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Putin shaken as thousands of Russians protest against war

Russian anti-mobilisation poster

Putin shaken as thousands of Russians protest against war

Pacifists in the UK have sent messages of support to Russian peace activists who are resisting war and mobilisation.

The latest round of protests has been triggered by Russian President Vladimir Putin's announcement last week that 300,000 reservists would be called up to fight in the war in Ukraine.

Thousands took to the streets in Moscow, St Petersburg and elsewhere in Russian on Wednesday, the night after the announcement. Well over 1,300 protestors were arrested that day, according to OVD-Info, a Russian human rights organisation who count verified arrests.

Despite the crackdown, many returned to protest in the following days, while others left home to avoid being called up, or refused to sign call-up papers.

Several reports suggest that some protestors have been served with call-up papers after being arrested, apparently as a form of punishment for their protests and to deter others from speaking out. OVD-Info listed ten police stations in Moscow alone at which call-up papers have been served on arrested protestors.

Russians who refuse to fight - like conscientious objectors everywhere - have been applauded by War Resisters' International (WRI), which unites pacifists and other anti-militarists around the world.

The Peace Pledge Union (PPU), which is the British section of War Resisters' International, has remained in contact with Russian peace campaigners throughout the war, as well as with the Ukrainian Pacifist Movement.

The PPU condemned the Russian invasion of Ukraine as soon as it began and has called on the UK government to provide asylum to Russians who refuse to fight. The PPU also supports the Ukrainian Pacifist Movement in resisting conscription in Ukraine.

Like many peace groups around the world, the PPU has strongly criticised Putin's threat of using nuclear weapons, as well as US President Joe Biden's hints that he would use nuclear weapons in return.


The Peace Pledge Union is a group of people who have pledged to resist war and to work against the causes of war. We are the British section of War Resisters' International. Join us!