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One year on from the invasion, Ukrainian and British pacifists call for urgent peace talks

Bloodshed in Ukraine

One year on from the invasion, Ukrainian and British pacifists call for urgent peace talks

One year on from Putin's invasion of Ukraine, pacifists in Ukraine and Britain have called for urgent peace talks without preconditions to end the bloodshed.

The UK government, along with other Western powers, is using the anniversary to push for more weapons and military equipment to be sent to Ukraine, including fighter jets. The Peace Pledge Union (PPU), Britain's leading pacifist organisation, has condemned the move, saying it will prolong the conflict and deter peace negotiations.

The PPU has pointed out the severe risks this poses to international security, threatening to escalate the conflict further into a global war between nuclear-armed states.

Meanwhile in Ukraine, pacifists have called for an immediate ceasefire and meaningful negotiations, condemning Zelensky's plea for more military equipment.

The Peace Pledge Union stands in solidarity with peace activists and conscientious objectors on all sides of the war, often persecuted for their resistance. This includes conscientious objectors in Ukraine, as well as thousands of Russians who are protesting against the war and the hundreds of Russian soldiers who have refused to fight. Previously the PPU has called on the British government to offer asylum to Russians who refuse to fight.

The PPU has consistently condemned Putin's militarism and the Russian invasion of Ukraine. The PPU is the British section of War Resisters' International, which also includes the Ukrainian Pacifist Movement and the Russian Movement for Conscientious Objectors.

Ukrainian peace activist Yurii Sheliazhenko, currently living in Kiev, said, "We must call for immediate ceasefire and peace talks."

"On the dark anniversary of Putin's criminal invasion of Ukraine," he added, "Western and Eastern military industrial complexes are shamelessly profiting from the big sale of deadly toys to Kyiv and Moscow. Merchants of death are happy that both capitals intend to continue bloodshed for years and decades, but no sane citizen could support that waste of public funds yanked from popular welfare, healthcare and education."

"No victory is worthy of such bloodshed, destruction and war crimes that we see on both sides of the frontline."

Sheliazhenko, from the Ukrainian Pacifist Movement, also expressed support for Vitaly Alekseenko, a Ukrainian conscientious objector recently imprisoned for his beliefs: "I hope that almighty God will hear not Zelensky's plea for endless deliveries of mass murder vehicles, but a prayer for Ukrainian prisoner of conscience Vitaly Alekseenko who said, before he was taken to jail for his refusal to kill, that he will read Gospels in Ukrainian behind bars and will pray for peace and justice."

The Peace Pledge Union is a group of people who have pledged to resist war and to tackle its causes. Join us here!