Rather than pouring fuel on the flames by sending more and more weapons, the government should be supporting those resisting war and welcoming conscientious objectors in the UK.
British prime minister Rishi Sunak and the home secretary Suella Braverman should offer asylum to Russians who refuse to be part of the war in Ukraine.
Since the invasion of Ukraine began, calls to offer asylum to Russian objectors have been backed by MPs including Labour’s Lloyd Russell Moyle and the SNP’s Tommy Sheppard.
The Peace Pledge Union (PPU), which condemned the Russian invasion of Ukraine as soon as it began, works with the Movement of Conscientious Objectors in Russia as well as the Ukrainian Pacifist Movement. All these organisations are part of War Resisters’ International.
The PPU applauds the hundreds of Russian soldiers who have already faced trial for refusing to fight, and many others who face pressure and coercion when they speak out. Numbers of conscientious objectors in Belarus are reportedly growing.
The PPU has also expressed dismay that a number of Ukrainian pacifists have been sentenced to prison for refusing to take up arms.