Tag Archives: Europe

More examples available of Russian opposition to the war against Ukraine

FREE FLOW OF INFORMATION

A compilation by CPNN

Recent additions to the google list “Russians are against the war in Ukraine”
Sources marked with an asterisk are no longer available


Frame from Video by Hero of Russia Alexander Garnayev with his grand-daughters

Political movements and civil activists

International appeal of famous writers to Russian speakers regarding the war in Ukraine — 17 Russian-speaking writers, including Belarussian writer, Nobel Prize winner in Literature Svetlana Alexievich

Meduza, Mar 5

Appeals of professional communities

Open appeal by alumni, students, graduate students, and staff of St. Petersburg State University against Russia’s military actions in Ukraine — more than 2,500 people 

Military aggression contradicts the culture and the values of Russian citizens, who have learned from the bitter experience of the Great Patriotic War [World War II], and the legacy of Russian artistic culture, which is anti-war in its very nature

Google docs

Declaration of Orthodox hierarchs and scholars of Orthodoxy condemning the concept of ‘Russian peace’ and its use to justify the war in Ukraine — more than 500 people, including several Russians, including Archimandrite Kirill and former editor-in-chief of the Journal of the Moscow Patriarchate Sergey Chapnin

…we reject the heresy of the ‘Russian world’ and the shameful actions of the Russian government, which has unleashed a war against Ukraine. This war relies on a vile and indefensible doctrine condoned by the Russian Orthodox Church. We reject it as profoundly un-Orthodox, un-Christian, and hostile to humanity <...>. Just as Russia has invaded Ukraine, so the Moscow Patriarchate of Patriarch Kirill has invaded the Orthodox Church (as, for example, has happened in Africa), causing division and strife that not only results in uncountable deaths, but also endangers the souls of people, the salvation of the faithful

publicorthodoxy.org

Open letter from children’s writers, poets and other book industry workers of Russia — more than 40 people

writer Alexey Oleynikov’s Facebook, Feb 26*

(available from Echo of Moscow in the wayback machine)

Statements of celebrities and organizations

Businesspeople:

the board of directors of Lukoil, Russia’s largest private oil company 

Kommersant, Mar 3

Scientists:

biologist Evgeny Levitin, who has published an anonymous appeal on behalf of Russian biologists, condemning false reports about the development of biological weapons in Ukraine, published by the pro-government Russian media

The Insider, Mar 11

Musicians and music industry workers:

Miron Fedorov (Oxxxymiron), who has organized a charity concert in Istanbul and raised over $30,000 for the Ukrainian refugees

The Flow, Mar 16

Manizha Sangin, the bands Little Big and Bi-2, Danil Prytkov (Niletto), Darya Shikhanova (Dora)

Dozhd, Feb 25*

Ivan Dryomin (Face), who has left Russia and declared that he would no longer tour in his homeland

The Flow, Mar 12

Maksim Pokrovsky, frontman of the band Nogu Svelo

Telegram channel February Morning, Mar 16

Alexei Kortnev (band Neschastniy Sluchay)

Dialog UA, Mar 8

Television celebrities, hosts, and showpeople:

Alexander Gudkov, Anastasiya Ivleyeva, Ksenia Sobchak

I’m ashamed I was born on this day — Alexander Gudkov, showman

Dozhd, Feb 24*

(available on Ukranews)

editor of Channel One Marina Ovsyannikova, who spoke out against the war in a live broadcast on Vremya on March 14, appearing behind the host with an anti-war banner, and was soon detained

No war [in English]. Stop the war. Don’t believe the propaganda. They are lying to you [in Russian]. Russians against war [in English again] (Ovsyannikova’s banner)

Meduza, Mar 14

former chief artist of Channel One Dmitriy Likin, who had resigned from his post after the beginning of the war

Meduza, Mar 19

Continued in right column)

Questions related to this article:
 
Can the peace movement help stop the war in the Ukraine?

How can we be sure to get news about peace demonstrations?

(Continued from left column)


Other culture workers and celebrities:

former Bolshoi theater prima ballerina Olga Smirnova, who had to leave the theater because of her anti-war statements

Meduza, Mar 17

Journalists:

former editor-in-chief of a pro-Kremlin media Russia Today Maria Baronova, who has resigned in protest of the war

New York Post, Mar 9

director of the Dozhd channel Natalia Sindeyeva, who has published an appeal to pro-government journalists Margarita Simonyan and Tina Kandelaki and Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova and asked them to speak out against the war

Novaya Gazeta, Mar 20

Military:

Colonel General Leonid Ivashov, Chairman of the ‘Assembly of the Russian Officers,’ who on January 28th had published an appeal to the President and the citizens of Russia entitled ‘The Eve of War,’ in which he condemned the possible recognition of the Donetsk and Luhansk republics and the escalation of the conflict in Ukraine

Echo of Moscow, Feb 6*

(available in the wayback machine

honored military pilot of the Russian Federation, Hero of Russia Gennady Shtern

Air Force Command of UA Armed Forces in Facebook, Mar 13

pilot, Hero of Russia Alexander Garnayev 

Novy Prospekt, Mar 12

cosmonaut, world record holder for the longest stay in space Gennadiy Padalka

Novaya Gazeta, Mar 16

Media

Former Russian Deputy Prime Minister (2012-2018), head of FIDE Arkady Dvorkovich has publicly condemned the war with Ukraine 

MotherJones, Mar 14

Several employees of the state-controlled TV channels, which daily provide the official Kremlin view on the events in Ukraine, have resigned after the beginning of the war without making any statements. This includes NTV anchors Liliya Gildeyeva and Vadim Glusker, Channel One special correspondent Zhanna Agalakova, and many other unnamed employees of Channel One, NTV, and VGTRK

Meduza, Mar 15

Statements of some government officials

Another Duma deputy from the party New People, Sangadzhi Tarbayev, has also spoken out against the war

Kommersant, Mar 13

The Commission on Political Rights of the Presidential Council for Civil Society and Human Rights has issued a statement condemning military actions in Ukraine and military censorship in Russia. It was signed by more than 12 members of the Council 

Yekaterina Schulmann’s Telegram channel 

Wayback Machine, Mar 6

____________________

Listing on Russian website Meduza February 26 under the title “In Russia itself and around the world, tens of thousands of people opposed the war.”

The following sources are in addition to the google list “Russians are against the war in Ukraine” mentioned above.

Staff and students of the Moscow Gorky Literary Institute

Google docs

Graduates, students, graduate students and employees of the Faculty of Philosophy of Moscow State University – 187 signatures listed as of March 22

Google docs

Belarusian Film Community Against War – over 500 signatures listed

Google docs

Guides-interpreters, tour guides, representatives of the tourism industry

More than 600 guide-interpreters and travel agency employees from different regions of Russia (Kaliningrad, Yaroslavl, St. Petersburg, Yekaterinburg, Moscow, Vladivostok, Kamchatka, Yekaterinburg, Saratov, Nizhny Novgorod and other regions), as well as Russian-speaking guides from different countries (Great Britain, the Netherlands , Belarus, Egypt, Spain, Italy and others) sign an appeal against military methods of resolving political conflicts.

Telegram March 1

Community of Moscow State University named after M.V. Lomonosov against the war

We, students, graduate students, teachers, staff and graduates of the oldest university in Russia, Moscow State University named after M.V. Lomonosov, we categorically condemn the war that our country unleashed in Ukraine.. . . The appeal was signed (at 00:10, March 5, 2022) by more than 7,500 graduates, staff and students of Moscow State University.

MSU Alumni Against War.notion.site

Malta : World Forum for the Culture of Peace

. . DEMOCRATIC PARTICIPATION . .

A press release from the Government of Malta

Malta is hosting the second edition of the World Forum for Culture of Peace “Leadership for Just Peace” under the auspices of President George Vella and the Abdulaziz Saud Albabtain Foundation.


Malta President George Vella

During the opening session, the President referred to the ongoing war in Ukraine and stated that the world is witnessing an atrocious attack on all notions of democracy, stability, sovereignty, and territorial integrity. In laying emphasis on the fact that the world is witnessing a complete disregard of agreements and international institutions, the President appealed for a quick ceasefire, a return to the negotiating table and to find diplomatic solutions. He stressed that the humanitarian tragedy unfolding in front of our eyes in Ukraine is unacceptable

(Article continued in right column)

Question related to this article:

How can we develop the institutional framework for a culture of peace?

(Article continued from left column)

The President said that we cannot achieve just peace if we still live in a world of inequalities, big or small, adding that passivism is also dangerous.
 
Among the areas that need to be tackled in order to have peace, President Vella mentioned the reinforcement of the role of women and girls in all aspects of life; the voice of young people; the respect of different beliefs; the attention to climate change; and controls on the distribution of small arms and light weapons.
 
The participants during the two-day forum aim at exploring and restoring institutional mechanisms, educational programmes, and tools for developing leadership competencies to achieve fair peace and sustainable stability for the people.
 
Abdul Aziz Saud Albabtain, Chairman of Abdulaziz Saud Albabtain Cultural Foundation, who is organising this forum, stated that just peace can be achieved with the participation of world leaders and institutions on international level.
 
The first session, chaired by President Vella, focused on the role of world leaders. It was addressed by the President of Albania, Ilir Meta, the President of the Republic of Kosovo, Vjosa Osmani, and the Former President of Croatia, Stjepan Mesić. They all accentuated the power of dialogue, and that peace cannot be taken for granted.

The forum was also addressed by the Secretary General of the United Nations, Antonio Guterres, the President of the United Nations General Assembly, Abdallah Shahid, and the Speaker of the National Assembly of Kuwait, Marzouq Al-Ghanim.  


March 17: The struggle for free flow of information about the Russian war against Ukraine

FREE FLOW OF INFORMATION

An article by CPNN

Information sources about the Russian war against Ukraine are being blocked by both Russia and the West which makes the situation quite complicated. This is illustrated by many events today (March 17).


Photo of girl arrested for demonstrating in Russia against the war. Copyright Valya Egorshin/NurPhoto/picture alliance as published by Deutsche Welle

As of today, many of the sources are no longer available about opposition to the war in Russia as listed in the Google Doc of March 13. We may assume they have been blocked or withdrawn under threats by Russian authorities. We have been able to find alternative sources for 13 of them, including backup copies of sources that were blocked after March 13. The Statement of Russian peace supporters and the open letter of Russian cultural figures continue to be republished by CPNN but are no longer available from the source, Echo of Moscow, because the website has been blocked by the Russian authorities. Open letters from Russian scientists and from Russian mathematicians are republished in CPNN but no longer available from the source, TRV-Science, presumably withdrawn because of legal pressure.

Russian authorities have not (yet) blocked the opposition comments republished in CPNN from Lukoil, the largest private company in Russia, or from the leading Russian chess players republished in CPNN from championat, the Russian chess website.

An article published recently by CPNN describes how Russians are getting around censorship by using social networks, encrypted messaging and VPN servers.  For those of us not yet familiar with VPN, it stands for Virtual Private Networks. As described on the website of cybernews, while there are many ways that authorities can block VPNs, there are even more ways to bypass their blocking.

(Continued in right column)

Questions related to this article:
 
Can the peace movement help stop the war in the Ukraine?

How can we be sure to get news about peace demonstrations?

Free flow of information, How is it important for a culture of peace?

(Continued from left column)

An article yesterday in Deutsche Welle describes how Russians are taking risks to express their opposition in the face of police action that is sometimes even ridiculous. A video went viral on social media last week, showing a woman being arrested by the Russian police for holding up a small piece of paper that reads “two words.” The phrase “two words” (“два слова” in Russian) seems to hint at the forbidden slogan “no to war” (or “нет войне” in Russian). And Russian police have arrested demonstrators who protest with blank signs. A video that receive millions of views on social media, showed a woman holding a blank sign among a group of people before police officers approached her and escorted her away from the crowd. In another case, the pilot on an internal Russian flight made the following announcement: “Ladies and gentlemen, here is your captain speaking. Welcome to Antalya. Thank you for flying with “Pobeda”. Also, from me personally: the war with Ukraine is a crime…”.

Two women in Canada have launched a initiative for people to telephone friends in Russia to tell them the news that is being blocked from their television reports. They are even furnished telephone numbers if someone can speak Russian and wants to call Russians whose telephone numbers have been randomly selected.

An event that reminds one of the Black Panthers who said they fought on the wrong side in Vietnam, CNN has published information from videos of interviews with Russian soldiers captured (or perhaps in some cases deserted?) in Ukraine and who go so far as to say they will return to Russia and struggle against Putin.

Finally, with regard to Russia, we recommend a very valuable analysis from the Financial Times that describes the small circle of Putin’s advisors that influence his information and decisions.

While the above information is concentrated on Russian censureship, we should not forget, as described in CPNN on January 18, that the details of Putin’s proposals for peace treaties with the West that could have prevented the war were suppressed by the Western media and only available after diligent research.

What we are seeing is really a case of cyber-warfare, as it may be said that the control of information becomes more and more an arm of the culture of war.

Can Putin control Russian information?

FREE FLOW OF INFORMATION

An editorial by CPNN

As documented extensively by Google Docs, a huge number of Russian citizens are against the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Many express their position through open letters and appeals or simply publications on social media.

However, as described by Reporters Without Borders and reprinted in CPNN, the Putin administration has banned the words “war,” “attack” and “invasion” from the media. Only information from “official Russian sources” – the defence ministry – is now permitted. Information about military losses or troop moral had already been classified  since October. Any attempt to provide such coverage is liable to result in prosecution or inclusion on the “foreign agents” list.


Marina Ovsyannikova interrupts a live news bulletin on Russian state TV Channel One holding a sign reading ‘NO WAR. Stop the war’ in this still image obtained from the video uploaded on March 14

According to public opinion polls as cited by the blogger Sergey Aleksashenko, between 58% and 65% of Russians continue to support the war as of March 6. Aleksashenko cites three explanations: 1) Putin is on the television everyday with his version of events; 2) most Russians get their news from television; and 3) independent media have been severely censured or closed.
(Continued in right column)

Questions related to this article:
 
Can the peace movement help stop the war in the Ukraine?

How can we be sure to get news about peace demonstrations?

(Continued from left column)

Two questions arise : Can Putin continue to control Russian television? Will Russians continue to get their news from Russian television?

First question : Can Putin continue to control Russian television?

Not completely. After all, television is controlled by people, not just machines, and people cannot always be controlled.

For example, as shown in the photo on the left, on March 14, an employee of Russian television Channel One named Marina Ovsyannikova interrupted the news broadcast by holding up a sign saying “NO WAR. Stop the war” and “Don’t believe the propaganda”.

It is estimated that at least a million television listeners saw the sign. Also, the video was recorded and put on line by Kira Yarmysh, spokeswoman for jailed opposition leader Alexey Navalny, and it quickly notched up more than 2.6 million views. Tass news agency said Ovsyannikova may face charges under a law against discrediting the armed forces, citing a law enforcement source.

The event was heavily covered in the Western media, for example by Al Jazeera, the Guardian, the New York Times, le Monde and the Intercept.

Second question: Will Russians continue to get their news from Russian television?

If history repeats itself, Russians will increasingly turn to Western sources of information even though Putin’s administration tries to block access to them. At the end of the Cold War, when Russian media was heavily censored, Radio Free Europe became the main source of information for millions of Russians. The more the goverrnment tried to block Radio Free Europe, the more it became a game for Russians to get its information.

In the end, people are curious and the game will probably win out.

Russians are against the war on Ukraine

FREE FLOW OF INFORMATION

A Google Document

Click here for the Russian text

A huge number of Russian citizens are against the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Many express their position through open letters and appeals or simply publications on social media. The Yabloko party, the majority of opposition politicians and activists, many municipal deputies across the country, and even several deputies of the State Duma and the Federation Council have publicly condemned the war. More than 1,100,000 people have subscribed under the anti-war petition written by a human rights activist Lev Ponomarev. Representatives of many professional communities — doctors, IT-specialists, teachers, designers, scientists, journalists, philanthropists, and various cultural workers — have signed collective open letters. In interviews and social networks a large number of famous Russians: nationally beloved musicians, internationally recognized filmmakers, TV hosts, actors, sportspeople, and businesspeople speak out against the war. Various independent media outlets have published statements against the war, and several print media outlets have come out with special covers. The list of the people and the organizations which publicly oppose the war grows every day.


Video statement from young scientists against the war with Ukraine


This list is constantly being updated. If you want to help us update it with new data, write an email to stopwarua22@gmail.com.

(Editor’s note: Sources marked with an asterisk are no longer available as of March 13. In some of these cases I have been able to find other sources still available – put in parenthesis. For those in the left column blocked after March 13, I have provided backup versions.)

Political movements and civil activists

  • The opposition party Yabloko openly opposed the war with Ukraine. As early as February 13, the party began collecting signatures against a possible escalation of the conflict, and over 84,000 people have signed it so far. After the full-fledged war began, the Federal Political Committee of Yabloko also demanded that Putin immediately stop the military actions

    The Yabloko party considers the war with Ukraine the gravest crime. <…> We are sure that millions of Russians are against the war. Yabloko demands that President Putin immediately cease hostilities and urgently start internationally mediated peace negotiations

    Yabloko, Feb 24

  • Human rights activist Lev Ponomaryov’s petition against the war with Ukraine has gathered more than 1,100,000 signatures in a week and the number is growing


    Change.org, Feb 24

  • Human rights activist and politician, member of the federal political committee of Yabloko, Lev Shlosberg has published a ‘petition to the people of the world,’ calling on Russians for a ‘peaceful, non-violent civil resistance to war’

    This day will go down in the history of Russia as one of the most horrific. It is a day of disgrace, a day of shame, a day of a global-scale tragedy

    Echo of Moscow, Feb 24*

  • Municipal deputies from different Russian cities spoke out against the war with Ukraine. A collective open letter to the citizens of Russia was signed by more than 270 people

    We, people’s elected deputies, unequivocally condemn the Russian army’s attack on Ukraine. This is an unprecedented atrocity that has and can have no justification. The decision to attack was made personally by President of Russia, Vladimir Putin. We are convinced that the citizens of Russia did not give him such a mandate


    Novaya Gazeta, Feb 24*

    (available here in google docs)

  • An appeal by Russian intellectuals against a possible war with Ukraine, published on January 30, was signed by 90 people, including chairman of the Yabloko party Grigory Yavlinsky, politician and economist Andrei Nechayev, sociologist Lev Gudkov, and film director Garri Bardin

    Echo of Moscow, Jan 30*

    (available on the wayback machine)
  • Chairman of the unregistered opposition Libertarian Party of Russia Boris Fedyukin has released an appeal to libertarians with the condemnation of Russia’s aggression against Ukraine

    LPR Telegram channel, Feb 24

  • Eleven public figures have announced the creation of the Anti-War Committee of Russia. It includes politician and entrepreneur Mikhail Khodorkovsky<, politician and chess player Garry Kasparov, politicians Dmitry Gudkov and Vladimir Kara-Murza, economists Sergey Aleksashenko and Sergey Guriev, historian Yury Pivovarov, journalist Yevgeny Kiselev, entrepreneurs Boris Zimin and Yevgeny Chichvarkin, and writer Viktor Shenderovich

    Khodorkovsky’s Telegram channel, Feb 27

  • More than 30 members and deputies of the Communist Party of the Russian Federation and the Leninist Communist Union of Youth of the Russian Federation, including CPRF candidate for the Duma Mikhail Lobanov, have signed an open letter against the war with Ukraine

    Google Forms, Mar 2

  • Social democratic organization Russian Socialist Movement has called for the immediate withdrawal of Russian troops from Ukraine

    RSM, Feb 25*

Russian anti-militarist movements have also opposed the war:

Appeals of professional communities

Representatives of many professions have published collective open letters to Vladimir Putin or Russian citizens condemning the war in Ukraine:

  • Open letter from Russian culture workers, artists, curators, architects, art critics, art managers) against the war with Ukraine — more than 17,000 signatures

    Meduza, Feb 26

  • Appeal by famous theater workers, published by theater activist Maria Revyakina, was signed by 17 people, including nationally famous conductor Vladimir Spivakov, actors Alisa Freindlich, Yevgeny Mironov, Konstantin Raikin, Nina Usatova, and Oleg Basilashvili

    Revyakina’s Facebook, Feb 26

  • Appeal demanding an immediate end to the invasion of Ukraine, published by the Union of Cinematographers and Professional Film Organizations and Associations of Russia — more than 80 cinematographers, including the chairman of the Union, filmmaker Alexey Popogrebsky and its board members, filmmakers Boris Khlebnikov, Vitaly Mansky, Andrei Proshkin, and also filmmaker Alexander Lungin and actor Yury Borisov

    Kinosoyuz, Feb 24

  • Open letter from Russian scientists and science journalists against the Russian aggression in Ukraine — more than 5,400 scientists, including Yury Apresyan, Mikhail Gelfand, Alexey Gippius, Sergei Guriev, Alexander Markov, Svetlana Tolstaya, Boris Trushin, and Fyodor Uspensky

    Troitsky Variant — Nauka, Feb 24

    (no longer available directly as of March 17 but available on CPNN)

  • Open letter from economists of Russian origin against the war with Ukraine — more than 210 people, including co-founder of Yandex Ilya Segal, Sergey Aleksashenko, Konstantin Sonin

    Google Sites, Feb 27

  • Open letter from representatives of the Russian scientific diaspora against the war with Ukraine, initiated by the International Association of Russian-Speaking Scientists — more than 48 people, including 2010 Nobel Prize-winning physicist Andre Geim

    Troitsky Variant — Nauka, Feb 25*

    (text in t-variant)

  • Open letter from students and professors of Russian universities against the war in Ukraine — more than 14,000 people

    It is generally accepted that science and the Academy should be free from politics. But the time has come when this freedom has no place to exist. War will affect all aspects of life, including science and education. Free science and academic activities are not to be combined with bloodshed and suffering

    Znak, Feb 24*

    (available here on the wayback machine

  • Appeal of cultural figures demanding an end to the war with Ukraine, published by journalist Mikhail Zygar — 13 people, including famous writers Boris Akunin, Dmitry Bykov, Dmitry Glukhovsky< and Vladimir Sorokin, journalists Leonid Parfyonov and 2021 Nobel Peace Prize winner Dmitry Muratov, publisher Irina Prokhorova, actress Chulpan Khamatova, and filmmakers Andrei and Ilya Khrzhanovsky

    The war that Russia has launched against Ukraine is a disgrace. It is our shame, but, unfortunately, the responsibility for it will fall on our children, the generation of very young and even unborn Russians. We do not want our children to live in an aggressor country, to be ashamed that their army had attacked a neighboring independent state. We call upon all citizens of Russia to say ‘no’ to this war


    Meduza, Feb 24

  • An open letter from Russian journalists and correspondents who write about Russian foreign policy, with the condemnation of Russia’s ‘military operation’ in Ukraine, published by journalist Elena Chernenko who was soon expelled from the Kremlin pool for this), signed by 100 journalists from the following media outlets: Novaya Gazeta, Dozhd, TASS, RBC, RTVi, Kommersant, Important Stories, Echo of Moscow, Doxa, and many others


    Chernenko’s Telegram channel, Feb 24

  • Appeal of journalists of independent Russian media from< Syndicate-100 against the ‘massacre’ waged by the Russian authorities

    Pain, anger, and shame — these are the three words that reflect how we feel about what is happening. <…> Ever since the Cuban Missile Crisis the world has never been so close to a global catastrophe. We, journalists of independent Russian media outlets, declare that we are against the massacre waged by the Russian authorities. We promise to report honestly about what is happening as long as we have the opportunity to do so


    Wayback Machine, Feb 24

    (original article in Novaya Gazeta is now censored by the Prosecutor-General’s Office and Roskomnadzor)

  • Open letter from representatives of major Russian charities and nonprofit organizations demanding an end to the war in Ukraine, published by Nyuta Federmesser, founder and member of the governing board of the Vera Hospice Charity Fund — more than 560 people

    Forbes Live, Feb 26

  • Open letter from IT workers against Russia’s war with Ukraine, published by the product manager of HeadHunter, Natalia Lukyanchikova — more than 30,000 people

    VC.ru, Feb 26

  • Open letter from Russian doctors, nurses, and paramedics demanding an end to the military actions in Ukraine — more than 11,000 people

    We took an oath to help all people, regardless of their nationality, religion or political views. But right now, our help is not enough. The fighting will take so many lives and cripple so many lives that we will not be able to help in all our efforts. Cries of pain and calls to mothers are all in the same language


    Meduza, Feb 26

  • Open letter from Russian teachers against the war in Ukraine — more than 4,500 people

    Meduza, Feb 26

  • Open letter from designers and illustrators from Russia against the war with Ukraine — more than 10,000 people

    Meduza, Feb 27

  • Open letter from architects and urban planners of Russia against the military actions in Ukraine — more than 6,500 people

    Project Russia, Feb 26

  • Open letter of workers of the Russian fashion and beauty industry, as well as lifestyle media against the war with Ukraine — more than 4,300 people

    The Blueprint, Feb 28*

    (available in the wayback machine
  • Open letter from Russian psychologists and psychiatrists against the military actions in Ukraine — more than 4,900 people

    Google Docs

  • Open letters from Russian lawyers against military actions in Ukraine — more than 4,300 people

    Google Forms

    Mari Davtyan’s Facebook*

  • Appeal by the members of the Council of the Russian Federal Bar Association

    RFBA, Feb 27*

    (available on the wayback machine)

  • Open letter from employees and alumni of the Higher School of Economics, Moscow against the war with Ukraine — more than 4,400 people

    Google Docs, Feb 27*

  • Open letter from current and former students of Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology against the war in Ukraine — more than 2,500 people

    Doxa, Feb 27

  • Open appeal from students, employees, and alumni of Moscow State Institute of International Relationsagainst the military actions in Ukraine — more than 1,100 people

    Google Docs

  • Appeal by the students and employees of Skolkovo Institute of Science and Technology to the university’s administration with a demand to publicly condemn the military actions in Ukraine

    Meduza, Mar 1

  • Open letter from Russian game industry workers against the war with Ukraine — more than 2,100 people

    TJournal, Feb 27

  • Open letter from Russian intellectual game club participants against Russia’s invasion of Ukraine — more than 1,500 Russians

    Google Docs, Feb 28*

  • Open letter of Russian geographers against the military actions in Ukraine — more than 1,400 people

    Doxa, Mar 1

  • Petition of Russian translators against the invasion of Ukraine — than 1,400 people

    Change.org, Feb 26

  • Open letter from the Russian advertisement and PR industry against the war with Ukraine — more than 1,200 people

    Google Docs, Feb 27

  • Open letter from Russian ecologists, ecoactivists, and ecojournalists against the military actions in Ukraine — more than 1,000 people

    Google Docs*

  • Открытое письмо российских историков против войны с Украиной — более 1 100 человек

    Google Forms*

  • Open letter of Russian writers and poets against the invasion of Ukraine — more than 630 people

    Doxa, 1 мар

  • Open letter from the educational community of Russia against the aggression on Ukraine — more than 900 people

    Google Docs*

    (Facebook)

  • Open letter from the Russian podcast industry against the military actions in Ukraine — more than 450 people

    Podcasts.ru, Feb 26
    (no longer available directly on March 17 but available here as a backup copy.)


  • Open letter from Russian animators against the invasion of Ukraine  — more than 390 people

    Animation, and all art in general, has always been imbued with an anti-war spirit. We believe that today’s military actions are directed not just against our Ukrainian friends and colleagues but against all people, humanity, and Human in general


    Novaya Gazeta, Feb 25*

    (Facebook)

  • Open letter from Russian comedians against the war in Ukraine — more than 260 people

    Meduza, Feb 27

  • Open letter from Russian anthropologists against the military actions in Ukraine — more than 600 people

    Change.org, Feb 27

  • Appeal by members of the Interdisciplinary Clinical Association of Reproductive Medicine against Russian military actions in Ukraine, published by its head, biologist Ilya Volodyaev, — more than 220 people

    Volodyaev’s Facebook, Feb 25*

  • Appeal by clergymen of the Russian Orthodox Church against the war in Ukraine — more than 190 people

    We, the priests and deacons of the Russian Orthodox Church, each on his own behalf, appeal to all on whom the fratricidal war in Ukraine depends for reconciliation and an immediate cease-fire. We send this appeal after the Last Judgment Sunday and in anticipation of the Forgiveness Sunday


    Meduza, Mar 1

Questions related to this article:
 
Can the peace movement help stop the war in the Ukraine?

(Continued from left column)

Statements of celebrities and organizations

Many well-known Russians have appealed to the citizens and spoken out against the war with Ukraine through social networks and interviews. Among them are opposition politicians, activists and human rights activists

  • politician and political prisoner Alexey Navalny, former mayor of Yekaterinburg Yevgeny Roizman<, lawyer and former head of an association of lawyers and journalists Team 29 Ivan Pavlov

    Meduza, Feb 24

  • politician and former State Duma deputy Dmitry Gudkov

    Dozhd, Feb 24*

  • politician and human rights activist Marina Litvinovich<, who, after the announcement of a spontaneous protest rally against the war with Ukraine in various Russian cities on the first day of the war, was detained by police

    RBC, Feb 24*

  • politician and entrepreneur Mikhail Khodorkovsky

    Khodorkovsky’s Telegram channel, Feb 24

  • politician Ilya Yashin

    Radio Svoboda, Feb 25

  • politician Irina Fatyanova

    Wonderzine, Feb 25*

Businesspeople

  • entrepreneur, one of the richest businesspeople
     of Russia Oleg Deripaska

    RBC, Feb 27*

  • entrepreneur, founder of Tinkoff Bank Oleg Tinkov

    Tinkov’s Instagram, Feb 28

  • entrepreneur Yevgeny Chichvarkin

    Chichvarkin’s Facebook, Feb 25

  • entrepreneur, co-owner of Alfa-Bank Mikhail Fridman, publisher Boris Kupriyanov

    Meduza, Feb 27

  • entrepreneur, co-owner of Severstal and supermarket chain Lenta Alexey Mordashov, founder of tech shop chain M.Video Alexander Tynkovan, co-owner of Tekhnonikol Igor Rybakov, businessman David Yakobashvili

    RBC, Feb 28*

  • co-founder of Qiwi, Boris Kim<, media manager and former Meduza publisher Ilya Krasilshchik, entrepreneur Nikolai Davydov, HR specialist Alyona Vladimirskaya

    Forbes, Feb 24

Scientists

  • political scientist Ekaterina Schulmann, sociologist Viktor Vakshtayn

    Meduza, Feb 24

  • linguist Svetlana Tolstaya, writer Leo Tolstoy’s great-granddaughter, with her daughters, linguist Marfa Tolstaya and journalist Fyokla Tolstaya

    Svetlana’s Facebook, Feb 27

Writers and poets

Musicians and music industry workers

  • Valery Meladze, Zemfira Ramazanova, Lolita Milyavskaya, Boris Grebenshchikov, Yury Shevchuk DDT), Miron Fyodorov Oxxxymiron), Sergey Lazarev, Svetlana Loboda, Ivan Alexeyev Noize MC), Vladi Kasta), Aigel Gaisina Aigel), Kirill Ivanov SBPCh)

    Meduza, Feb 24

  • Elizaveta Gyrdymova Monetochka), Ekaterina Kishchuk, Yanis Badurov Yanix), Fyodor Insarov Feduk), Alexander Smirnov Gone.Fludd), Daniel Bumagin White Punk), Yury Drobitko 104), hip hop group Grot

    The Flow, Feb 24*

  • Alisher Morgenshtern, Manizha Sangin, the bands Little Big and Bi-2, Danil Prytkov Niletto), Darya Shikhanova Dora)

    Dozhd, Feb 25*

  • Egor Kreed

    Znak, Feb 24*

  • Leonid Agutin

    Agutin’s Instagram, Mar 2

  • Olga Buzova, Natasha Korolyova, band Pornofilmy

    Rosbalt, Feb 25*

  • bands Kino, Affinazh, Tarakany, Lumen

    Reproduktor, Feb 26

  • Roman Khudyakov Loqiemean), Oleg Nesterov Megapolis), bands Cream Soda, KDIMB

    The Village, Feb 24*

  • Vera Brezhneva, Natalia Ionova Glukoza), Musya Totibadze

    RBC, Feb 25*

  • band Mumiy Troll, which has suspended all concerts

    Lenta.Ru, Mar 3

  • Yana Rudkovskaya

    Dozhd, Feb 24*

  • Andrei Makarevich Mashina Vremeni)

    Meduza, Feb 25

  • band ГШ / Glintshake

    VKontakte, Feb 28*

  • lead singer of the band Shortparis Nikolay Komyagin, who was fined for participating in an anti-war protest in St. Petersburg

What is happening right now is pure madness. The people who started this war are insane. They are a disgrace to Russia — Boris Grebenshchikov, musician

I was sure that war was impossible. I really feel that Ukrainians are our family and our brothers, between whom war is impossible. I have been reading the assurances of this made by the current government with my own eyes. <…> I wish everyone to live to see the time when Russia will officially list and acknowledge the crimes of the current government — Vladi Kasta), musician


Apologiya Protesta Telegram channel, Feb 26

Television celebrities, hosts, and showpeople
:

I’m ashamed I was born on this day — Alexander Gudkov, showman

Actors and actresses

Filmmakers and other cinematographers

  • Alexander Rodnyansky, Kantemir Balagov, Roman Volobuyev, Viktor Kosakovsky

    Meduza, Feb 24

  • Andrei Zvyagintsev, Yury Bykov, Kira Kovalenko, Mikhail Mestetsky, Nigina Sayfullaeva, Oksana Karas, Roman Vasyanov

    Meduza, Feb 26

Comedians and stand-up artists

Other culture workers and celebrities

  • ballet dancer Anastasiya Volochkova

    Rosbalt, Feb 25*

  • conductor Ivan Velikanov, who gave an anti-war speech before a performance at the Nizhny Novgorod Opera House and was subsequently suspended from performing at the Golden Mask Festival for this speech

    Znak, Mar 2*

  • players of the TV intellectual game ‘What? Where? When?’ Denis Galiakberov and Nikolai Krapil, who have refused to participate in the game on Channel One

    Krapil’s Facebook, Feb 28

  • former director of the Meyerhold Center, who had resigned on the first day of the war in protest, Elena Kovalskaya

    The Village, Feb 24

  • theater director Dmitry Volkostrelov, fired from his position as artistic director of the Meyerhold Center for his anti-war statements

    Meduza, Mar 1

Sportspeople

  • figure skater and two-time world champion Yevgenia Medvedeva
    figure skater and four-time world champion Alexey Yagudin
    national soccer team player Fyodor Smolov
    CSKA coach Vasily Berezutsky
    footballer and Zenit defender Yaroslav Rakitsky
    footballer and Rubin halfback Konstantin Kuchayev
    Zenit coach Sergey Semak
    biathlete Larisa Kuklin
    mixed martial arts fighter and interim UFC champion Pyotr Yan

    RBC, Feb 25*

  • tennis player
    Andrei Rublyov, ATP No. 1 ranked tennis player
    Daniil Medvedev
     

    CNN, 25 Feb

  • tennis player Yevgeny Kafelnikov

    Sports.ru, Feb 24

  • hockey player, captain of the Washington Capitals Alexander Ovechkin

    RBC, Feb 25*

  • chess player Ian Nepomniachtchi

    Dozhd, Feb 24*

YouTube bloggers

Journalists

Media

Today we all met early in the newsroom. We are in grief. Our country, by the order of President Putin, has started a war with Ukraine. <…> We will publish this issue of Novaya Gazeta in two languages, Ukrainian and Russian. Because we do not recognize Ukraine as an enemy, and Ukrainian language as the language of the enemy. And we will never recognize it this way. And one last thing. Only the anti-war movement of Russians can save life on this planet

Other organizations

  • Russian Direct Investment Fund, exporter of the Sputnik vaccine
     to foreign countries


    Meduza, Mar 2

  • Garage Museum of Contemporary Art, which stopped working on exhibitions as a protest against the invasion of Ukraine

    Meduza, Feb 26

  • Strelka Institute for Media, Architecture, and Design, which also suspended its work due to hostilities in Ukraine

    Strelka Mag, Feb 28

  • cultural and educational center in Yekaterinburg, Yeltsin Center

    Meduza, Feb 26

  • Internet project Suffering Middle Ages

    VK, Feb 24*

  • «Titanic’s Historical Research Community»

    VK, Feb 24*

  • ecological movement in Arkhangelsk «42»

    7×7, Feb 27

  • pharmacy chain Ozerki

    TJournal, Mar 1

Former Minister of Foreign Affairs of Russia (1990—1996) Andrey Kozyrev has publicly condemned the invasion of Ukraine and the possibility of a nuclear war

Dozhd, Feb 28*

Founders of the Immortal Regiment movement, Igor Dmitriev, Sergey Lapenkov, and Sergey Kolotovkin, spoke out against the war with Ukraine

The problem is that few people think that the great-grandchildren of those who fought back then who we call The Immortal Regiment today) are thrown into this war, on one side or the other. I think our great-grandfathers would probably curse us for what has happened — Sergey Lapenkov


ТV2, Feb 24*

(Moscow Times)

On January 28th, Colonel General Leonid Ivashov, Chairman of the ‘Assembly of the Russian Officers,’ had published an appeal to the President and the citizens of Russia entitled ‘The Eve of War,’ in which he condemned the possible recognition of the Donetsk and Luhansk republics and the escalation of the conflict in Ukraine

Echo of Moscow, Feb 6*

Former head of a popular Russian news aggregator Yandex.Novosti Lev Gershenzon has spoken out against the war and urged his colleagues not to suppress information about Russia’s war with Ukraine in the service’s news feed

Gershenzon’s Facebook, Mar 1

Founder of a website The Question, former Yandex employee Tonya Samsonova has quit her job to protest Yandex.Novosti’s concealment of the information about the shelling of civilians by the Russian military

Due to the fact that Yandex does not display the information that Russian troops are shelling Ukrainian cities and killing civilians on the main page of Yandex, I ask that I be fired at my own request. I consider the company’s actions a crime and a complicity in the war and the murder — Tonya Samsonova


Samsonova’s Facebook, Mar 2

Statements of some government officials

Some government officials have spoken out against the war as well:

  • State Duma deputy from the Communist Party of the Russian Federation Oleg Smolin has spoken out against Russia’s military actions in Ukraine. Despite the fact that he had voted for the recognition of Donetsk and Luhansk, the deputy said that he was ‘shocked when he heard about the beginning of large-scale hostilities’

    Dozhd, Feb 25*

    (Business Insider)
     

  • Another Duma deputy from the CPRF, Mikhail Matveyev, who had also voted for the recognition of the republics, has spoken out against the war, too

    Dozhd, Feb 26*

    (Business Insider)
     
  • Then, Duma deputy from the CPRF Vyacheslav Markhayev has also condemned the war with Ukraine, explaining that by voting for the recognition of the republics he had hoped for peace rather than war

    To my great regret, the entire campaign of the recognition of the DPR and LPR had a completely different plan and intent, which was initially concealed, and as a result we have found ourselves in a full-scale confrontation and war between the two states. After recognizing the republics of the DPR and LPR, we had neither the stamina nor the political will to try to continue to reclaim their positions peacefully. Has there been no other means for ‘denazification’ and ‘demilitarization’ than military actions? — Vyacheslav Markhaev


    Meduza, Feb 28

  • Federation Council member Lyudmila Narusova has condemned military censorship and militaristic state propaganda and called for the creation of a humanitarian corridor for the removal of killed Russian soldiers’ bodies

    Novaya Gazeta, Mar 2*

  • Deputy of the State Council of the Komi Republic and head of the local CPRF faction Viktor Vorobyov has spoken out against the war with Ukraine

    Region-Expert, Mar 1
  • Deputy head of Rossotrudnichestvo< Federal Agency for the Commonwealth of Independent States Affairs, Compatriots Living Abroad, and International Humanitarian Cooperation), former prosecutor of the Republic of Crimea and State Duma deputy from United Russia Natalya Poklonskaya has spoken out against the war in Ukraine

    Dare to doubt yourself and have human compassion for the world, which is on the line. We have gone too far. And it seems to me that it is time we take responsibility in our own hands, not hand it over to those who have guns. I appeal to everyone, Russians and Ukrainians alike — Natalia Poklonskaya

    Wonderzine, Mar 2

  • The Council of Deputies of Moscow’s Yakimanka District has unanimously spoken out against the military actions in Ukraine

    deputy Andrey Morev’s Facebook, Feb 28*

  • The Council of Deputies of Moscow’s Krasnoselsky District has spoken out against the military actions in Ukraine as well

    chairman Ilya Yashin’s Facebook, Mar 2

  • Former deputy chairman of the Krasnodar Public Chamber Igor Kolomiytsev, left his position in protest against the war in Ukraine. He has also resigned from his position as deputy editor-in-chief of the pro-government outlet Krasnodarskiye Izvestiya

    93.Ru, Feb 25

In social networks, the children of some Russian politicians and businessmen close to the government have spoken out against the war with Ukraine. Anti-war statements were published by the daughter of the Press Secretary for the President Dmitry Peskov Yelizaveta Peskova she soon deleted the statement), the daughter of businessman Roman Abramovich Sofia Abramovich, the daughter and granddaughter of former Russian President Boris Yeltsin Tatiana Yumasheva and Maria Yumasheva

Mediazona, Feb 25

UN Women : Five young women on the forefront of climate action across Europe and Central Asia

. WOMEN’S EQUALITY . .

An article from UN Women

Women and girls are powerful leaders and change-makers for climate adaptation and mitigation and must be included in the design and implementation of climate action. Without their leadership, knowledge and participation in climate responses today, it is unlikely that solutions for a sustainable planet and gender-equal world tomorrow will be realized.

Across the Europe and Central Asia, women and girls are advancing feminist climate justice and leading the charge on climate change adaptation, mitigation and response. They are mobilizing local, national, regional and global climate movements and harnessing the transformative power of feminist leadership to face the unprecedented challenges of our times.

Ainura Sagyn, 33, is an ecofeminist, computer software engineer, and CEO of Tazar  [Become Greener], a startup mobile application that connects waste producers with recyclers and educates consumers about waste management in Kyrgyzstan. She actively promotes women’s rights, gender equality and environmental issues through her technological activism.

Some 65 per cent of Tazar app users are unemployed women with children who sell sorted recycled waste to earn points they can exchange for prizes such as deposit money from a bank or cosmetics, all from partners who are mostly women entrepreneurs. They have collected more than 10 tonnes of waste since the end of 2020. Sagyn and her partner Aimeerim Tursalieva also launched a Tazar Bazaar platform that sells eco-friendly products made by women entrepreneurs, which helps support local businesses, women entrepreneurs and promotes eco-consumption.

“Women, in particular, are disproportionately affected by climate change due to their lack of access to natural resources management, limited mobility in rural areas and by being excluded from decision-making processes,” says Sagyn, who aspires to extend her startup to promote environmentalism in other Central Asian countries.

Gabriela Isac, 29, is an environmental activist, co-founder of the Seed It Forward  volunteer agroforestry initiative and a project coordinator at the EcoVisio  grass-roots ecological non-profit in Moldova.

With the Seed It Forward team, she organizes tree-planting events, consults civil society organizations, local public authorities, schools and the general public on environmental issues, and educates them through informational materials on trees, composting and permaculture. They have planted over 50,000 trees and bushes, while their recent environmental campaign reached more than 1.5 million people online.

(continued in right column)

Question related to this article:
 
What is the relation between the environment and peace

Do women have a special role to play in the peace movement?

(continued from left column).

“Moldova is quite vulnerable to climate change. Though the effects are not as disastrous yet as in other parts of the world, climate change increases an already existing burden on women. Women often work in rural areas and take the least-paid day jobs in agriculture. Women’s welfare is directly affected by the harvest, which in the low-tech agricultural system of Moldova highly depends on climate,” says Isac.

Ania Sauku, 19, is an active voice for gender equality, climate action and youth empowerment in Albania. She is one of the incumbent Albanian Youth Delegates to the United Nations, where she advocates for climate issues and sustainable development and shares the perspective of youth in her country.
She raises awareness on climate change and feminism and how they are inextricable from one another. Sauku believes that for many people in Albania, climate change is still not an issue, and that gender equality and climate are not related. Together with her team, she organizes movie nights on environment, protests and marches for climate justice, and other educational initiatives to raise awareness about climate change and intersectional feminism.
“Climate crisis does not affect us all in the same way and often women are the most vulnerable to this crisis, especially women from marginalized communities such as women of ethnic minorities, women of colour, women with disabilities, queer women, women living in poverty, and other women and girls at the intersection of multiple systems of oppression,” says Sauku.

Pakizat Sailaubekova, 29, is an environmentalist, project manager at Greenup.kz public fund and a co-founder of the Recycle BIRGE  [Recycle Together] ecological movement in Kazakhstan. She won the “>Tereshkevich Youth Environmental Award  for her eco-activism and a 3.2.1. Start!  eco-project grant.

She organizes public and corporate clean ups, climate-related events, conducts eco-consulting and gives various educational lectures on household waste and living an eco-friendly life. Together with colleagues, Sailaubekova has organized 43 clean ups with the participation of over 1,700 people. They have also collected and transferred more than 4,000 kg of recyclable materials for processing and implemented 14 large-scale environmental projects.

“The role of women in preserving nature is enormous,” she says, adding that 95 per cent of the eco-volunteers and the participants in their environmental campaigns are women and girls. “Women are at the forefront of solving many environmental problems, each at their own level. Our organization is also founded solely by women.”

Sanne Van de Voort, 27, is Advocacy Officer for Women Engage for a Common Future  (an international ecofeminist network), and an NGO representative on the Dutch Delegation to this year’s Commission on the Status of Women (CSW).

She believes that feminist climate justice recognizes the intersectionality of climate and environmental issues and how each individual is affected differently by climate change and can lend their unique experiences to finding solutions. As an Advocacy Officer, she works to ensure that Dutch and international decisions taken on climate and environmental issues reflect the needs, perspectives and solutions of women and feminists across the world, especially from the Global South. In her new role as a Dutch NGO representative to CSW, she contributes to preparations and priority-setting in the Dutch Government’s CSW delegation alongside other Dutch civil society organizations.

“We need changes that start putting people and planet over profit,” says Van de Voort. “A system that puts equality, sustainability and justice at the centre, instead of the exploitation of natural resources at the expense of biodiversity and a healthy environment.”

Ukraine: UNESCO statement following the adoption of the UN General Assembly resolution

DISARMAMENT & SECURITY .

A press release March 3 from UNESCO

Following the adoption by the United Nations General Assembly of the Resolution on Aggression against Ukraine, and in light of the devastating escalation of violence, UNESCO is deeply concerned by developments in Ukraine and is working to assess damage across its spheres of competence (notably education, culture, heritage and information) and to implement emergency support actions.

The UNGA Resolution reaffirms the paramount importance of the UN Charter and commitment to the sovereignty, independence, unity, and territorial integrity of Ukraine within its internationally recognized borders, and it demands “that the Russian Federation immediately cease its use of force against Ukraine.”

The Director-General, Audrey Azoulay, fully concurs with the opening remarks made by the Secretary-General at the Special Session of the General Assembly, during which he said that “this escalating violence — which is resulting in civilian deaths, including children – is totally unacceptable.”

In addition, she calls for the “protection of Ukrainian cultural heritage, which bears witness to the country’s rich history, and includes its seven World Heritage sites – notably located in Lviv and Kyiv; the cities of Odessa and Kharkiv, members of the UNESCO Creative Cities Network; its national archives, some of which feature in the UNESCO Memory of the World Register; and its sites commemorating the tragedy of the Holocaust.”

Consistent with its mandate, UNESCO demands the immediate cessation of attacks on civilian facilities, such as schools, universities, memorial sites, cultural and communication infrastructures, and deplores civilian casualties, including students, teachers, artists, scientists and journalists. These include women and children, girls especially, disproportionately impacted by the conflict and displacement. 

In the field of education, Resolution 2601 adopted in 2021 by the UN Security Council states that UN Member States are to “prevent attacks and threats of attacks against schools and ensure the protection of schools and civilians connected with schools, including children and teachers during armed conflict as well as in post-conflict phases”. The General Assembly Resolution of 2 March expresses grave concern at reports of attacks on civilian facilities including schools. In this regard, UNESCO strongly condemns attacks against education facilities, with the damaging of at least seven institutions in the past week, including the attack on 2 March on Karazin Kharkiv National University.

The nationwide closure of schools and education facilities has affected the entire school-aged population — 6 million students between 3 and 17 years old, and more than 1.5 million enrolled in higher education institutions. The escalation of violence hampers the protective role of education, and the impact may be far-reaching including in neighbouring countries.

(Continued in right column)

(Click here for a French version of this article.)

Questions related to this article:
 
Can the peace movement help stop the war in the Ukraine?

(Continued from left column)

In the field of culture, UNESCO underlines the obligations of international humanitarian law, notably the 1954 Hague Convention for the Protection of Cultural Property in the Event of Armed Conflict and its two (1954 and 1999) Protocols, to refrain from inflicting damage to cultural property, and condemns all attacks and damage to cultural heritage in all its forms in Ukraine. UNESCO calls also for the full implementation of UN Security Council Resolution 2347.

In this respect, UNESCO is gravely concerned with the damages incurred by the city of Kharkiv, UNESCO Creative City for Music, and the historic centre of Chernihiv, on Ukraine’s World Heritage Tentative List. UNESCO deeply regrets reports of damage to the works of the celebrated Ukrainian artist, Maria Primachenko, with whose anniversary UNESCO was associated in 2009.

UNESCO condemns also the attack that affected the Babyn Yar Holocaust memorial, the site of one of the largest mass shootings of Jews during World War II, and calls for the respect of historic sites, whose value for education and remembrance is irreplaceable.

In order to prevent attacks, UNESCO, in close coordination with the Ukrainian authorities, is working to mark as quickly as possible key historic monuments and sites across Ukraine with the distinctive emblem of the 1954 Hague Convention, an internationally recognised signal for the protection of cultural heritage in the event of armed conflict.  In addition, UNESCO has approached the Ukrainian authorities with a view to organising a meeting with museum directors across the country to help them respond to urgent needs for safeguarding museum collections and cultural property. In cooperation with UNITAR/UNOSAT, UNESCO will be monitoring the damages incurred by cultural sites through satellite imagery analysis.

In the field of access to information and freedom of expression, UNESCO recalls its previous statement  underlining obligations under UN Security Council Resolution 2222 to protect media professionals and associated personnel. It further notes, as in the same resolution, “media equipment and installations constitute civilian objects, and in this respect shall not be the object of attack or of reprisals, unless they are military objectives”.

In this respect, UNESCO is deeply concerned about reports of the targeting of media infrastructure, including the shelling of Kyiv’s main television tower on 1 March 2022, with multiple reported fatalities, including at least one media worker, as well as cases of violence against journalists and attempts to restrict access to the Internet.

In a conflict situation, free and independent media are critical for ensuring civilians have access to potentially life-saving information and debunking disinformation and rumours.

At the request of a group of Member States, the UNESCO Executive Board will hold a Special Session on 15 March “to examine the impact and consequences of the current situation in Ukraine in all aspects of UNESCO’s mandate”.

UNESCO designations and sites in Ukraine

UNESCO World Heritage Sites
Elements on UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage Lists
UNESCO Biosphere Reserves
10 UNESCO University Chairs
78 UNESCO Associated Schools
UNESCO Creative Cities
UNESCO Learning Cities
UNESCO Category 2 Institute
Inscriptions on the UNESCO Memory of the World Register

Media contact :

Lucia Iglesias Kuntz,+33 1 45 68 17 02, l.iglesias@unesco.org
Thomas Mallard, + 33 1 45 68 22 93, t.mallard@unesco.org

Germany: Bodensee Peace Region: No rearmament! Practice nonviolence

DISARMAMENT & SECURITY .

A blog by Joseph Mougel published by Mediapart

The association “Bodensee Peace Region” which unites people from the countries bordering Lake Constance: Germany, Switzerland and Austria and which demands the reconversion of industries working in the armament of 3 countries has published a text on March 2 opposing the decision of the Bundestag of February 27 to rearm Germany and proposing non-violent methods of action.

The Bodensee Peace Region association protests against the new rearmament of NATO and the Bundeswehr.

Militarist reflexes instead of reflection: rearmament is not the solution but on the contrary the cause of new wars

Frantic applause for rearmament in the Bundestag on February 27: shame on Germany.

Strict diplomacy and methods of civil resistance are more likely to succeed than armed resistance.

Lindau / Überlingen February 28. The Bodensee Peace Region Association strongly condemns the injuries done to the people and territorial integrity of Ukraine by the armed groups of the Russian Federation. However for Frieder Fahrbach, representative of the association: “It is not the deliveries of arms to Ukraine that can end the war. They create the danger of an extension and prolongation of the war and can ignite a lasting civil war in Ukraine. With each delivery of arms the danger of an atomic war in Europe grows.” Rearmament and a purely military security logic on both sides, the Russian Federation and NATO, are the root causes of the war in Ukraine.

Non-violent methods are more likely to succeed than armed resistance

Who wants peace must prepare peace is one of the basic phrases of the association “Peace Region Bodensee”. Even during a military invasion, methods of nonviolent resistance[1] not only produce fewer casualties but are also significantly more successful than those of armed resistance[2].

Rearmament reinforces global warming

The recently published new edition of the report of the 6th session of the IPCC World Climate Council[3] finds that the dangers have increased more than ever. At the end of the decade, the window for action to avert climate catastrophe will be definitively closed. The growing support of the majority of parties in the Bundestag on February 27 for a drastic increase in the arms budget is, in this context, irresponsible because the military is one of the main causes of the production of greenhouse gases, the consumption of resources and the disturbance of nature. Rearmament is incompatible with efforts to contain climate change.

(Continued in right column)

Questions related to this article:
 
Can the peace movement help stop the war in the Ukraine?

(Continued from left column)

The Bodensee Peace Region demands an immediate revision of the debates in the Bundestag, a moratorium on Ukraine’s NATO membership and a common security policy in the European house.

The association “Bodensee Peace Region” calls on all parties to the conflict to immediately return to the negotiating table and there also to take into consideration the security needs of the Russian Federation. It calls for a moratorium on the admission to NATO of new countries from Eastern Europe. Facing the US government, only a European peace policy including Russia can restore and keep peace in Europe.

For more information, see :

www.friedensregion-bodensee.de

www.sicherheitneudenken.de

Press contact: Friedensregion Bodensee e.V., Frieder Fachbach, Lindau/Überlingen, 0178 – 168 96 26

The Bodensee Peace Region works for a culture of peace, a sustainable lifestyle, global justice and for a political concept geared towards security and disarmament. Through actions, demonstrations, actions and trainings, our goal is thinking based on a logic of peace in the sense of the concept: “Think differently about security”. The 17 Sustainable Development Goals of the United Nations are the foundation of our association.

We provide skills for non-violent conflict transformation in all areas. For this we show the links between capitalist economic growth, the destruction of nature, the climatic catastrophe, rearmament and war. We are working on alternatives for an economy of the future and a good life for all. Through this, we carry a commitment to a major transformation (economic, ecological/social and a security policy) and encourage civic and political engagement.

The circle of silence for peace, climate protection and justice is held every Friday from 5 p.m. to 5.30 p.m. in front of the old town hall in Lindau under the theme “War in Ukraine”.

Stop the war – no new weapons

Instead of that : Engage in a peace process for a “Common Home Europe”

For peace it must never be too late

[1] See for example Theodor Ebert (1981). Social resistance – Waldkirsch – Publishing company “Waldkircher Verlagsgesellschaft

[2] Chenoweth, Erica, Maria J. (2011) Why civil resistance works. The strategic logic of nonviolent conflict. new York

[3] IPCC in French

(Click here for a French version of this article.)

How the U.S. Started a Cold War with Russia and Left Ukraine to Fight It

FREE FLOW OF INFORMATION

An article by Medea Benjamin and Nicolas J. S. Davies in the TRANSCEND Media Service

28 Feb 2022 – The defenders of Ukraine are bravely resisting Russian aggression, shaming the rest of the world and the UN Security Council for its failure to protect them. It is an encouraging sign that the Russians and Ukrainians are holding talks in Belarus that may lead to a ceasefire. All efforts must be made to bring an end to this war before the Russian war machine kills thousands more of Ukraine’s defenders and civilians, and forces hundreds of thousands more to flee.


Photo credit: CODEPINK

But there is a more insidious reality at work beneath the surface of this classic morality play, and that is the role of the United States and NATO in setting the stage for this crisis.

President Biden has called the Russian invasion “unprovoked,” but that is far from the truth. In the four days leading up to the invasion, ceasefire monitors from the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) documented a dangerous increase in ceasefire violations in Eastern Ukraine, with 5,667 violations and 4,093 explosions.

Most were inside the de facto borders of the Donetsk (DPR) and Luhansk (LPR) People’s Republics, consistent with incoming shell-fire by Ukraine government forces. With nearly 700 OSCE ceasefire monitors on the ground, it is not credible that these were all “false flag” incidents staged by separatist forces, as U.S. and British officials claimed.

Whether the shell-fire was just another escalation in the long-running civil war or the opening salvos of a new government offensive, it was certainly a provocation. But the Russian invasion has far exceeded any proportionate action to defend the DPR and LPR from those attacks, making it disproportionate and illegal.

In the larger context though, Ukraine has become an unwitting victim and proxy in the resurgent U.S. Cold War against Russia and China, in which the United States has surrounded both countries with military forces and offensive weapons, withdrawn from a whole series of arms control treaties, and refused to negotiate resolutions to rational security concerns raised by Russia.

In December 2021, after a summit between Presidents Biden and Putin, Russia submitted a draft proposal for a new mutual security treaty between Russia and NATO, with 9 articles to be negotiated. They represented a reasonable basis for a serious exchange. The most pertinent to the crisis in Ukraine was simply to agree that NATO would not accept Ukraine as a new member, which is not on the table in the foreseeable future in any case. But the Biden administration brushed off Russia’s entire proposal as a nonstarter, not even a basis for negotiations.

So why was negotiating a mutual security treaty so unacceptable that Biden was ready to risk thousands of Ukrainian lives, although not a single American life, rather than attempt to find common ground? What does that say about the relative value that Biden and his colleagues place on American versus Ukrainian lives? And what is this strange position that the United States occupies in today’s world that permits an American president to risk so many Ukrainian lives without asking Americans to share their pain and sacrifice?

The breakdown in U.S. relations with Russia and the failure of Biden’s inflexible brinkmanship precipitated this war, and yet Biden’s policy “externalizes” all the pain and suffering so that Americans can, as another wartime president once said, “go about their business” and keep shopping. America’s European allies, who must now house hundreds of thousands of refugees and face spiraling energy prices, should be wary of falling in line behind this kind of “leadership” before they, too, end up on the front line.

At the end of the Cold War, the Warsaw Pact, NATO’s Eastern European counterpart, was dissolved, and NATO should have been as well, since it had achieved the purpose it was built to serve. Instead, NATO has lived on as a dangerous, out-of-control military alliance dedicated mainly to expanding its sphere of operations and justifying its own existence. It has expanded from 16 countries in 1991 to a total of 30 countries today, incorporating most of Eastern Europe, at the same time as it has committed aggression, bombings of civilians and other war crimes.

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Questions related to this article:
 
Can the peace movement help stop the war in the Ukraine?

(Continued from left column)

In 1999, NATO launched an illegal war to militarily carve out an independent Kosovo from the remnants of Yugoslavia. NATO airstrikes during the Kosovo War killed hundreds of civilians, and its leading ally in the war, Kosovo President Hashim Thaci, is now on trial at The Hague for the appalling war crimes he committed under the cover of NATO bombing, including cold-blooded murders of hundreds of prisoners to sell their internal organs on the international transplant market.

Far from the North Atlantic, NATO joined the United States in its 20-year war in Afghanistan, and then attacked and destroyed Libya in 2011, leaving behind a failed state, a continuing refugee crisis and violence and chaos across the region.

In 1991, as part of a Soviet agreement to accept the reunification of East and West Germany, Western leaders assured their Soviet counterparts that they would not expand NATO any closer to Russia than the border of a united Germany. U.S. Secretary of State James Baker promised that NATO would not advance “one inch” beyond the German border. The West’s broken promises are spelled out for all to see in 30 declassified documents published on the National Security Archive website.

After expanding across Eastern Europe and waging wars in Afghanistan and Libya, NATO has predictably come full circle to once again view Russia as its principal enemy. U.S. nuclear weapons are now based in five NATO countries in Europe: Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Belgium and Turkey, while France and the U.K. already have their own nuclear arsenals. U.S. “missile defense” systems, which could be converted to fire offensive nuclear missiles, are based in Poland and Romania, including at a base in Poland only 100 miles from the Russian border.

Another Russian request in its December proposal was for the United States to simply rejoin the 1988 INF Treaty (Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty), under which both sides agreed not to deploy short- or intermediate-range nuclear missiles in Europe. Trump withdrew from the treaty in 2019 on the advice of his National Security Adviser, John Bolton, who also has the scalps of the 1972 ABM Treaty, the 2015 JCPOA with Iran and the 1994 Agreed Framework with North Korea dangling from his gun-belt.

None of this can justify Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, but the world should take Russia seriously when it says that its conditions for ending the war and returning to diplomacy are Ukrainian neutrality and disarmament. While no country can be expected to completely disarm in today’s armed-to-the-teeth world, neutrality could be a serious long-term option for Ukraine.

There are many successful precedents, like Switzerland, Austria, Ireland, Finland and Costa Rica. Or take the case of Vietnam. It has a common border and serious maritime disputes with China, but Vietnam has resisted U.S. efforts to embroil it in its Cold War with China, and remains committed to its long-standing “Four Nos” policy: no military alliances; no affiliation with one country against another; no foreign military bases; and no threats or uses of force.

The world must do whatever it takes to obtain a ceasefire in Ukraine and make it stick. Maybe UN Secretary General Guterres or a UN special representative could act as a mediator, possibly with a peacekeeping role for the UN. This will not be easy – one of the still unlearned lessons of other wars is that it is easier to prevent war through serious diplomacy and a genuine commitment to peace than to end a war once it has started.

If and when there is a ceasefire, all parties must be prepared to start afresh to negotiate lasting diplomatic solutions that will allow all the people of Donbas, Ukraine, Russia, the United States and other NATO members to live in peace. Security is not a zero-sum game, and no country or group of countries can achieve lasting security by undermining the security of others.

The United States and Russia must also finally assume the responsibility that comes with stockpiling over 90% of the world’s nuclear weapons, and agree on a plan to start dismantling them, in compliance with the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) and the new UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW).

Lastly, as Americans condemn Russia’s aggression, it would be the epitome of hypocrisy to forget or ignore the many recent wars in which the United States and its allies have been the aggressors: in Kosovo, Afghanistan, Iraq, Haiti, Somalia, Palestine, Pakistan, Libya, Syria and Yemen.

We sincerely hope that Russia will end its illegal, brutal invasion of Ukraine long before it commits a fraction of the massive killing and destruction that the United States has committed in its illegal wars.
__________________________________________

Medea Benjamin is cofounder of CODEPINK for Peace, and author of several books, including Inside Iran: The Real History and Politics of the Islamic Republic of Iran.
 
Nicolas J. S. Davies is an independent journalist, a researcher with CODEPINK and the author of Blood on Our Hands: The American Invasion and Destruction of Iraq.

Russian anti-war movement takes shape on the streets – and on screens

FREE FLOW OF INFORMATION

An article by Pauline Rouquette in France 24

Thousands of Russians have taken to the streets in protest against the invasion of Ukraine, with more than 6500 demonstrators arrested as of Tuesday, according to the OVD-Info human rights group, which tracks political arrests. 


A person holds a sign during a protest against Russian invasion of Ukraine in Moscow on February 27, 2022. © Evgenia Novozhenina, Reuters

And despite a crackdown by the Russian authorities, opposition to Moscow’s war in Ukraine is gaining support. While some continue to demonstrate publicly, others are setting up rear bases on the Internet and circumventing restrictions by using social networks, encrypted messaging and VPN servers. 

“I’m not afraid, I went out alone,” a user named Stanislav wrote on Twitter. The message is accompanied with a photo of him protesting on a street in the town of Azov in the western Russian oblast of Rostov. The 30-year-old holds a sign that reads “#НЕТВОЙНЕ” (No War) in large black letters. 

Fear of repression has meant that only a minority of Russians are publicly expressing their opposition to the invasion. However, the anti-war movement is gathering support on the Internet, mainly through social networks and encrypted messaging services such as Telegram and Signal. 

On Twitter, the hashtag #ЯпротивВойны (I’m against the war) was trending in Russia on Tuesday. “This has been the case since the beginning of the war,” Stanislav told FRANCE 24.  

Discretion when faced with repression 

Most of the opposition seems to be fomenting behind screens since, under Vladimir Putin, to oppose the war out on the streets risks arrest and conviction. This is reflected in the daily figures released by OVD-Info

The NGO told FRANCE 24 that it tracks the number of people arrested at anti-war rallies – not the number of participants. Nearly a week after the start of the Russian invasion, the numbers are already significant.

“We have never seen such a large number of detainees per day,” said Grigory Durnovo, an analyst for the group. “We counted at least 6,489 detainees in five days. This is enough to show us the number of people willing to go out on the streets and express their views,” he said. 

A Facebook post on Tuesday by the NGO mentions more than 3,100 arrests in Moscow, more than 2,000 in St. Petersburg, about 100 in Yekaterinburg and a few dozen in other, less populated cities across the country.

While the arrests have not prevented thousands of Russians from defying the law to express their opposition to the war, the vast majority prefer to maintain a low profile.  

Durnovo attributed this to a wave of repression seen in 2021, notably with the closure of celebrated human rights group Memorial, as well as the criminal prosecution of people who participated in protests earlier this year.

Twitter, Signal and Telegram: the backbone of the anti-war movement 

But protesters still find ways to express their opposition to the war while remaining under the radar. 

“Contacts between protesters are mainly on Twitter and Telegram,” says Stanislav, who depicts them as networks of solidarity. Members on these groups share information from independent media (including the online TV channel Dojd), relay petitions and support protesters arrested by the police.

“We help them pay fines and also find lawyers to help them,” he said. 

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(Click here for a version of this article in French).

Questions related to this article:
 
Can the peace movement help stop the war in the Ukraine?

How can we be sure to get news about peace demonstrations?

(Continued from left column)

According to the OVD-Info website, depending on the charges, protesters risk being fined “from 2,000 to 300,000 rubles (from €17 to more than €2,500) and risk up to 30 days in detention”. 

Unable to rely on Russian media sources regarding the protests, OVD-Info receives information directly from the field as well as from the detainees themselves. “They call us via our hotline or send messages to our Telegram bot,” Durnovo explained. “We ask them to tell us the number of detainees on a police bus or in a police station along with their names, the name of the city and any other significant information, such as possible cases of violence.”

He added that this information is crosschecked with other sources. This includes independent media, Telegram channels and, to a lesser extent, statements from police officials (which is compared with data collected elsewhere).   

“The official media sometimes mentions anti-war protests but we can’t use them as a source because they don’t tell the whole story. Sometimes we can quote the number of detainees from the statements of police officials and compare it with our own data,” he said. 

Petition gathers over 1 million signatures   

In addition to NGOs, citizens and professional groups have been taking up the anti-war banner by using social networks or getting support from independent media.  

A number of petitions and open letters have been circulating on the Internet since the start of the invasion, including one from Russian lawyers citing Russian violations of the UN Charter. Russian scientists have posted a video on YouTube expressing their opposition to the war. 

The most significant of these initiatives remains a Change.org  petition entitled, Stop the War with Ukraine. Launched by Lev Ponomarev, a Russian political activist committed to the defence of human rights, the text calls on Russian citizens to resist the war. It exceeded 1 million signatures on Tuesday.

The petition calls for “an immediate ceasefire of the Russian armed forces and their immediate withdrawal from the territory of the sovereign state of Ukraine”. 

According to Ponomarev, if a million signatures are gathered, it means that tens of millions of people are opposed to the war against Ukraine, given the difficulty many Russians have in accessing the Internet. 

‘Restrictions can be circumvented on the Internet’ 

On social networks, many messages testify both to the vigorous opposition that some Russians have against the war and the government, as well as their reluctance to go and shout it out on the streets. 

 “In the West, foreigners write on social networks, ‘It’s up to the Russians to stop the dictator’ – but how on earth? This monster will crush any protest,” read one comment under a Facebook post. 

“My friends went out to demonstrate in Moscow today with placards. No one joined them,” another user lamented, before ironically remarking in another message: “You have to go out to sing Ukrainian songs: singing is not yet banned!” 

Despite the Russian authorities’ efforts to censor certain online resources, demonstrating opposition to the Russian government seems much less risky on the Internet than on the streets.  

According to Human Rights Watch, Russian authorities have threatened to fine or block several independent Russian media outlets if they do not remove certain publications about the war in Ukraine. The NGO also expressed concern about the sharp rise in censorship. In recent days, Facebook and Twitter have also come under fire from Russia’s communications watchdog, Roskomnadzor, which is now restricting their access. 

However, as Stanislav points out, “on the Internet, restrictions can be circumvented. Many online resources can still be accessed using a VPN (virtual private network), which is widely used. The VPN transmits traffic via servers in a country other than Russia, where sources of information can be blocked”, he added. 

However, he is not satisfied with just this rear base on the Internet. Even if he is alone each time when he goes out to protest – his friends are afraid to demonstrate with him in public – he says he wants to continue to protest on the streets, saying: “Protesting only on the Internet cannot lead to much.” 

This article is a translation from the original in French.