1 June 2024News

Ukrainian pacifist sets fire to draft card on international CO day

On 15 May, the Ukrainian Pacifist Movement’s executive secretary Yurii Sheliazhenko set fire to a draft card at the start of the group’s online gathering for International Conscientious Objectors’ Day. UPM said: ‘[D]espite some fair judgments in favor of conscientious objectors and pacifists... the majority of judicial practice in Ukraine illegally condones political repressions.’ Yurii himself is facing an unjust prosecution (see PN 2671). In the UK, there were events in Bury St…

1 June 2024News in Brief

Please write a letter of support for 21-year-old Mikita Sviryd, who deserted from the Belarusian army in May 2022 over the Ukraine War and fled to Lithuania. Mikita has unfortunately failed his claim for asylum in Lithuania.

The Lithuania-based human rights group ‘Our House’ (‘Nash Dom’) is collecting letters of support to present to Mikita’s appeal court.

A suggested text is on the PN blog or you can…

1 June 2024News in Brief

In late May, a call for Ukraine-Russia peace talks was made by a group of prominent figures from Finland, France, Germany and Italy. They included Luciana Castellina, former member of the European and Italian parliaments, and Colin Archer, former secretary-general of the International Peace Bureau.

The group called for the issue to be debated during the EU parliamentary elections in early June, and for the next European parliament to ‘convene an exploratory conference involving the…

1 April 2024News

Pontiff praises ‘the courage of the white flag’

Pope Francis caught the headlines in March, calling for negotiations to end the Ukraine War. The pope has made dozens of calls for peace talks in this war, but this is the only time that he’s gained significant attention. This was because the language that he used was distorted into an anti-negotiations weapon, with the claim that the pope asked Ukraine to ‘raise the white flag’ of surrender.

The pope didn’t talk about ‘raising the white flag’ in his recorded interview with Swiss…

1 April 2024Feature

'We've go to get back to diplomacy' says former chief of defence staff

Ukraine should negotiate an end to its war with Russia, and be prepared to trade ‘peace for land’. 

That’s the view of one of Britain’s most senior retired military leaders, a former chief of the defence staff, general David Julian Richards (lord Richards), expressed in a surprising interview with the BBC on 20 February. 

Richards follows in the footsteps of US general Mark Milley, who publicly and repeatedly argued along similar lines while still the head of the US armed…

1 April 2024Feature

Update from a Ukrainian pacifist

President Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s peace formula declares a commitment to democracy. And real democracy, as dialogue-driven nonviolent governance, could indeed put an end to all wars in the world, if pursued seriously. But Ukrainian people in many ways, formally and informally, are left with no choice other than subordination to military command, despite public opinion polls that reveal disgust with military dictatorship.

Ukraine could not defeat Russian aggression by suffocating civil…

7 March 2024Blog

Just ahead of the second anniversary of the full-scale Russian invasion of Ukraine, a former head of the British armed forces called for a negotiated end to the war, trading ‘peace for land’. General David Julian Richards, lord Richards, said on 20 February: ‘War is the very last resort and we seem to too often treat it as the first resort and we’ve got to get back to diplomacy and seek some sort of resolution to it.’ Richards was echoing views expressed by a top US general back in November 2022.

Ukraine should negotiate an end to its war with Russia, and be prepared to trade ‘peace for land’.

That’s the view of one of Britain’s most senior retired military leaders, a former chief of the defence staff, general David Richards (lord Richards), expressed in a surprising interview with the BBC on 20 February. The full transcript of his interview is below. We should point out that we have not found any reporting of this interview, or of Richards’s call for negotiations, in any…

1 February 2024News

Switzerland to host phony ‘Peace Formula’ conference this year

Ukraine continues to push its phony ‘10-Point Peace Plan’, which demands the prosecution and conviction of Russian leaders for war crimes, the seizure of Russian assets to compensate Ukraine for war damage and total Russian withdrawal from Ukraine, among other points, as the precondition for negotiations (PN 2668).

At the Davos summit for the rich and powerful in January, Ukraine persuaded Switzerland to…

1 February 2024Feature

Russia 'ready to make a deal', reports New York Times

As we head towards the second anniversary of the full-scale Russian invasion of Ukraine, the question of peace negotiations is becoming more pressing, especially with the possibility that Donald Trump may be re-elected president in November. Trump opposes US aid to Ukraine.

If it looks likely that Trump is going to win, Ukraine may be tempted to go for a high-risk, high-speed military push while it still has US backing – or it may finally open the door for a negotiated solution before…

1 December 2023Feature

Open letter from a Ukrainian facing prison for speaking for peace

Greetings from Kyiv. Yesterday [14 November] my city was disturbed again by air raid sirens, so I ran from Vernadsky scientific library to hide in the closest shelter, a subway station.

Ruthless Russian aggression against Ukraine continues, as well as the Ukrainian defensive war effort. Civilians are dying, cities are being bombarded on both sides of the frontline, and that is the essence of any war – aggressive or defensive – the pure evil of war, which is barbaric mass killing by…

1 October 2023Feature

Week of action called for 4 – 10 December

More than 30 organisations across Europe have called for a week of action leading up to 10 December, International Human Rights Day, pressing for protection for all those who refuse military service in Russia, Belarus and Ukraine.

The #ObjectWarCampaign coalition, which includes Connection eV (International Support of Conscientious Objectors and Deserters), the European Bureau for Conscientious Objection (EBCO) and War Resisters International, is urging the European Union to open its…

1 October 2023Feature

Ukrainian pacifist Yurii Sheliazhenko on Zelenskyy's 'peace formula'

Yurii Sheliazhenko was interviewed on 10 August about the raid on his home and the charges against him, on Democracy Now!.

During the interview, Yurii said: ‘I was searched, and now I am brought to this repressive system for my alleged justification of Russian aggression, in time when our government organized the summit in Saudi Arabia to promote so-called peace formula of Zelenskyy. [see p3 for more on ‘the Ukrainian Peace Formula’]

‘And this peace formula, in fact,…

1 October 2023Feature

Ukrainian pacifist in court for 'absurd' charge

On 20 September, the prosecution failed to appear in court in Kyiv to begin its case against Ukrainian pacifist Yurii Sheliazhenko.

Yurii, executive secretary of the Ukrainian Pacifist Movement, has been told he will be charged with ‘justifying Russian aggression’. His flat was raided on 3 August and he has been given a night-time curfew (10pm – 6am) until 11 October (though he is allowed to leave for an air raid shelter if there is an attack, or for medical assistance).


1 October 2023News

Latest on project to provide unarmed civilian protection for Ukrainian nuclear power plant 

As regular readers will know, over 40 international peace activists have volunteered to act as an unarmed civilian protection team at the Zaporizhzhya nuclear power plant in Ukraine, supporting inspectors from the International Atomic Energy Agency (PN 2663, 2664,…

1 October 2023News

The ‘Ukrainian peace formula’ is a formula for more war

On 19 September, Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelenskyy announced to the UN general assembly in New York: ‘we are preparing a Global Peace Summit’ on the Ukraine War. Zelenskyy added that ‘the Ukrainian Peace Formula’, a 10-point plan which he had presented in full in Indonesia last November, could not only bring about peace in Ukraine, it could now ‘bring back to life the UN Charter’.

The following day, at the UN security council, Zelenskyy explained how this might be done, through…