A 72-year-old Dutch citizen has written a letter to Vladimir Putin asking for a Russian passport. He explained his intentions by saying he loves Russia, admires Peter the Great and is tired of anti-Russian propaganda in Europe.
“When I served in
the army of the Netherlands, I was brainwashed with the words
‘the Russians are coming!’” Gerhard Reyndsen wrote in a
letter to Putin, as cited
“I said Russia will not come, because they saw a lot of grief
and war, they want peace, and Americans are much more
dangerous,” said Reyndsen, adding that right after that he
was dubbed “a communist” by his commander.
“I have always irritated my family, because I thought there
was a lot of anti-Soviet propaganda [in Europe],” says the
Reyndsen says he’s always taken an interest in Russian history.
He knows a lot about the House of Romanov, the imperial dynasty
which ruled until the 1917 October Revolution, and Peter the
Great, the tsar who reigned at the turn of the 18th century.
— Марина_Саакова (@marina_saniram) May
Peter the Great studied shipbuilding in the Netherlands and
learnt much about Western culture. He formed close ties with the
West and is famous for “cutting a window to Europe.”
The architect and former employee of an international courier
company currently lives with his Russian wife in Karlovy Vary,
Czech Republic, where she runs a hotel. He met her back in 2008
in Rotterdam and they married in 2010.
“My wife is from Ekaterinburg [a city in the Urals], her
children are our children,” he says.
Reyndsen follows the situation in Russia and around the world. He
understands and speaks Russian a little, and his wife translates
“I watch the internet and Russian TV about the situation in
Russia and in the world. Then I read and watch European news and
see that the latter don’t write the truth, they don’t report many
Reyndsen says the situation is not only “insulting and sad,
but also outrageous.”
“I was particularly outraged by the behavior of US
authorities in connection with Ukraine,” he noted.
Reyndsen says that though he is not Gerard Depardieu, [a famous
French actor who was granted citizenship of Russia back in 2013],
he “loves Russia and Russian people.”
“I kindly ask you, Mr. Putin, to advise me if I could get a
Russian passport? For me it would be a matter of pride,” he
The Kremlin has so far made no comment about Dutch citizen
Gerhard Reyndsen applying for Russian citizenship.