Ukraine: No to war! Resist all militarism!
"This division of Ukraine, it is a division of two militarisms." - Yurii Sheliazhenko, Ukrainian Pacifist Movement
The Peace Pledge Union stands in solidarity with people in Ukraine, Russia and throughout the world who are resisting war.
Condemning the invasion of Ukraine and renouncing all war, we stand in solidarity with peace campaigners in Russia challenging Putin's aggression, as well as with people in Ukraine working for peace. We unite with fellow members of War Resisters' International against both Russian militarism and NATO militarism.
What is the Peace Pledge Union view on the war in Ukraine?
- The PPU condemned Putin's invasion of Ukraine as soon as it began, on 24 February 2022.
- We are backing peace campaigners in Russia and Ukraine and seeking to ensure that their voices are heard in the UK. We applaud mass non-co-operation by Ukrainians under Russian occupation and support the more than 20,000 peace activists arrested by Putin's police in Russia. As the British section of War Resisters' International, we are laising with our sibling organisations - the Movement of Conscientious Objectors in Russia, the Ukrainian Pacifist Movement and other groups around the world.
- We are calling for humanitarian aid, support for refugees, global opposition to the invasion and meaningful peace negotiations. We support calls for real investment in renewable energy to end reliance on Russian fossil fuels. We are calling on the UK government to offer asylum to Ukrainians fleeing war and to Russians who refuse to fight in Ukraine.
- We are backing conscientious objectors in Russia, Ukraine and Belarus.
- We are challenging attempts to misuse the crisis to promote militarism, opposing calls for higher military spending that will further stir up military tension. We suggest it is unrealistic to imagine that deep-rooted problems can be solved with weapons.
- We continue to resist war and militarism wherever they are found and whoever perpetuates them. The horror that we feel at the invasion of Ukraine naturally leads us also to campaign against the war in Yemen and all other wars and invasions around the world.
- We are publicising events, both in-person and online, aimed at supporting victims of the war in Ukraine and opposing war and militarism.
What can I do?
We may feel helpless. Our actions may be very small in the context of all that is going on. That does not mean we can do nothing. For example:
If you would like to send a short message of support to the Ukrainian Pacifist Movement or to Russian peace activists, please email it to us at email@example.com and we will send it on (our communication with Russian activists is intermittent, depending on arrests and government repression).
Let your friends, family and colleagues know about what Russian and Ukrainian peace campaigners are doing. For example, you could share this article by Russian pacifist Ilya Kurtsev or this article by Ukrainian pacifist Yurii Sheliazhenko.
If you use social media, please continue to condemn Putin’s invasion of Ukraine, and draw attention to the resistance of Russian peace activists. Challenging all war and militarism, we use the hashtags #NoToPutinNoToNATO and #PacifistNotPassive.
You can urge the UK government to welcome refugees fleeing the war in Ukraine - as well as other refugees from around the world. You can sign this petition launched by The Independent newspaper, calling on British ministers to provide humanitarian aid and safe passage for refugees.
You can sign this petition urging Boris Johnson not to do deals with the Saudi regime. Saudi forces are bombing civilians in Yemen as Russian forces bomb civilians in Ukraine - and the UK government provides the Saudi troops with weapons and military training.
You can donate to groups providing food and medical aid to people in Ukraine. A list of suggested charities can be found here.
You can attend or organise an event to show support for victims of war in Ukraine, opposition to the invasion and rejection of war and militarism more generally. This could focus on Ukraine or it could concern various wars around the world, including Ukraine. If you organise an event, please let us know!
Join the Peace Pledge Union! By renouncing all war and pledging to work for peace, you can become a member of the PPU and therefore of War Resisters' International - you will be a member of a truly global peace movement.
Other ideas? Please let us know! You can reach us on 020 7424 9444 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Anti-war campaigns in Ukraine, Russia and around the world
We have gathered some links to statements and articles from pacifist and anti-war campaigners around the world about the war in Ukraine (inclusion on this list does not imply that the PPU necessarily agrees with all the points made)
- War Resisters' International, a global pacifist network of which the PPU is British section, has produced an international anti-militarist statement calling for nonviolent resistance to the invasion and urging Russian soldiers to refuse to fight.
- The Ukrainian Pacifist Movement's executive secretary, Yurii Sheliazhenko, has written from Kyiv promoting a pacifist response.
- Several peace groups in Russia have produced statements opposing war in Ukraine. They include the Movement of Conscientious Objectors in Russia, the Feminist Anti-War Resistance, and Soldiers' Mothers of St Petersburg.
- The War Resisters' League in the USA have declared their opposition to both armed camps.
- DFG-VK, a leading peace group in Germany, has called for the immediate withdrawal of Russian troops, an end to arms exports to Ukraine and a nonviolent solution.
- 389 organisations in South Korea have signed a statement condemning the Russian invasion of Ukraine, while also opposing NATO expansion and insisting that there can be no military solution.
Peace Pledge Union statements
The PPU has produced comments and statements in response to developments in the Ukraine crisis, particularly as they relate to events in the UK. This list is added to as the situation develops.
- 16 February 2023: £10bn extra for army would be an insult in cost-of-living crisis
- 20 January 2023: Sending more arms to Ukraine won't bring peace or end the suffering
- 17 November 2022: Hunt's high 'defence' budget triggers protests over twisted priorities
- 11 November 2022: Alternative Remembrance ceremony will hear from Ukrainian and Russian peace activists
- 26 September 2022: Putin shaken as thousands of Russians protest against war
- 28 June 2022: Military leaders make power grab with call for higher spending on war
- 16 May 2022: Global solidarity on International Conscientious Objectors' Day
- 15 May 2022: Priti Patel faces asylum plea for Russians who refuse to fight
- 27 April 2022: Liz Truss plays into Putin's hands with call to raise military spending
- 25 April 2022: Global military spending hits $2 trillion for the first time
- 23 March 2022: Sunak insults Ukrainians by using war as excuse for cost-of-living crisis
- 15 March 2022: Boris Johnson told: supporting Saudis as immoral as supporting Putin
- 12 March 2022: Jeremy Hunt accused of naivety over call for huge rise in military spending
- 8 March 2022: Russian feminists protest against war on International Women's Day
- 3 March 2022: Over 8,000 Russian peace activists arrested as Putin faces resistance
- 24 February 2022: Peace Pledge Union condemns Russian invasion of Ukraine
- 22 February 2022: Peace activists around the world slam Putin's troop move.
- 10 February 2022: Keir Starmer is wrong to say that peace activists are pro-Putin
- 25 January 2022: Boris Johnson accused of hypocrisy over Ukraine crisis
- 21 January 2022: Peace Pledge Union statement on the prospect of war in Ukraine
- 11 December 2021: Pacifists challenge Liz Truss as she stirs up military tension over Ukraine
Join the resistance to war!
In the midst of war and militarism, this is a good time to sign the peace pledge and join the resistance to war. Members of the Peace Pledge Union commit themselves to rejecting all war and militarism and to tackling the causes of war. We are the British section of War Resisters' International, meaning that in joining the PPU you are becoming part of a global pacifist movement. Join us!
Please feel free to contact us with questions, suggestions or other thoughts. You can reach us at email@example.com or on 020 7424 9444.