DFG-VK: No to military escalation in the Ukraine conflict!

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Activists protesting in Berlin against a war in Ukraine
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Below is the statement of Deutsche Friedensgesellschaft - Vereinigte KriegsdienstgegnerInnen (DFG-VK), one of our affiliates in Germany, on the ongoing crisis in Ukraine.

The DFG-VK, the oldest German peace organization, condemns the deployment of Russian troops in Eastern Ukraine. Peace activists from Germany, Russia and Ukraine call for diplomacy instead of military escalation.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has ordered the deployment of troops to the separatist regions of Luhansk and Donetsk and their recognition as independent states in violation of international law. With this, Russia's troops located on the Ukrainian border are on the move - threatening a military escalation.

The "Deutsche Friedensgesellschaft - Vereinigte KriegsdienstgegnerInnen" (DFG-VK) condemns this decision of the Russian president: "The deployment of military forces only causes further suffering and will not contribute to a sustainable solution of the conflict", regrets Michael Schulze von Glaßer, political director of the DFG-VK. In the end, all sides would lose: "The civilian population in particular has already been suffering from the conflict for almost ten years - the current escalation will further aggravate their situation. Should the situation escalate further, Germany must prepare itself for the humanitarian consequences of this crisis," said Schulze von Glaßer.

The DFG-VK Federal Spokesperson's Circle calls on all parties involved to immediately engage in further crisis diplomacy, a top-level meeting of all states of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), and a strengthening of the OSCE observer mission in the Donbass region.

In view of the current developments, the DFG-VK demands in particular from the Russian leadership under Vladimir Putin: Nein zum Krieg! Diplomatie statt Militärmanöver! Нет войне! Дипломатия вместо военных маневров! No to war! Diplomacy over military maneuvers! Ні війні! дипломатію, а не військові дії! (in German, Russian, English and Ukrainian) In line with its tradition, the DFG-VK also calls on soldiers* on all sides to lay down their arms and refuse to go to war.

The German Peace Society thus joins the statements and demands of Russian and Ukrainian peace activists. In a recent appeal Russian activists wrote: "Nobody asks the citizens of Russia. There is no public discussion. State television presents only one point of view, that of the war supporters. Direct military threats, aggression and hatred against Ukraine, America and Western countries can be heard from them. However, the most dangerous is that war is presented as a permissible and inevitable development. People are deceived and corrupted. (...) But it is the ordinary people who have to pay the price - a high and bloody price." Ukrainian peace activists see their country as a pawn of the West and Russia: "We demand the immediate peaceful settlement of the conflict by conducting open, comprehensive and inclusive negotiations in the form of a public dialogue between all state and non-state parties to the conflict, as well as the enshrinement of our country's neutrality in our constitution.

"Having already organized numerous actions against the impending war in recent weeks - including in Berlin - the DFG-VK is also calling for a human chain planned by numerous peace and human rights organizations connecting the Ukrainian Embassy, the Federal Chancellery, the Reichstag, the Brandenburg Gate, the U.S. Embassy and the Russian Embassy in Berlin this coming Sunday, February 27, 2022 from 2 p.m. onwards. 

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