Statement by Philip Jennings on the deployment of nuclear weapons at RAF Lakenheath, U.K.

“I am here to express the solidarity of the world’s peace movement with your action here today. I speak for the world’s oldest peace organization the IPB. Still mobilizing for peace for 130 years. We will make sure your action today will echo around the world.

Our message is clear we do not want these nuclear missiles in Lakenheath. We want a world free of nuclear weapons. No one officially can admit that these missiles are or will be here. They won’t confirm or deny. Well I can confirm that the IPB does not want these missiles here or anywhere else.

A brilliant American researcher spotted the details and rang the global alarm bell. His name Hans Christensen there is no relation to his Danish namesake HC Andersen. From fairy to nightmare tales. These missiles are ugly ducklings and will remain so, the emperor has the clothes of lethal killing machines CND and the people of Lakenheath you banished these weapons 14 years ago.

You mobilized. Changed minds. You did not remain silent.

As MLK said  `He who accepts evil without protesting against it is really cooperating with it`. You are called to protest this evil once again.

Today Lakenheath is the example of a global arms race out of control. Your brothers and sisters in Belgium, Holland, Germany, Italy are faced with this new wave of lethal militarization.

Budgets for war increasing military expenditure now over two trillion dollars, we ask where is the budget for peace? The budget for human needs and human security buckling under the strain of booming military budgets. I can assure you that they are mobilizing as they see these installations pushing the doomsday clock closer to midnight. The are awakening their public.

Let us applaud their action. The world is on edge.

A war in Ukraine. Climate devastation. Inequality.The rise of demagogues. Democracy and human rights in retreat. A global pandemic.

A world without a social contract. Fault lines everywhere. Poverty exploding in the UK and this failure of a UK government prefers to replenish and grow missile silos to ending foodbanks. That fits the definition of a morally bankrupt government.

Fault lines everywhere. Confrontation not cooperation. Superpower rivalry. This does not bring the world to a better place and today that toxic fault line runs through Lakenheath. We are staring into the abyss. Aggressive military doctrines menacing threats to use of nuclear weapons. Battle plans that include limited use of nuclear weapons. hey make them sound like childsplay they are not and are many times more powerful than the Hiroshima bomb.

As you all know and must shout out that we are an accident, miscalculation, mistake away from a civilization ending nuclear Armageddon. The nuclear powers have admitted a nuclear war can never be won and must never be fought. Meanwhile they walk away from those treaties that try to prevent this from happening.

We want a different world. We must invest in peace. We demand a ceasefire in the Ukraine and peace negotiations. We demand a global ceasefire and want to see war abolished.

Billions of people live in nuclear free zones and it is time for one in Europe. We must build a new architecture for preace for without it we face breakdown not breakthrough. For disarmament.

The IPB just concluded the work of a Global Commission on Common Security For our Shared Future.In doing so we marked the 40 th anniversary of the original Olof Palme report on Common Security. The basic message rings true today and `International security must rest on a commitment to joint survival rather than the threat of mutual destruction`. Words written at a time when superpower relations were at rock bottom, the risk of nuclear war high and real. Alternatives were developed then and we have done the same with our report.

We changed reality on the ground. We are summoned to do so once again. We must ReImagine Peace.

The peace movement must not be found wanting. We are billions with new generations understanding what existential threats face this planet. It requires all strands of our movement to organize and mobilise. In one month all peace roads lead to Vienna and the first states parties UN Conference on the treaty to prohibit nuclear weapons. That treaty says there is no place for missiles in Lakenheath, Kleine Brugel, Buchel,Volkel,Aviano and Ghedi or anywhere else.

We together fought for this treaty and others. In 2025 it’s the 50th anniversary of the Helsinki Declaration.The world changed. New institutions, accords, understandings, dialogue for peace. The movement succeeded then. nWe must do so again.

In closing we will transmit your anger, your call to action to the conference and to the peace movement worldwide. From Hiroshima and Nagasaki to The Americas, Africa, Asia and the Pacific they will be inspired by your action and will power demonstrated here today. From your local voices we will ensure that new global horizons for peace will sing.

Thank you.”

The statement was given by Philip Jennings, Co-President of IPB, at RAF Lakenheath.

The Danish Referendum: Can Denmark Resist EU militarization? 

On June 1, Denmark will hold a referendum on the abolition of the defense opt-out, which is one of the country’s opt-outs from the European Union. Currently, Denmark is the only EU country with such an opt-out option. EU militarization has increased tremendously – European arms are sold all over the world with very few restrictions. Arms trade is a threat to peace, security and development, and the arms industry is a driving force behind increasing military exports and expenditure. 

Listen to a message from Lave K. Broche (Board member of the Danish People’s Movement  against the EU, active in the Danish UN Association and member of Danish social liberal party) on our Youtube channel:

 

From his perspective, three points are crucial:

1.       Denmark is already a NATO member and does not face an immediate threat due to the ongoing war in Ukraine. However, the pro-EU side uses the fear and the ongoing war in Ukraine to promote the opt-out.  

2.       Danish visions for peace negotiations – if Denmark keeps the power over their defense and security policy and votes no, the country will have more possibilities to be a negotiator for peace.

3.       Denmark should support international law, an area that is deeply rooted in society – this means no wars or out of area operations without an UN mandate. 

If you are interested in this topic and convinced that Denmark should say no to EU militarization on June 1 , please use your voice and support the Danish population on making their decision! Here is a link to their support page: https://www.folkebevaegelsen.dk/support-us/

Would like to read more? Here is an article about Thales that sold weapons to Russia and that gets money from the EU: https://stopwapenhandel.org/killed-by-thales-military-technology-in-bucha/

or an article by Lave K. Broch about the legal aspects: https://thepeoplesnews.home.blog/2022/05/20/the-danish-referendum-is-about-sovereignty-in-defense-policy-vote-no/

To learn more about the EU militarization, please visit the European Network Against Arms Trade (ENAAT): http://enaat.org/

Joint appeal for ceasefire and negotiations – 8/9 May 2022

The biggest global peace network, the IPB, and the 200-million strong ITUC have written personally to Presidents Putin and Zelensky urging them to mark Europe’s “day of liberation” – 8-9 May – by declaring a cease fire as a precursor to negotiations.

The ITUC and IPB urge Presidents Putin and Zelensky to meet immediately for peace negotiations in a neutral venue, such as Vienna or Geneva, with the involvement of the UN and its Secretary General to serve as the foundation for a new peace architecture in Europe in which Russia’s and Ukraine’s security interests are safeguarded and secured.

Reiner Braun, IPB Executive Director, said: “The only way out of the crises and to avoid a nuclear catastrophe is negotiations and to start a dialogue – even when it is very difficult.

The Day of Liberation marks the end of World War II in Europe, and the liberation of Europe from fascism. The end of the war was on 8 May in western Europe, but 9 May in the then Soviet Union because of time zones.

The joint appeal to the Presidents of Ukraine and the Russian Federation is available here: /wp-content/uploads/2022/05/ipb_ituc_appeal.pdf

North American launch of the Common Security Report 2022

The new Common Security 2022 report was released on April 28 in North America!

The webinar was co-sponsored by Peace Action, PeaceQuest in Canada and the IPB. Speakers included:

Anna Sundstrom – Secretary General, Olaf Palme Foundation (Sweden) Reiner Braun – Executive Director, International Peace Bureau (Germany) Anuradha Chenoy –Jawaharlal Nehru University & Asia-Europe People’s Forum (India) Sergio Duarte – President Pugwash Conference (Brazil) Alexey Gromyko – Russian Academy of Science (Russia) Alexander Kmentt – Ambassador and Director, Dep’s for Disarmament, Arms Control and Non-Proliferation (Austria) Zhao Tong – Tsinghua University (China)

In case you missed the event, please watch the recording here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5MsgBxOtNes

Find more information on https://commonsecurity.org/

World Social Forum 2022 plenary No To War – Yes to Life!

The more than 200 armed conflicts, 26 active wars and the threats of nuclear weapons clearly demonstrate the danger the world faces. While over 900 million people go to bed with empty stomachs, global military spending keeps expanding by the day.

Register in advance for this meeting:
https://www.bitlylinks.com/imV0-xRlo (zoom link)

Start time: 15:00 pm / UTC – 17:00pm / CEST

Participants:

  • Reiner Braun – executive director of the International Peace Bureau – Germany (zoom)
  • Noam Chomsky – Professor of Linguistics – USA (video)
  • Jeremy Corbyn – former Chair of the Labour Party, MP from UK (zoom)
  • Julieta Daza, Venezuela/Columbien Juventud Rebelde (zoom)
  • Aleida Guevara, Cuba (tbc)
  • Cindy Larissa Rodríguez, Deputy minister for international cooperation Honduras
  • Binalakshmi “Bina” Nepram – indigenous activist and Human Rights activist from India, board member IPB – India
  • Raul Vera, catholic bishop from Saltillo, Mexico

Organized by:

International Peace Bureau (IPB)

Prague Spring 2 Network against far right extremism and populism

Institute for Intercultural Research and Cooperation

visit this link for more information.https://wsf2022.org/

GCOMS Press Conference “SIPRI Statistics on global arms spending 2021”

Every year the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) publishes statistics on global arms spending. In 2022, SIPRI published the statistics for 2021 on April 25th and the IPB held a hybrid press conference in Berlin to adress the consequences of the increasement of global arms spending.

The following leaders in the field took part in the press conference:

Reiner Braun, Executive Director, International Peace Bureau

Michael Müller, Parliamentary Undersecretary in the Ministry of Environment a.D., Chair of Friends of Nature

Żaklin Nastić, Member of the German Bundestag, DIE LINKE

Watch the press conference here: https://youtu.be/1uhsgGv6X_w

Fore more information on the statistics of global arms spending 2021 please see: https://www.sipri.org/media/press-release/2022/world-military-expenditure-passes-2-trillion-first-time

If you are interested in the Global Campaign on Military Spending, please find further information here: https://demilitarize.org/

Interview with Philip Jennings and Sean Conner on the launch of the Common Security Report 2022

What are today’s global challenges? How can the concept of common security counteract with these? And most important, what can you do to engage in common security?

Find all of these questions answered in an interview with Philip Jennings (Co-President of IPB) and Sean Conner (Deputy Executive Director of IPB) on the launch of the Common Security Report 2022. The interview was conducted by Nina Engelbracht (Assistant Coordinator of IPB) on April 21, 2022 right after the official launch event of the Common Security Report 2022 in Stockholm, Sweden.

Watch here: /wp-content/uploads/2022/04/GMT20220421-134441_Recording_640x360-1.mp4

You can also find the video our Youtube channel: https://youtu.be/EhyEk6_J1No

Common Security Report 2022 – For Our Shared Future (EN/DE/FR)

This year marks the 40th anniversary of Olof Palme’s Independent Commission on Disarmament and Security Issues. The Commission presented its report in 1982, at the height of the Cold War, and the Commission developed the concept of Common Security – the idea that nations and populations can only feel safe when their counterparts feel safe.

The new Common Security 2022 report comes at a time when the international order faces severe challenges. The world stands at a crossroads. It is faced with a choice between an existence based on confrontation and aggression or one to be rooted in a transformative peace agenda an common security. In 2022, humanity faces the existential threats of nuclear war, climate change and pandemics. This is compounded by a toxic mix of inequality, extremism, nationalism, gender violence, and shrinking democratic space. How humanity responds to these threats will decide our very survival.

The Common Security Report 2022 is published by the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC), the International Peace Bureau (IPB) and the Olof Palme International Center. More information on https://commonsecurity.org/.

Find the full report in here:

English: /wp-content/uploads/2022/04/CommonSecurity_Report_2022_EN.pdf

Deutsch: /wp-content/uploads/2022/04/CommonSecurity_Report_2022_DE.pdf

Français: /wp-content/uploads/2022/05/Common-Security-Report-2022-FR-Rapport-Securite-Commune-2022_.pdf

Interview des pacifistes Oleg Bodrov (Russie) et Yurii Sheliazhenko (Ukraine)

Pouvez-vous vous présenter brièvement ?

Oleg Bodrov : Je suis Oleg Bodrov, physicien, écologiste et président du Conseil public de la rive sud du golfe de Finlande, à Saint-Pétersbourg. La protection de l’environnement, la sécurité nucléaire et la promotion de la paix ont été les principales orientations de mon travail au cours des 40 dernières années. Aujourd’hui, j’ai le sentiment de faire partie de l’Ukraine : ma femme est à moitié ukrainienne, son père est de Mariupol. Mes amis et collègues sont des écologistes de Kiev, Kharkiv, Dnipro, Konotop, Lviv. Je pratique l’escalade, lors des ascensions j’étais relié par une corde de sécurité avec Anna P. de Kharkov. Mon père, qui a participé à la Seconde Guerre mondiale, a été blessé en janvier 1945 et a été soigné dans un hôpital de Dniepropetrovsk.

Yurii Sheliazhenko : Je m’appelle Yurii Sheliazhenko, je suis un chercheur, éducateur et militant pour la paix originaire d’Ukraine. Mes domaines d’expertise sont la gestion des conflits, la théorie juridique et politique et l’histoire. En outre, je suis secrétaire exécutif du Mouvement pacifiste ukrainien et membre du conseil d’administration du Bureau européen pour l’objection de conscience (EBCO) ainsi que de World BEYOND War (WBW).

Pouvez-vous décrire comment vous voyez la situation actuelle ?

Oleg Bodrov: La décision de l’opération militaire contre l’Ukraine a été prise par le Président de la Russie. Dans le même temps, les citoyens russes, à en juger par les informations des médias indépendants, pensaient que la guerre avec l’Ukraine était par principe impossible !

Pourquoi cela s’est-il produit ? Au cours des huit dernières années, la propagande anti-ukrainienne a été diffusée quotidiennement sur toutes les chaînes publiques de la télévision russe. On y parlait de la faiblesse et de l’impopularité des présidents ukrainiens, des nationalistes qui bloquent le rapprochement avec la Russie, du souhait de l’Ukraine de rejoindre l’UE et l’OTAN. L’Ukraine est considérée par le président de la Russie comme un territoire faisant historiquement partie de l’Empire russe. L’invasion de l’Ukraine, en plus de la mort de milliers de personnes, a augmenté les risques de dégradation au niveau mondial. Des opérations militaires sont menées sur le territoire où se trouvent des centrales nucléaires. L’impact accidentel d’obus sur des centrales nucléaires est plus dangereux que l’utilisation d’armes atomiques.

Yurii Sheliazhenko: L’invasion illégale de l’Ukraine par la Russie s’inscrit dans une longue histoire de relations et d’hostilités entre les deux nations, ainsi que dans le conflit mondial de longue date entre l’Ouest et l’Est. Pour le comprendre pleinement, nous devons nous souvenir du colonialisme, de l’impérialisme, de la guerre froide, de l’hégémonie “néolibérale” et de la montée des hégémonismes que l’on nomme illibéraux.

En parlant de la Russie face à l’Ukraine, la chose cruciale à comprendre dans cette lutte obscène entre une puissance impérialiste archaïque et un régime nationaliste archaïque est le caractère dépassé des deux cultures politiques et militaristes : les deux pays ont la conscription et un modèle de formation patriotique militaire au lieu de l’éducation civique. C’est pourquoi les fauteurs de guerre des deux camps se traitent mutuellement de nazis. Mentalement, ils vivent encore dans le monde de la “Grande guerre patriotique” de l’URSS ou du “mouvement de libération de l’Ukraine” et croient que les gens doivent s’unir autour de leur commandant suprême pour écraser leur ennemi existentiel, ces hitlériens ou ce qui ne vaut pas mieux, ces staliniens, dans le rôle desquels ils voient étonnamment un peuple voisin.

Y a-t-il des particularités dans ce conflit dont le public occidental n’est pas ou peu informé ?

Yurii Sheliazhenko: Oui, certainement. La diaspora ukrainienne en Amérique a considérablement augmenté après les deux guerres mondiales. Pendant la guerre froide, les services de renseignement américains et occidentaux ont recruté des agents dans cette diaspora afin d’utiliser les sentiments nationalistes pour inciter au séparatisme en URSS, et certains Ukrainiens de souche sont devenus riches ou ont fait carrière dans la politique et l’armée américaines et canadiennes, de sorte qu’un puissant lobby ukrainien a émergé avec des liens avec l’Ukraine et des ambitions interventionnistes. Lorsque l’URSS est tombée et que l’Ukraine a obtenu son indépendance, la diaspora occidentale a participé activement à la construction de la nation.

Existe-t-il des activités contre la guerre en Russie et si oui, à quoi ressemblent-elles ?

Oleg Bodrov: Des actions anti-guerre ont eu lieu à Saint-Pétersbourg, Moscou et dans des dizaines de grandes villes russes. Plusieurs milliers de personnes sont simplement descendues dans la rue pour exprimer leur désaccord. La catégorie la plus populaire de participants est celle des jeunes. Plus de 7 500 étudiants, membres du personnel et diplômés de la plus ancienne université de Russie, l’université Lomonosov de Moscou, ont signé une pétition contre la guerre. Les étudiants veulent se voir comme faisant partie d’un monde démocratique libre, dont ils pourraient être privés en raison de la politique isolationniste du président. Les autorités affirment que la Russie possède les ressources nécessaires à la vie et des armes atomiques qui les protégeront, même en cas de séparation, du reste du monde. Plus d’un million 220 mille Russes ont signé la pétition “NON A LA GUERRE”. Des petits rassemblements “CONTRE LES ARMES NUCLÉAIRES” et “CONTRE LA GUERRE SANGLANTE” sont organisés quotidiennement à Saint-Pétersbourg et dans d’autres villes russes. Dans le même temps, les employés de l’Institut de l’énergie atomique portant le nom de Kurchatov à Moscou “ont pleinement soutenu la décision du président de la Fédération de Russie de mener une opération militaire spéciale” sur le territoire de l’Ukraine. Et ce n’est pas le seul exemple de soutien à l’agression. Mes collègues du mouvement pour l’environnement et la paix et moi-même sommes convaincus que notre avenir a été détruit en Russie et en Ukraine.

La paix avec la Russie est-elle un sujet de discussion en Ukraine en ce moment ?

Yurii Sheliazhenko: Oui, c’est une question qui se pose, cela ne fait de doute. Le président Zelenskyy a été élu en 2019 grâce à ses promesses d’arrêter la guerre et de négocier la paix, mais il n’a pas tenu ces promesses et a commencé à réprimer les médias et l’opposition pro-russes en Ukraine, mobilisant toute la population pour la guerre avec la Russie. Cela a coïncidé avec l’intensification de l’aide militaire et des exercices nucléaires de l’OTAN. Poutine a lancé ses propres exercices nucléaires et a demandé à l’Occident des garanties de sécurité, en premier lieu le non-alignement de l’Ukraine. Au lieu de donner de telles garanties, l’Occident a soutenu l’opération militaire ukrainienne dans le Donbass, où les violations du cessez-le-feu ont atteint des sommets et où, dans les jours qui ont précédé l’invasion russe, des civils ont été tués et blessés presque tous les jours des deux côtés, dans les zones contrôlées ou non par le gouvernement.

Quelle est l’ampleur de la résistance contre la paix et les actions non-violentes dans votre pays ?

Oleg Bodrov: En Russie, tous les médias démocratiques indépendants ont été fermés et ont cessé de fonctionner. La propagande de la guerre se fait sur toutes les chaînes de la télévision d’État. Facebook et Instagram sont bloqués. Immédiatement après le début de la guerre, de nouvelles lois ont été adoptées contre les fake news et “contre le fait de discréditer les forces armées russes qui mènent une opération spéciale en Ukraine.” Sont considérées comme fake news toutes les opinions exprimées publiquement qui contredisent ce qui est dit dans les médias officiels. Les sanctions prévues vont d’une forte amende de plusieurs dizaines de milliers de roubles à une peine d’emprisonnement pouvant aller jusqu’à 15 ans. Le président a annoncé une lutte contre les “traîtres à la nation” qui entravent la mise en œuvre de ses projets ukrainiens. Le ministère de la Justice de la Fédération de Russie continue d’attribuer le statut d'”agent étranger” aux organisations de défense de l’environnement et des droits de l’homme qui coopèrent avec des partenaires d’autres pays. La peur de la répression devient un facteur important de la vie en Russie.

À quoi ressemble la démocratie en Ukraine ? Y a-t-il des parallèles ?

Yurii Sheliazhenko:  Le 24 février 2022, Poutine a commencé son offensive brutale et illégale visant, comme il le dit, à dénazifier et démilitariser l’Ukraine. le résultat, c’est que la Russie et l’Ukraine se militarisent de plus en plus et ressemblent de plus en plus au nazisme, et personne n’est prêt à changer cela. Les autocrates populistes au pouvoir et leurs équipes dans les deux pays profitent de la guerre, leur pouvoir se renforce et les opportunités de gains personnels sont nombreuses. Les faucons russes profitent de l’isolement international de la Russie, car cela signifie une mobilisation militaire et toutes les ressources publiques sont désormais entre leurs mains. En Occident, le complexe de production militaire a corrompu le gouvernement et la société civile, les marchands de mort ont beaucoup profité de l’aide militaire à l’Ukraine : Thales (fournisseur des missiles Javelin à l’Ukraine), Raytheon (fournisseur des missiles Stinger) et Lockheed Martin (distribution des jets) ont connu d’énormes augmentations de leurs profits et de leur valeur boursière.  Et ils veulent obtenir davantage de profits en tuant et en détruisant.

Qu’attendez-vous des mouvements pacifistes dans le monde et de toutes les personnes qui aiment la paix ?

Oleg Bodrov: Il est nécessaire que les participants au “Mouvement pour la paix” s’unissent aux écologistes, aux militants des droits de l’homme, aux organisations anti-guerre, anti-nucléaires et autres organisations pacifistes. Les conflits devraient être résolus par des négociations, pas par la guerre. La PAIX est bonne pour nous tous !

Que peut faire un pacifiste pour la paix lorsque son pays est attaqué ?

Yurii Sheliazhenko: Eh bien, tout d’abord, un pacifiste doit rester un pacifiste, continuer à répondre à la violence par des pensées et des actions non violentes. Vous devriez utiliser tous les efforts pour rechercher et soutenir des solutions pacifiques, résister à l’escalade, en prenant soin de la sécurité des autres et de vous-même. Chers amis, merci de vous préoccuper de la situation en Ukraine. Construisons ensemble un monde meilleur, sans armées ni frontières, pour la paix et le bonheur communs de l’humanité.

L’interview a été réalisée (par voie électronique) par Reiner Braun, directeur exécutif du Bureau International de la Paix (IPB).

Interview with Oleg Bodrov and Yurii Sheliazhenko

Can you shortly introduce yourself?

Oleg Bodrov: I am Oleg Bodrov, physicist, ecologist and Chairman of the Public Council of the Southern Shore of the Gulf of Finland, St. Petersburg. Environmental protection, nuclear safety and the promotion of peace have been the main directions of my work for the last 40 years. Today, I feel like a part of Ukraine: my wife is half Ukrainian; her father is from Mariupol. My friends and colleagues are ecologists from Kiev, Kharkiv, Dnipro, Konotop, Lviv. I am a climber, on the ascents I was connected by a safety rope with Anna P. from Kharkov. My father, a participant in the Second World War, was wounded in January 1945 and was treated in a hospital in Dnepropetrovsk.

Yurii Sheliazhenko: My name is Yurii Sheliazhenko, I am a peace researcher, educator and activist from Ukraine. My fields of expertise are conflict management, legal and political theory and history. Furthermore, I am executive secretary of the Ukrainian Pacifist Movement and member of the Board of the European Bureau for Conscientious Objection (EBCO) as well as World BEYOND War (WBW).

Can you please describe how you see the actual situation?

O.B.: The decision on the military operation against Ukraine was made by the President of Russia. At the same time, Russian citizens, judging by independent media reports, believed that war with Ukraine was impossible in principle!

Why did this happen? For the past eight years, anti-Ukrainian propaganda has been broadcast daily on all state channels of Russian television. They talked about the weakness and unpopularity of the presidents of Ukraine, the nationalists blocking rapprochement with Russia, Ukraine’s desire to join the EU and NATO. Ukraine is considered by the President of Russia as a territory historically part of the Russian Empire. The invasion of Ukraine, in addition to the death of thousands of people, has increased global negative risks. Military operations are conducted on the territory with nuclear power plants. The accidental hit of shells into nuclear power plants is more dangerous than the use of atomic weapons.

Y.S.: Illegal invasion of Russia to Ukraine is part of a long history of relations and hostilities between both nations, and also it is part of longstanding global conflict between the West and East. To understand it fully, we should remember colonialism, imperialism, cold war, “neoliberal” hegemony and the rise of wannabe illiberal hegemons.

Talking about Russia versus Ukraine, the crucial thing to understand about this obscene fight between archaic imperialist power and archaic nationalist regime is the outdated character of both political and militarist cultures: both have conscription and a system of military patriotic upbringing instead of civic education. That’s why war mongers on both sides call each other Nazis. Mentally, they still live in the world of USSR’s “Great Patriotic War” or “Ukrainian liberation movement” and believe that people should unite around their supreme commander to crush their existential enemy, these Hitler-ites or no-better Stalinists, in role of which they surprisingly see a neighbour people.

Are there any particularities in this dispute about which the Western public is not or not very well informed?

Y.S.: Yes, certainly. Ukrainian diaspora in America increased significantly after two world wars. U.S. and other Western intelligences during the cold war recruited agents in this diaspora to use nationalist sentiments for inciting separatism in USSR, and some ethnic Ukrainians became rich or made careers in U.S. and Canadian politics and army, in that way powerful Ukrainian lobby emerged with ties to Ukraine and interventionist ambitions. When the USSR fell and Ukraine gained independence, the Western diaspora actively participated in nation-building.

Are there activities against the war in Russia and if so, what do they look like?

O.B.: Anti-war actions were held in St. Petersburg, Moscow, and dozens of major Russian cities. Many thousands of people simply took to the streets to express their disagreement. The most popular category of participants is young people. More than 7,500 students, staff and graduates of Russia’s oldest Lomonosov Moscow University have signed a petition against the war. Students want to see themselves as part of a free democratic world, which they may be deprived of because of the isolationist policies of the president. The authorities claim that Russia has the resources necessary for life and atomic weapons that will protect them, even in conditions of separation, from the rest of the world. More than 1 million 220 thousand Russians signed the petition “NO TO WAR”. Single pickets “AGAINST NUCLEAR WEAPONS” and “AGAINST BLOODY WAR” are held daily in St. Petersburg and other Russian cities. At the same time, employees of the Institute of Atomic Energy named after Kurchatov in Moscow “fully supported the decision of the President of the Russian Federation to conduct a special military operation” on the territory of Ukraine. And this is not the only example of support for aggression. I and my colleagues in the environmental and peace movement are convinced that our future has been broken in Russia and Ukraine.

Is peace with Russia an issue in Ukraine right now?

Y.S.: Yes, this is an issue without any doubts. President Zelenskyy was elected in 2019 because of his promises to stop the war and negotiate peace, but he broke these promises and started to repress pro-Russian media and opposition in Ukraine, mobilizing the whole population to war with Russia. This coincided with NATO’s intensified military aid and nuclear drills. Putin launched his own nuclear drills and asked the West for security guarantees, first of all non-alignment of Ukraine. Instead of giving such guarantees, the West supported Ukraine’s military operation in Donbass where violations of ceasefire peaked and in the days prior to the Russian invasion civilians were killed and wounded almost every day on both sides, on government-controlled and non-government-controlled areas.

How big is the resistance against peace and nonviolent actions in your country?

O.B.: In Russia, all independent democratic media have been closed and ceased to operate. Propaganda of the war is being carried out on all channels of state television. Facebook and Instagram are blocked. Immediately after the start of the war, new laws were adopted against fakes and “against discrediting the Russian armed forces conducting a special operation in Ukraine.” Fakes are any publicly expressed opinions that contradict what is said in the official media. Penalties are provided from a large fine of several tens of thousands of rubles, to imprisonment for up to 15 years. The President announced a fight against “national traitors” who hinder the implementation of his Ukrainian plans. The Ministry of Justice of the Russian Federation continues to assign the status of “foreign agent” to environmental and human rights organizations cooperating with partners from other countries. Fear of repression is becoming an important factor of life in Russia.

How does democracy look like in Ukraine? Are they any parallels?

Y.S.:  On February 24, 2022 Putin started his brutal and illegal offensive aimed, as he says, at denazification and demilitarization of Ukraine. In result, both Russia and Ukraine seem to become more militarized and more and more resemble Nazis, and nobody is willing to change it. Ruling populist autocrats and their teams in both countries profit from war, their power strengthens and there are many opportunities for personal gain. Russian hawks benefit from international isolation of Russia since it means military mobilization and all public resources are now in their hands. In the West, the military production complex corrupted government and civil society, merchants of death profited a lot from military aid to Ukraine: Thales (supplier of Javelin missiles to Ukraine), Raytheon (supplier of Stinger missiles) and Lockheed Martin (distribution of jets) have experienced enormous increases in profit and stock market value.  And they want to gain more profits from killing and destruction.

What do you expect from the peace movements in the world and all peace loving people?

O.B.: It is necessary for the participants of the “Movement for Peace” to unite with environmentalists, human rights activists, anti-war, anti-nuclear and other peace-loving organizations. Conflicts should be resolved through negotiations, not war. PEACE is good for all of us!

What can a pacifist do for peace when his country is attacked?

Y.S.: Well, first of all a pacifist should remain a pacifist, continue to respond to violence with nonviolent thinking and actions. You should use all efforts to seek and support peaceful solutions, resist escalation, taking care about the safety of others and yourself. Dear friends, thank you for caring about the situation in Ukraine. Let’s build together a better world without armies and borders for the common peace and happiness of humankind.

The interview was conducted by Reiner Braun (by electronic means).