Psychologists from around 20 countries want to persuade Russian President Vladimir Putin to change his mind with an open letter.
"We are contacting you to share with you our academic and practical knowledge about the consequences of initiating a war for the instigator, and to offer a glimpse of a possible way out of such a perilous situation," the letter initiated by German social psychologists Rolf van Dick of the University of Frankfurt and Ulrich Wagner of the University of Marburg begins.
Almost 40 colleagues from the United States to Poland, Norway to South Africa, India and Pakistan have signed the letter.
With the letter, they want to inform Putin about the "negative effects" of what he is doing, they write.
With reference to scientific literature, they explain which processes the war against Ukraine is setting in motion in detail. Ultimately, all this leads to "rejection, isolation and physical threat" of the political leaders considered responsible.
Citizens on both sides of a war experience "national isolation," the letter says. This leads to a quest for change. Economic crises give rise to "feelings of deprivation" that are usually "the basis for resistance, protest and revolution against existing state."
"These effects hold true both for ordinary people as well as for elites."
Creating a worldview in which one appears positive and the enemy negative "consumes resources and leaders end up in isolation within a bubble of yeasayers, always endangered by the threat of being unmasked," the authors write.
When there is no longer any security, citizens develop a strong need for explanations: "This will ultimately end up in a perception of reality as it actually is: People will discover who is responsible for starting the war, and for all the consequent suffering, injuries and death."
"From our psychological point of view the primary recommendation is to immediately stop shooting, stop bombarding, stop fighting and stop killing," the scientists write and advise Putin: "Think again about the reasons for your decision to go to war and what can ultimately be achieved with this violence, for the Russian people as well as for you personally."
The letter rounds off with the appeal: "Remain open for negotiations!"
Professor van Dick does not consider it completely out of the question that the letter will reach Putin, he told dpa. Among other things, he said, the letter has been uploaded to an internet portal through which Russian citizens can write to the president.
The signatories also want to reach the critical opposition in Russia and send a signal to Ukraine, he said.