ACTION & WEBINAR: No US War with Russia

February 4th, 2022 - by Massachusetts Peace Action & United National Antiwar Coalition

No War with Russia!
No Expansion of NATO!

Massachusetts Peace Action & United National Antiwar Coalition

(February 1, 2022) — As the Ukraine crisis has intensified, a confrontation between the world’s two most heavily armed nuclear powers has become an actual possibility. The Biden administration has put 8500 troops on high alert for possible deployment in Eastern Europe, and threatened to deploy 50,000 more troops and send additional airplanes and warships to the area.  With many thousands of Russian and Ukrainian troops near their mutual border, the situation is already tense.

Within the US, the bi-partisan Cold War hysteria has risen to dangerous heights. Biden has said that a Russian invasion of Ukraine is “imminent.” Congress is rushing through new legislation that proposes $500 million in new “security assistance” to Ukraine and is threatening to pass punishing new sanctions against Russia. The mainstream media, for the most part, has added to the turmoil by parroting false Cold War histories and narratives.

This dangerous rhetoric must stop! Instead of ratcheting up tensions, the US should work with all parties to de-escalate and pursue vigorous, sincere diplomatic paths out of the crisis. Ukraine’s leaders have advised calm and have rejected US statements that a Russian invasion is imminent.

The US has just managed to extract itself from a 20-year war in Afghanistan. Does our government seriously want to embark on another war? Since 2001, our long, bloody, fruitless interventions in Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, and Pakistan have cost thousands of US lives, hundreds of thousands of civilian lives in those countries, and $6.4 trillion.

These US taxpayers’ dollars could have been used instead to address vital human needs, especially during the pandemic. We need serious investment in health care, housing, environmental protection, education, civilian manufacturing jobs, and programs that address the plight of the 140 million poor and low-income people in our country. The only entities that stand to benefit from warmongering are the huge weapons manufacturers of the military industrial complex.

For any kind of peaceful settlement to be successful, all parties will need to accept the legitimate security concerns of others. Yet the US refuses to foreclose the possibility of Ukraine membership in NATO. After the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1990, officials in the George H. W. Bush Administration, along with other Western leaders, repeatedly assured Russia that NATO would not move “one inch” further east after the reunification of Germany.

Those promises have been repeatedly broken. NATO has moved ever eastward, adding 14 countries, including most of the members of the former Warsaw Pact, so that it now presses up against the border of Russia. Ukraine being part of NATO would put missiles within a few minutes’ striking distance of major Russian cities. Russia has long warned that this is incompatible with its security. One need only remember the Cuban Missile Crisis to understand Russia’s attitude. The distance between Cuba and Washington D.C. is 1,250 kilometers. The distance between Ukraine’s border and Moscow is 490 kilometers.

We join with our colleagues in the “No to War / No to NATO” international network in calling for an end to further NATO expansion and the establishment of a new “Common Security” architecture in Europe, based on the principle that the security of one state is linked to the security of all others. Negotiations in regard to Ukraine need to be opened based on support for the 2015 Minsk II accord, which was signed by Russia, Ukraine, France, and Germany and was endorsed by the US and the UN — but has never been implemented.

The Minsk II accord includes provisions for a ceasefire, secure access for humanitarian aid, withdrawal of all foreign troops and military equipment, and Ukrainian constitutional reforms that include decentralization of political authority, respect for and protection of Russian minorities, and relative autonomy for the regions of Donetsk and Lugansk.

ACTION: Contact your US Representatives and Senators and strongly urge them to pursue peaceful diplomacy to resolve the Ukraine crisis:
•  No to the massive $500 million in “security assistance” for Ukraine!
•  No to the expansion of NATO!
•  Yes to negotiations and diplomacy based on the Minsk II agreement!
•  Turn down the heated rhetoric that could, by intent or accident, lead us into another war.
•  Stop demonizing Russia and start working cooperatively to establish a Common Security framework in Europe. •  Without peaceful coexistence, there can be no peace.

Written by Massachusetts Peace Action’s No New Cold War Working Group; Approved by the Executive Committee January 31, 2022

Halt US/NATO Aggression at the Russian Border

A conversation between
US, Russian and Ukrainian peace activists

United National Antiwar Coalition

Webinar, Sunday, February 6, 12 noon Eastern (US/Canada)
Click here to register.

Speakers include:
Ajamu Baraka, National Organizer, Black Alliance for Peace
Larissa Shessler, Chair, Union of Political Emigrants & Political prisoners of Ukraine
Bruce Gagnon, Coordinator, Global Network Against Weapons & Nuclear Power in Space
Joe Lombardo, Coordinator, United National Antiwar Coalition (UNAC)
Vladimir Kozin, Correspondent member, Russian Academy of Military Science
Leonid Ilderkin, Coordinating Council of the Union of Political Emigrants & Political Prisoners of Ukraine.

Corporate media in the US has been warning about a possible invasion of Ukraine by Russia. This, Russia denies. But this propaganda has been used by the Biden Administration to whip up sentiment for war. Billions of dollars of US arms have been sent to Ukraine, Ukraine has massed an estimated 145,000 troops on the Russian border with US “advisors” supporting their effort.

For years, the US and its Western allies have moved NATO into Eastern European and former Soviet States in violation of agreements made with Russia. They have installed missiles at the Russian border and conducted “war games” at the Russian border. Today’s threat is a threat against a major nuclear power that puts the entire world in danger.

ACTION: Join us for this important webinar with voices for peace from Russia, Ukraine and the US.

US and NATO Aggression Towards Russia
Poses Danger at the Ukrainian Border

UNAC Statement

(December 8, 2021) — The US government and its corporate media have been trying to build a case that Russia is getting ready to invade Ukraine. Their main argument is that they have observed around 90,000 Russian troops near the border with Ukraine. Near the border means that they are on Russian territory, this is what the US calls aggression.

Although US and NATO forces have surrounded Russia and have conducted military maneuvers right at the Russian border, that is deemed to be not provocative, but Russia massing troops in its own territory is. What is never said in any of these reports is that there are 125,000 Ukrainian troops in the Donbass region right near the Russian border.

These troops have been freshly equipped by the US with advanced weaponry and US military “advisors” have been aiding them in their aggressive military posture. The massing of Russian troops near its border is a defensive move on their part to counter the threat of the US and NATO and their ally Ukraine that wants NATO membership.

In 1990, as the Soviet Union was collapsing, James Baker the US secretary of state told the Soviet leaders that NATO would not expand east of Germany. Since then, it has expanded into 14 countries in violation of that agreement, right up to the Russian border.

History has since shown the world that it is the US and its NATO allies that are the aggressors everywhere in the world. It is the US with its military in more than 170 countries, with 20 times the number of foreign bases as all other countries in the world combined that has invaded and occupied one country after the next. It is the US that spends almost as much on the military as all other countries combined. This is what the Russians fear and with good reason.

The Russians have only to look at the coup that the US orchestrated in Ukraine in 2014. They can recall Senator John McCain speaking to the protesters in Maidan Square, Kiev, urging them forward to topple their government, and US diplomat Victoria Nuland as she brought treats for the Maidan protesters and was recorded on the phone saying “fuck the EU” because they wanted to replace the Ukrainian president with someone other than the US hand-picked person.

The US pick, Arseniy Yatsenyuk, of course, was installed as the new prime minister after the coup, and ever since the US has had important influence in Ukraine. The new finance minister in the coup government was Natalie Jeresko, from the US and Joe Biden’s son took a role on the board of the largest Natural gas company in the country.

The new government contained far right and Nazi parties such as the Svoboda Party and others associated with a coalition of right-wing groups called the Right Sector. In Ukraine today there are openly fascist militias, swastikas chalked on walls or displayed on jackets and torchlight marches through the streets with people chanting anti-Semitic and anti-Russian slogans. This is what the US put in place and what Russia — who lost 20 million people to the Nazi terror in World War II — fears.

The key demand of Russia is that Ukraine, which has the largest border with Russia of any European country, not become a NATO member. They also demand that the U.S. and NATO back off on their approach to the Russian border and stop placing armed nuclear installations on their border.

The US/NATO/Ukraine aggression is happening at a time when the Ukrainian president Vladimir Zelenskiy has been making promises to “win back” Crimea and has started an offensive against the Eastern break-away regions of Luhansk and Donetsk. All three areas are Russian-speaking regions that rejected the 2014 coup as far-right and Nazi forces took hold of the government.

The people of Crimea voted by over 90% to break from Ukraine and re-integrate into Russia since they had been part of Russia until 1956 anyway. In the Donbass, which is the area of Luhansk and Donetsk, the people organized into the Donetsk People’s Republic and the Luhansk People’s Republic, created their own flags and built people’s militias to defend their territory against the right-wing and anti-Russian government of Kiev.

Although a ceasefire agreement was reached, it has been consistently violated by Kiev and recently the Zelenskiy government has stepped-up attacks in the regions. More than 14,000 people have been killed in this war in the Eastern Ukraine.

Another reason for the recent US/Ukraine aggression may be because, just recently, Russia completed its Nordstream 2 natural gas pipeline from Russia to Germany and is ready to turn it on. This can provide gas to Germany and Europe at a much better price than the US can offer with its fracked gas. This will also replace the Russian gas pipeline that runs through Ukraine. Natural gas was a key factor in the 2014 Ukrainian coup. Like many of the other recent US initiated wars, energy may be a big issue in this situation too.

We Demand:
No US weapons or military advisors for the Ukrainian military
•   Stop the US saber-rattling; No war with Russia
•   Keep Ukraine out of NATO