fan bases for the Lada Niwa, which was a very modern car in 1977. There are freely available statistics that certify that Soviet passenger planes are good and safe, that they crashed significantly less often per 1.000 units built than the "capitalist" competition...

          Quo vadis, Russia?

          Your people are great. Your scientists and engineers, artists and intellectuals are definitely not stupid. Mother Russia would have had what it takes to become or remain a civil and economic power.

          The political leadership has set other priorities - purely strategic and strategically purely military. Now Russia is threatened with a brain drain. Anyone who is peaceful and bright-headed does not feel like being a citizen of such a nation. It is better to seek asylum and go into exile. And that's what happens. What I am currently missing is a publicly declared refugee and welcome status for the Russians themselves. Anyone who no longer feels they belong to a warring nation should be able and allowed to leave it as quickly, easily and unbureaucratically as possible.

  • Hi Tom,
    I think this decision is absolutely right.

  • I expressly share your view!

  • Hello Tom, you can be sure that your decision is the right one. With regard to other measures against athletes, etc., you always have to ask yourself who the sanctions actually affect and whether anyone in the Kremlin cares.

Comments are closed.