The Ukrainian Pacifist Movement is deeply concerned about the current burning of bridges for a peaceful resolution of the conflict between Russia and Ukraine on both sides and the declarations of intent to continue the bloodshed indefinitely in order to achieve some sovereign ambitions.
We condemn Russia’s decision to invade Ukraine on February 24, 2022, which led to a fatal escalation and thousands of deaths, and reiterate our condemnation of the mutual violations of the ceasefire envisaged in the Minsk agreements by Russian and Ukrainian fighters in the Donbass before the escalation of Russian aggression.
We condemn the mutual labeling of parties to the conflict as Nazi-like enemies and war criminals, which has found its way into legislation and is reinforced by official propaganda of extreme and irreconcilable hostility.
We believe that the law should create peace, not incite war; and history should give us examples of how people can return to a peaceful life, not excuses for continuing war.
We insist that accountability for crimes must be determined by an independent and competent judicial authority through due process and as a result of an unbiased and impartial investigation, especially for the most serious crimes such as genocide.
We stress that the tragic consequences of military brutality must not be used to incite hatred and justify new atrocities, but that such tragedies should cool the fighting spirit and stimulate a persistent search for the most bloodless means of ending war.
We condemn the military actions on both sides, the hostilities that harm the civilian population. We insist that all shooting cease, that all sides honor the memory of those killed and, after due mourning, calmly and honestly commit to peace talks.
We condemn statements by the Russian side about the intention to achieve certain goals by military means if they cannot be achieved through negotiations.
We condemn statements by the Ukrainian side that the continuation of peace talks depends on obtaining the best negotiating positions on the battlefield.
We condemn the unwillingness of both sides to reach a ceasefire during the peace talks.
We condemn the practice of forcing civilians into military service, to perform military tasks and to support the army against the will of the peaceful population in Russia and Ukraine.
We strongly emphasize that such practices, especially during hostilities, constitute a gross violation of the principle of distinction between military and civilians in international humanitarian law. Any form of disregard for the human right to conscientious objection is unacceptable.
We condemn any military support that Russia and NATO countries provide to militant radicals in Ukraine, leading to a further escalation of the military conflict.
We call on all peace-loving people in Ukraine and around the world to remain peace-loving people in all circumstances and to help others to be peace-loving people, to gather and spread knowledge about a peaceful and non-violent way of life, to speak the truth that unites peace-loving people, to resist evil and injustice non-violently, and to debunk myths about necessary, useful, inevitable, and just wars.
We do not now call for any special measures to ensure that peace plans do not fall prey to the hatred and attacks of militarists, but we are confident that the world’s pacifists have a good idea and experience of putting their best dreams into practice. Our actions should be guided by hope for a peaceful and happy future, not by fears. May our peace work bring the dreams of the future closer.
War is a crime against humanity. Therefore, we are determined not to support any kind of war and to work for the elimination of all causes of war.
Tverskyi tupyk street, 9, app. 82
The translation from English was done by Alina Kulik from the Pressenza volunteer translation team.