“If Only War Will Not Happen”: Voices from Russia

January 31st, 2022 - by Statement of Peace Supporters against the Party of War in the Russian leadership

“If Only War Will Not Happen”

Statement of Peace Supporters against the Party of War in the Russian leadership
Original in Russian: https://echo.msk.ru/blog/echomsk/2972500-echo/

(January 29, 2022) — The flow of disturbing information about a possible Russian invasion of Ukraine is intensifying. There are reports of intensive recruitment of mercenaries in Russia and the transfer of fuel and military equipment to the territory of the Donetsk and Luhansk regions of Ukraine. In response, Ukraine is intensively arming, NATO is sending additional forces to Eastern Europe. The tension does not subside, but on the contrary, it only grows.

Citizens of Russia are actually becoming hostages of criminal adventurism, which is turning Russia’s foreign policy line. They not only live in uncertainty — whether a big war will begin, but also observe a sharp rise in prices and a fall in the national currency. Do Russians need such a policy? Do they want war, and are they ready to bear its burden? Did they give the authorities the right to play such a game with their destinies?

But no one asks the citizens of Russia. There is no public discussion. Only one point of view is presented on state television, and that is the point of view of the supporters of the war. Direct military threats are heard from there, aggression and hatred towards Ukraine, America and Western countries are exuded.

But the most dangerous thing is that the war is presented as an acceptable and inevitable course of events. It is an attempt to deceive and corrupt the people, impose on them the idea of a holy war with the West instead of developing the country and raising the standard of living of its citizens. The question of price is not discussed, but it is ordinary people who will have to pay this price — a huge and bloody price.

We, responsible citizens of Russia and patriots of our country, appeal to the political leadership of Russia, and throw down an open and public challenge to the War Party, which has been formed within the government.

We express the point of view of that part of Russian society that hates war and considers even the use of a military threat and criminal style in foreign policy rhetoric a crime.

We hate war, but you think it is acceptable. We stand up for peace and prosperity for all citizens of Russia, but you put their lives and destinies on the line in your political game. You are deceiving and using people, but we are telling the truth to people. We are speaking on behalf of Russia, but not you, because the peoples of Russia, having lost millions of killed in the wars of the past, for many decades live by the proverb “If only war will not happen.” Have you forgotten about it?

Our position is extremely simple: Russia does not need a war with Ukraine and the West. Nobody threatens us, nobody attacks us. A policy based on promoting the idea of such a war is immoral, irresponsible and criminal, and cannot be carried out on behalf of the peoples of Russia. Such a war can have neither legitimate nor moral goals. The diplomacy of the country cannot take any other position than the categorical rejection of such a war.

The war not only does not correspond to the interests of Russia, but also carries a threat to its very existence. The insane actions of the political leadership of the country, pushing us to this point, will inevitably lead to the formation of a mass anti-war movement in Russia. Each of us naturally becomes a part of it.

We will do everything possible to prevent, and if necessary, stop the war.

The full list of signatories is available here.

Lev Ponomarev*, human rights activist
Valery Borshchev, human rights activist
Svetlana Gannushkina, human rights activist
Leonid Gozman, politician
Liya Akhedzhakova, actress, People’s Artist of the Russian Federation
Andrey Makarevich, musician
Harry Bardin, director
Viktor Shenderovich*, writer
Tatyana Lazareva, TV presenter
Andrey Zubov, historian, politician
Andrey Nechaev , politician
Alina Vitukhnovskaya, writer
Alexander Belavin, physicist
Nikolai Rozanov, corresponding member of the Russian Academy of Sciences
Natalia Evdokimova, executive secretary of the Human Rights Council of St. Petersburg
Efim Khazanov, academician of the Russian Academy of Sciences
Ilya Ginzburg, physicist, professor
Zoya Svetova, journalist
Grigory Yavlinsky, politician
Lev Shlosberg, politician
Boris Vishnevsky, politician
Lev Gudkov, sociologist, Doctor of Philosophy, Professor
Igor Chubais, philosopher
Tatyana Voltskaya*, poet, journalist
Boris Sokolov, historian, writer
Mikhail Krieger, civic activist
Veronika Dolina, poet
Vladimir Mirzoev , director
Ksenia Larina, journalist
Andrey Piontkovsky, publicist,
Mark Urnov, HSE professor
Mikhail Lavrenov, writer
Nikolai Prokudin, writer
Elena Fanailova, poet, journalist
Grigory Mikhnov-Vaitenko, clergyman
Lev Levinson, human rights activist
Sergei Germann, writer
Vladimir Alex, civil activist
Yuri Gimmelfarb, journalist
Yuri Samodurov, human rights activist
Yevgeny Tsymbal, civil activist
Vitaly Dixon, writer
Natalia Mavlevich, translator
Ashraf Fattakhov, lawyer
Viktor Yunak, writer
Valeria Prikhodkina, human rights activist
Elena Grigorieva, children’s poet
Vera Shabelnikova, editor
Mair Makhaev, philosopher, linguist
Amnuel Grigory, producer, director, publicist, politician.
Sergei Krivenko, human rights activist
Yaroslav Nikitenko, environmental and civil activist, scientist
Tatyana Yankelevich Bonner, human rights activist
Nikita Sokolov, historian
Anatoly Golubovsky, historian
Nikolai Rekubratsky, researcher
Vitold Abankin, human rights activist
Elena Bukvareva, Doctor of Biology
Igor Toporkov, human rights
activist Yevgeny Kalakin, director
Lyudmila Alpern, human rights activist
Nina Katerli, writer
Vladimir Zalishchak, municipal deputy
Olga Mazurova, doctor
Oleg Motkov, director
Natalya Pakhsaryan, professor of Moscow State University
Elena Volkova, philologist, culturologist
Valery Otstavnykh, director, journalist
Georgy Karetnikov, civic activist
Marina Boroditskaya, writer
Sergei German, member of the Writers’ Union of Russia
Sergei Lutsenko. animation supervisor
Alexey Diveev programmer
Tatyana Vorozheikina, lecturer at the Free University of Moscow
Tatyana Kotlyar, human rights activist
Anatoly Barmin, pharmacist
Valentin Skvortsov, professor at Moscow State University
Lev Ingel, physicist
Mikhail Mints, historian
Leonid Chubarov, professor
Katya-Anna Taguti, artist
Elena Efros, civic activist
Anna Shapiro, director
Tatyana Dorutina, member of the Human Rights Council of St. Petersburg
Arkady Konikov, programmer
Sergei Pechenkin, civil activist
Anatoly Razumov, historian
Alexander Sannikov, retired Colonel of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation
Anatoly Tsirlin. Professor

Karen Hakobyan, Doctor of Philosophy, Professor