Dear friends in the Netherlands! We are deeply grateful and inspired by your solidarity and active support of peace in and around Ukraine.
The Ukrainian Pacifist Movement condemns all military actions from the sides of Russia and Ukraine in the context of current conflict.
We call the leadership of both states and military forces to step back and sit down at the negotiation table
Peace in Ukraine and around the world can only be achieved in a nonviolent way.
War is a crime against humanity
Therefore, we are determined not to support any kind of war and to strive for the removal of all causes of war.
When distant sounds of explosions from windows are mixing in one’s mind with messages about death and destruction, and hate, and distrust, and panic, and calls to arms, to more bloodshed for sovereignty – it is hard to stay calm and sane, but the support of global civil society makes it easier.
We live in hard times which demand courage to promote peace. When neighbor nations with intertwined history are starting to oppress, destroy and kill each other year by year, on their own territory or invading their neighbor’s territory, when even civilians in condominiums are preparing to meet the enemy with Molotov cocktails, as the army recommends, and banning a neighbor from Viber chat considered as traitor because they were urging people to be careful, don’t burn common houses and don’t allow the military to use civilians as a human shield. It is a dark hour for humankind which we have to survive and overcome, and prevent from being repeated.
Instead of breaking the last bonds of humanity out of rage,
We need more than ever to preserve and strengthen avenues of communication and cooperation between all people on Earth, and each individual effort of that sort has a value
Few people are trying hard to be either angels or demons, most people are drifting intuitively between a culture of peace and nonviolence on the one hand, and a culture of war and violence on another hand. Pacifists should indicate the good way.
I believe that nonviolence is a more effective and progressive tool for global governance, and social and environmental justice than delusions about systemic violence and war as panacea, a miraculous solution for all social problems.
I hope that with the help of all the people in the world telling the truth to the ruling powers, demanding to stop shooting and start talking, aiding those who need it and investing in the peace culture and education for nonviolent citizenship, we could together build a better world without armies or borders.
We need a world where Truth and Love are great powers, embracing East and West
As my friend May-May Meijer so powerfully says, a world in which all children can play.
Author: Yurii Sheliazhenko, executive secretary Ukrainian Pacifist Movement
Date: February 26th, 2022, Ukraine
This was originally a voice message to be played at Amsterdam Dam Square Demonstration, Feb 27th, 2022