UKRAINE PEACE APPEAL:
TOWARDS A MORE INFORMED SOLIDARITY
FROM UKRAINIAN CIVIL SOCIETY ORGANISATIONS
TO PACIFIST AND PEACEBUILDING MOVEMENTS WORLDWIDE
1. We, Ukrainian civil society activists, feminists, peacebuilders, mediators, dialogue facilitators, mental health practitioners, human rights defenders and academics, recognise that a growing strategic divergence worldwide has led to certain voices, on the left and right and amongst pacifists to argue for an end to the provision of military support to Ukraine. They also call for an immediate cease-fire between Ukraine and Russia as the strategy for “ending the war”. These calls for negotiation with Putin without resistance are in reality calls to surrender our sovereignty and territorial integrity.
2. We ask for nothing less than the full respect for
internationally agreed humanitarian and human rights law and the UN Charter and the practical means to defend ourselves, our popular sovereignty and our territorial integrity, to resist the Kremlin’s expansionist and imperialistic attempts to re-colonize its neighbours. Yes, we need diplomacy, and yes, we need humanitarian aid, but make no mistake, Ukraine needs to continue to be supported with modern weaponry and other military assistance and strict economic and political
sanctions on the Kremlin.
3. Stopping weapon deliveries to Ukraine now would not lead to “peace by peaceful means” but offer a pause for Putin’s authoritarian regime to renew its aggression against Ukraine. It is a dangerous call for appeasement. We have documented how the Kremlin treats prisoners of war and civilians in the occupied areas. We have seen how it treats its own legitimate political opposition. This is not peace. We believe that a strong defence and sustained resistance with steady and informed global solidarity for the Ukrainian people is the best incentive in such a radically asymmetric conflict for a cessation of violence and a negotiated withdrawal of Russian forces.
4. Acceptance of Russia’s occupation of Ukrainian
territories and resulting impunity would set a dangerous precedent for other authoritarian regimes wishing to revise international borders. It would also lead to an increase in the proliferation of nuclear weapons globally, as it would signal to others a destructive idea that possession of nuclear weapons is the only guarantee of one’s security.
5. We ask that international organisations and movements respect the right of Ukrainians to be at the front and centre of determining how to make their peace and how
to defend themselves and their rights. We ask for respect for our calls for inclusion and that when it comes to determining our future there should be “nothing about us without us”. We object to conferences and marches for “peace in Ukraine” where Ukrainians are neither meaningfully involved nor fairly represented.
6. We find the language on the right and left that Ukrainian soldiers are somehow fighting as proxy’s for the West deeply offensive. This argument denies us our humanity and diminishes Ukraine’s history of hardwon independence and the legitimacy of the peoples’ choice of their democratically elected government. This is deceptive and harmful political rhetoric. Russia’s invasion and illegal annexation of parts of Ukraine in 2014 was a result of Russian aggression and expansionism and was not a response to any credible threat.
7. We appreciate continued international mediation and mediation support for humanitarian negotiations calling for Russian withdrawal and on the exchange of prisoners of war, return of deported Ukrainian children, eliminating the nuclear threat and for the free transport of grain. These are hugely important, should be sustained and developed further.
8. We ask for your continued international understanding and informed solidarity. This needs to be done with a new imagination and a new approach to working internationally for peace with mutual respect, understanding our complexities, sustaining, and not breaking social connections and networks of the global constituency for justice, peace and democracy.
9. We believe in the face of this resistance, and with your support, over time, we will overturn Russia’s unsustainable occupation, and they will lose this brutal and illegal war of attrition. We hold them to account for what they have done. We know that solidarity comes at a price, and this price is shared across many shoulders. We choose to live in a world where human lives matter, where democracy matters, where international law matters, and we have not given up on fighting for the world we want to see for our children and their children.
10. We thank the international community for standing
beside us and for sharing this painful price for peace.
OTHER IMPORTANT UKRAINIAN ARTICULATIONS FOR PEACE:
This Appeal has been initiated by the Ukrainian Community of Mediators and Dialogue Facilitators, and Ukrainian Feminist Network for Freedom and Democracy; and supported by Ukrainian civil society including the following organisations and individuals:
Olena Zakharova and Centre of Public Initiatives
"Ideas for Change"
Oksana Potapova, co-founder of Ukrainian Feminist Network for Freedom and Democracy/UFNFD
Tetiana Kyselova and Mediation and Dialogue Research Center, National University of Kyiv-Mohyla Academy
“Feminist Lodge” Initiative
Initiative “Women UA”
National Association of Mediators of Ukraine
Institute for Peace and Common Ground
“Dialogue in Action” Initiative
Center for Law and Mediation
Ukrainian Institute of Mediation and Facilitation
Odesa Regional Group of Mediation
Laboratory of Peaceful Initiatives
Ukrainian Mediation Center
League of Mediators of Ukraine
Association of Family Mediators of Ukraine
ITC "Mediation School"
Lviv Mediation Center
Prydniprovsky Mediation Center «Vilna Peacemaking Space», Dnipro
NGO “Podolsky Mediation Center”, Vinnytsia
Sense 2 Sense Communication
Arbitration and Mediation Center, NGO
NGO "Mediation Center "Space for Understanding"
Ukrainian Forum for Dialogue
Commercial Mediation Group
NGO “Center for Family Assistance”
School of Expert Facilitation
Volyn Mediation Center
Association of the Middle East Studies
Ukrainian Peacebuilding School
Create Dobropillya, NGO
Anna Sharyhina, Vice-President, Kharkiv Women’s Association “Sphere”
Iryna Musii, founder of the initiative Women UA
Expert Resource “Gender in Detail”
Women Veterans’ Movement
Ukrainian feminist organization "FemSolution"
Hanna Manoilenko, activist of the Ukrainian Feminist Network, feminist researcher
Julia Sinkevych, grassroots feminist activist
Anna Khvyl, Ukrainian artist and feminist activist
Union of Ukrainian Students in Germany
Association Ukraine Zwickau Together
German-Ukrainian Cultural Association “Wolja”
Ukrainian Women's Union in Germany.
German-Ukrainian-Belarusian Society "Europe without Borders
Association of Ukrainian Scientists and Cultural Figures in Germany
Initiative Ukrainians in Dortmund Blau-Gelbes Herz
Public Organization "From a dream to the action"
Citizens' Initiative: Help for Ukraine
Women's Union of Ukraine
Fast Help for Ukraine
Dortmund for Ukraine e.V.
"Ukrainians of Bochum city NRW Deutschland"
Lviv Ecological Foundation, NGO
Anti-Corruption Research and Education Centre, NGO
Institute of Legislative Ideas, NGO
Institute for Economic Research and Policy Consulting
Fund of Social Development "Our Future", NGO
Theatre for Change, NGO
Olena Hantsyak-Kaskiv, Carl Plesner, Ukrainian Centre for Nonviolent Communication and Reconciliation "Dignity Space"
Civic Platform “New Country”
Union of Public Organizations of People with
Disabilities of Kyiv
Medical Movement “#Be like Nina”
National Platform for Resilience and Social Cohesion
Ukrainian Center for Independent Political Research
School for Policy Analysis, National University of Kyiv- Mohyla Academy
Human Rights Center ZMINA
Luhansk Regional Human Rights Centre Alternative
Ukraine without Torture, NGO
Association of Relatives of Political Prisoners Detained by Kremlin
Regional Center for Human Rights
Сentre of Civil Education “Almenda”
European Humanities Research Center University of “Kyiv-Mohyla Academy”
Ilko Kucheriv Democratic Initiatives Foundation
Civic Union “Educational Human Rights
Charity Foundation «East-SOS» (Vostok-SOS)
CF “Stabilization Support Services”
Social Action Centre
“Fight for Right”
Ukrainian Legal Advisory Group
“Diya” Human Rights Center
Human Rights Platform
Advocacy Advisory Panel
Polish-Ukrainian Cooperation Foundation PAUCI
Trademark "My Action", Pyryatyn, Poltava region
Women's Initiatives, NGO
Public Association "Civic Initiatives of Ukraine "
Youth Centre for Regional Development
Postupovyy Gurt Frankivtsiv
Support for Fundamental Research Fund
European Center for Strategic Analytics
Centre for International Security
NGO «Association of Political Psychologists of Ukraine»,
All-Ukrainian NGO Art Therapy Association
National Institution of Group Interaction and Education "Recovery Field"
NGO “Ukrainian Society for Overcoming the Consequences of Traumatic Events”
Ukrainian Umbrella Association of Psychotherapists (UUAP)
NGO "Euroatlantic Course"
Ukraine Crisis Media Center
Kyiv Gestalt University
“Library Country” Charitable Foundation
Human Rights Vector, NGO
Youth Initiative Center
Local Agency for Economic Development of Kamyanka-Buzka District
Regional Charity Foundation “Resonance”
“Volunteers of Vyzhnytsja”, NGO
Women Charity Organization “Our vision”, Lviv region
“Kremenchuk informative-elucidative Center “European Club”, NGO
Cherkasy Human Rights Center
Institute of Mass Information
Laboratory for Changes, NGO
Representation of the All-Ukrainian Union of ATO Veterans, Chervonohrad
“Gender Creative Space”, NGO
“Bridge 3.10”, NGO
Ukrainian Paralegal Association, NGO
“Inclusive Studies”, NGO
“Perspektyva Plius", NGO
“Pravova Yednist”, NGO
Feminist Workshop, NGO
Olena Strelnyk, PhD, researcher and publicist
Vladyslav Starodubtsev, head of Kyiv office of NGO Sotsialnyi Rukh