Russian Federation

Dear conscientious objectors to military service, today we mark our CO day while war is being waged.

As the war with Ukraine began, the notion of refusing military service in Russia has become especially topical. Before the war, most conscripts and their relatives did not associate military service as conscripts with actual warfare. Conscription appeared to be something akin to a sports camp with elements of military training.

In this article, the Movement of Conscientious Objectors in Russia (Движение сознательных отказчиков) explains ongoing anti-war protests in Russia. WRI stands in solidarity with all nonviolent protesters resisting the ongoing war in Ukraine inside and outside Russia. 

The Union of Conscientious Objection Finland (AKL) condemns Russia’s war in Ukraine in violation of international law. The Union is concerned that, according to several sources, Russia has used not only contract soldiers but also ordinary conscripts to attack.

There are many shortcomings in the exercise of the right to conscientious objection in Russia, and many of those ordered in the war of aggression are likely to be there against their will. Those ordered and refused military action run the risk of being prosecuted and severely punished in Russia.

On February 28, more than 390 South Korean NGOs held a press conference in front of the Russian Embassy in South Korea calling on Russia to stop its invasion of Ukraine and calling for peace. Following their press conference, the NGOs representatives delivered their statement to the Russian Embassy. Read their statement here.

Christian peace-making charity, The Fellowship of Reconciliation, has condemned the Russian declaration of war against the Ukraine. We urge politicians on all sides to take action for a peaceful resolution of this situation and for Christians to speak out, to pray regularly for peace and to support any humanitarian calls for help. 

John Cooper, FoR Director said:

In response to this morning's news, the Peace Pledge Union has released the following statement.

The Peace Pledge Union condemns the Russian invasion of Ukraine. No excuses can serve to justify this murderous act of military aggression. Our thoughts are with people in Ukraine in the midst of this horror.

We demand an immediate stop to the attacks on Ukraine, the withdrawal of Russian troops and a return to the negotiating table. We call on all soldiers to lay down their arms and refuse to go to war. We demand from the European Union to open its borders for refugees and to maintain the visa-free regime for Ukrainians. The German government must accept and support deserters and conscientious objectors from Ukraine and Russia.

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