War Resisters’ International statement on preparations for war in Ukraine

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A large group of protesters stand with Ukrainian flags
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War Resisters’ International condemns the preparations for war by NATO and Russia, who are currently considering military responses to the current political crisis in Ukraine. If war does start it will bring death, destruction, suffering, mass displacement, economic crisis, and many other consequences.

We also want to express our solidarity and support to peace movements in Ukraine and Russia as they resist the move to war.

We call upon the people of Ukraine and Russia in the first place, but also people around the globe, to say “No!” to war in Ukraine. There is no alternative to negotiations, no matter how difficult they might seem. As war resisters, we strongly oppose the current war preparations, massive movements of weapons and soldiers to the region and its bordering areas, as well as the media manipulation around the Ukrainian crisis, both from Russia’s and NATO’s side. Encouragement of war and polarization of the minds and hearts of the people is a path that leads to a disaster. The tactics of information overload and hot-and-cold information creates confusion and is intended to reduce the opposition to war by presenting it as inevitable. The only winners in such a war would be arm manufacturers and dealers and other war profiteers, whose interests don’t have a nationality or a homeland, while the people of Ukraine and Russia would be on the losing side, no matter how the conflict ends.

Only a few months ago, when NATO troops retreated from Afghanistan, it was obvious that the war, in any of its forms, cannot provide a solution to any conflict. Even the 20-years long presence of foreign troops with unlimited budget and immunity against the crimes they committed over the civilian population could not lead to an end of the conflict in Afghanistan. The consequences of the NATO intervention in that country are horrifying and, unfortunately, will continue for decades.

War Resisters’ International has spent more than 100 years providing support to anyone who refuses to be a part of war preparations or to participate in armed conflict, and will unconditionally continue to do so. Refusing to participate in war and war preparations is a fundamental human right and it must be treated as such anywhere in the world. We call upon the recruits and soldiers, both conscripted and professional, in Russia, Ukraine and NATO countries to reject their participation in war by declaring their conscientious objection and/or deserting from the military units. War cannot happen if everyone refuses to participate in it.

- War Resisters' International Executive Committee, February 2022

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