Russia: Russian Anti-War Committee Formed, Calling for Mass Public Resistance
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With the recent public discovery of Russian Military Soldiers being secretly buried and the government giving suspicious causes of death to soldiers' families, anti-war sentiments are rising in Russia. The mothers of the soldiers killed in Ukraine were the first to speak up by releasing a video where they asked Russian officials denying Russian involvement in Ukraine to bring back their children alive. The Сommittee of Soldiers’ Mothers in the Stavropol Oblast of Russia compiled a list of 400 Russian soldiers killed and wounded in Ukraine and estimated that at least 10,000 Russian conscripts have been sent to East Ukraine, following this it was branded a foreign agent. A Facebook group called Cargo 200 has been campaigning for the return of the bodies of Russian soldiers killed in Donbas. On August 27 Pavel Shelkov, member of the Committee of Solidarity with Maidan, announced the establishment of a Russian Anti-War Committee on air of 112 Ukraine. Meanwhile, Dozhd TV has launched a project to track Russian soldiers who have been killed, wounded or taken prisoner in Ukraine.
On August 28, the Russian Anti-War Committee issued its first statement, in which it accuses Russian President Vladimir Putin of starting a fratricidal war with Ukraine and advocates for his removal from power. The Committee has a Facebook group and has released a petition calling to remove Russian troops from Ukraine.
Moscow, August 28, 2014
Dear brothers and sisters! Fellow citizens!
Russia is on the verge of disaster! The large-scale invasion of Russian troops into Ukraine which began on August 27 may bring around losses comparable to losses during the war in Afghanistan (several dozen thousands killed), and a possible escalation into a major military conflict in Europe, where the toll will number millions. The ruling regime in Russia has dragged the country into a fratricidal war.
In our opinion, the President of the Russian Federation, grossly violating the Constitution, has committed a state offense under Articles 353 and 354 of the Criminal Code. This gives grounds for bringing him to trial and removing from power.
Under these conditions we encourage the citizens of Russia to:
-Express their strong rejection of this fratricidal war with acts of peaceful civil disobedience.
-Under the conditions of an undergoing war and until Russian troops are complete withdrawn from Ukraine we want to ask mothers whose sons will be recruited into the armed forces of the Russian Federation in September to remember that they may be sent to war and die in fratricidal slaughter. You have a responsibility to demand the return of your children to Russia if you find out that your son has been sent by the command to fight in Ukraine.
-Be prepared to indefinitely hold a peaceful political strike until the end of the war and the removal from power of all those responsible for starting the war and endorsing its management.
Soldiers and officers!
-Be warned that you have every right to refuse to perform clearly criminal orders!
-In this difficult time for the country remember the honor of Russian soldiers and officers! Do not shoot your brothers, both Russian and Ukrainian! Think about who your true enemy is, turning you into powerless cannon fodder!
-Find the strength to fulfill your duty to protect the people of Russia! The continuation of the fratricidal war will inevitably lead to the disintegration of the country, the loss of national sovereignty and territorial integrity.
Dear brothers and sisters, Ukrainians!
Together with you we mourn those losses that you have suffered and continue to bear because of the criminal policy of the leadership of Russia! We hope for a speedy end to the bloodshed in the long-suffering Ukrainian world!
On the basis of Article 3 of the Constitution of Russia, “the only source of power is the multinational people.” Based on this, we demand the Russian leadership to immediately withdraw Russian troops from the territory of Ukraine!
The Organizing Committee of the Russian Anti-War Movement (RAD)
г. Москва 28 августа 2014 года
Заявление Оргкомитета Российского Антивоенного Движения
Дорогие братья и сестры! Сограждане!
Россия стоит на пороге катастрофы! Начавшееся 27 августа крупномасштабное вторжение войск РФ на территорию Украины грозит потерями, сравнимыми с потерями времен войны в Афганистане ( десятки тысяч убитых), и возможном перерастании в крупный военный конфликт в Европе, где счет пойдет уже на миллионы убитых! Правящий в России режим втянул страну в братоубийственную войну.
По нашему мнению Президент Российской Федерации, грубо нарушив Конституцию, совершил государственное преступление, предусмотренное статьями 353 и 354 УК РФ. Что является основанием привлечения его к уголовной ответственности и отстранения от власти.
В этих условиях призываем граждан России:
1.Выразить свое категорическое неприятие братоубийственной войны акциями мирного гражданского неповиновения
2. В условиях начавшейся войны до момента полного вывода войск из Украины мы хотим призвать матерей отправляющих сыновей в сентябрьский призыв в вооруженные силы РФ подумать о том, что они могут быть посланы на войну и погибнуть в братоубийственной мясорубке. Вы обязаны потребовать возвращения своих детей в Россию, если Вы узнаете что Ваш сын заброшен командованием воевать в Украину.
3. Быть готовым к проведению мирной бессрочной политической стачки вплоть до прекращения войны и отстранения от власти всех лиц, виновных в развязывании войны и одобривших ее ведение.
Солдаты и офицеры!
1.Предупреждаем, что вы имеете полное право отказаться от выполнения заведомо преступных приказов!
2. В это тяжелое для Родины время задумайтесь о чести русского солдата и офицера! Не стреляйте в братьев – русских и украинцев! Задумайтесь, кто ваш истинный враг, превративший вас в бесправное пушечное мясо!
3. Найдите в себе силы выполнить свой долг по защите народов России! Поскольку продолжение братоубийственной войны неминуемо приведет к распаду страны, утрате государственного суверенитета и территориальной целостности.
Дорогие братья и сестры, украинцы!
Вместе с вами мы скорбим о тех утратах, которые вы понесли и продолжаете нести из-за преступной политики руководства России! Мы надеемся на скорейшее прекращение кровопролития на многострадальной украинской Земле!
На основании статьи 3 Конституции России «единственным источником власти является многонациональный народ». Исходя из этого, мы требуем от руководства РФ немедленного вывода российских войск и вооружений с территории Украины!
Оргкомитет Российского Антивоенного Движения (РАД)
On 21st of September, several civil society activists and organizers in Moscow are planning a mass march and rally called "Общероссийский Антивоенный Марш" / The Russian Nationwide Anti-War March. Their event page with updating details can be found here: https://www.facebook.com/events/516658901802881/
On the 28th of August at 12:41 a.m. Moscow time, Solidarity Movement activist Dmitry Monakhov tweeted: "I am Russian. Not cattle. Not a killer. And I am not an occupier. I am ashamed that Putin is my president. At 9:00 I will go to Manezh against the war." Less than 24 hours later, his message had been retweeted some 3,000 times.
He went to Moscow's Manezh Square on August 28, and said that Putin's actions were illegal under Section 353 of the Russian Criminal Code, which bans the planning of "aggressive war," according to the LiveJournalof Philipp Kireev, who witnessed the scene and uploaded photos of it to his blog. Monakhov called for the opening of a criminal investigation into Putin.
The police came and detained him. An onlooker shouted, "Don't like this -- go away, this is our home and we're going to live here," according to Kireev.
"I have been detained, I don't know what the charges will be," Monakhov tweeted at 9:35 a.m. Moscow time.
Others followed with doing single pickets at Manezh Square and a total of six arrests were made according to OVDinfor.org, the police monitoring group.
Via Grani.ru tweet: "At Manezh Square in Moscow there are single pickets against the war of Russia with Ukraine."
The Sign Reads: "I Am A Citizen Of Russia Against The War With Ukraine"
The Sign Reads: "No War"
Additional photos can be viewed here at Anton Petrukov's facebook page
A video by grani.ru showed lone picketers as well as the protesters with signs who came to Manezh Square last week and were detained by police, one of the women arreseted by police tells the officer, "I do not want children killed in my name." Grani.ru also interviews a number of young men of draft-age who say they don't want to fight in the war with Ukraine and were critical of Putin as a ruler. Several said they supported Putin, but others thought it was wrong to fight in a foreign country.
On the 29th of August Boris Nemtsov, well known Russian activist and political oppositionist wrote a public appeal to all Russian armed forces on his facebook page. It reads the following:
"Appeal to soldiers of the Russian Armed Forces.
At any moment you can be sent (and some have already been) to fight with Ukraine. Putin, as the Commander-in-Chief, knows well that the participation of the armed forces in fighting in eastern Ukraine is illegal. He has no mandate for war, no permission from the Federation Council to use the Armed Forces abroad. That’s why you fight without insignia and your markings on combat vehicles are painted over. That’s why he’s lying that you got lost, finding yourselves in Luhansk and Donetsk Oblasts. That is why your fellows from the 76th Airborne Division, Leonid Kichatkin and Alexander Osipov, were secretly buried in the cemetery of Pskov, and their relatives are threatened that if they tell the truth, they will be left without [financial] assistance. It is [precisely] because your involvement in the war is illegal, that you and your relatives have no rights. Putin and his Commanders would renounce you in an instant and will say, they have not sent you to war, and your relatives will never learn the truth, should something happen to you.
You gave an oath to protect the homeland from enemies and not to fight with the brotherly Orthodox people of Ukraine. War with Ukraine is a crime without an expiration date. This war plays the hand of Russia’s enemies. This is not your war. This is not our war. This is Putin’s war for power and money. It is a war of his Rotenberg accomplices-billionaires, Timchenko, Yakunin, for their enrichment.
Remember, you fight and die for them, not for Russia.
This appeal is open for signing."
He also did an interview on Sotnik TV where he says, "It isn't our war... it's Putin's war for his own power and his own money. Over 400 wounded Russian troops are in hospitals in Russia," Nemtsov told journalist, Sasha Sotnik
On the 30th of August a group of anti war activists returned to Manezh Square in Moscow and held single pickets. They displayed signs against the Russian aggression of Ukraine and sang the Ukrainian national anthem. They also called for the release of Dmitry Monakhov, who was jailed for 15 days for a solo anti-war protest on the 28 of August.
Video by Svobodniye Novosti.
The sign being held throughout this single picket read: “We can end this war! I demand to immediately remove Russian troops from Ukraine”
Full photo album can be viewed at Maxim Chekanov's facebook page
On the 31st of August several single pickets took place in Moscow during the early evening on Tverskaya Ulitsa and there were 4 arrests including composer Aleksandr Manotskov. Aleksandr Ryklin, one of the picket organizers, explained that the protest had been prompted by the worsening situation in Ukraine. “Russia has launched open aggression, Russia is fighting against Ukraine and one cannot put up with this,” Ryklin said.
According to the website of Russian internet and satellite broadcaster Dozhd TV, writer and journalists Viktor Shenderovich took part in the picket on Tverskaya Street, holding a poster that read “War against Ukraine is a disgrace and a crime”.
Musician, Vasya Oblomov, staged his own picket outside the State Historical Museum near Red Square in Moscow. His poster read in English “Make love not Novorossiya”.
The sign below reads: "Occupation of Ukraine Betrays Russia"
The sign below reads: "No War with Ukraine"
An anti-war candlelight vigil at night was attempted in memory of those who have died in Ukraine. It started at 21:00 hours on Ploshchad Yevropy (Europe Square) outside the Kiyivska railway station. People who came to the square wanted to light up candles in memory of those who have died but they were not allowed to do so and six people were detained according to the website of OVD-Info human rights project.
The memorial action was planned to take place simultaneously in Moscow near the Kyiv Station, and in Kyiv on Mikhailovskaya Square, symbolically connecting the two capitals.
In Moscow, the activists put out a line of candles on the wall along Berezhkovskaya Embankment. They had planned to put out 2,249 candles -- the number of civilians reported killed in the southeast Europe in last week's report published by the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights. But they didn't manage to -- the police showed up.
"Respected citizens, put out the candles, this is forbidden in a public place!" a policeman announced, and then began putting out the candles one by one himself.
"Where is it said that in a public place, it is forbidden to light candles? What's the law, the code, the act?" the activists insisted on asking.
"Let me tell you down at the station," the law-enforcer replied.
"I've come to remember those who died in the conflict in Ukraine, on both sides," Dmitry Kartsev, an employee of Gazeta.ru who had come as a participant of the action, told Novaya Gazeta. "This is not a political action..." A minute later, Dmitry and another 6 people wound up in a police van.
Shura Burtin, organizer of the action, a correspondent from Russkiy Reporter, and another 20 people remained on Evropa Square -- they had come later and had not been noticed by police.
"Can you go around town with lit candles? It turns out it's a demonstration of restraint: you can't even put a candle on the wall. But in your hands, it's even more visually effective, I can tell you that as an exhibit worker," said Alisa, another participant. "I'm not an activist at all, I'm a person who is bitter, that people died, died due to stupidity," she explained to me.
"People died who don't even know the truth about what is happening. I have a friend who went to Donbass as a volunteer. And died -- that's it, the guy's gone."
The demonstrators who still remained free went on to the other side of the Moscow River and put the candles not on the wall, but on the sidewalk, so that the wind wouldn't blow the flame out. The candles went out anyway, and they had to be lit anew. They made a large glowing number "2,249" out of the candles and the words "Stop War."
Additional photos of the action can be viewed at Grani.Ru
The police never noticed the extension of the action, and the participants went on their ways peacefully. They decided to leave the number made out of candles on the road. "That was useless, even laughable," said Anya, another participant. "But something had to be done. You don't want lost the remnants of your human face."
OVdinfor.org, the police monitoring group, said the six candle-lighters detained earlier at the Embankment were taken to the Dorogomilovsky Precinct and were let go after agents in plainclothes questioned them, trying to learn who organized the action.