Prosecution Doesn’t Show Up for Hearing to Charge Yurii Sheliazhenko with Justifying Russian War

Blog by World Beyond War
Yurii Sheliazhenko (left) with supporters, in Kyiv. PHOTO: World Beyond War

The prosecution did not show up for the hearing today (Wednesday 20 September) in Kyiv to pursue the filing of charges against [Ukrainian pacifist] Yurii Sheliazhenko, who is being charged by the Ukrainian government with the crime of justifying Russian aggression. The evidence is this statement which explicitly condemns Russian aggression.

Here is a video of Yurii denouncing Russian warmaking many times, over the past year and a half.

It is possible that the absurdity of the charges, or the international attention is helping. But we do not know.

We delivered the petition to drop the charges to the court, where Yurii says: "The court was astonished." We also delivered it to the Ukrainian Embassy in Washington, D.C.


Yurii remains under investigation for serious charges, but the state agencies have not set a date to charge him yet. He remains under night-time house arrest until Oct 11.

This is our petition:

To: Ukrainian Government

We call on you to drop any legal proceedings against Yurii Sheliazhenko, and to respect human rights, the right to conscientious objection, and the right to freedom of speech. The absurdity of prosecuting someone for justifying Russian warmaking on the basis of a statement in which he has explicitly condemned Russian warmaking, is matched by the absurdity of waging war in the name of freedom and democracy while engaging in this sort of harassment of citizens. We urge you to do better.