US and Russian Women Call for Peace
Veterans For Peace
(February 25, 2022) — This letter was written by American and Russian women participating in a dialogue and peace-building initiative founded in 2021 by Women Transforming Our Nuclear Legacy and the American Committee for US-Russia Accord. Originally posted at Nuclear Wake Up Call.
(February 17, 2022) — We are women from the United States and Russia who are deeply concerned about the risk of possible war between our two countries, who together possess over 90% of the world’s nuclear weapons.
We are mothers, daughters, grandmothers, and we are sisters, one to another.
Today we stand with our sisters in Ukraine, East and West, whose families and country have been torn apart, have already suffered more than 14,000 deaths.
We stand together and we call for peace and diplomacy, with respect for all.
We are united in the belief that diplomacy, dialogue, engagement and exchange are urgently needed to end the current crisis and avert a catastrophic military conflict that could spiral out of control — even push the world to the precipice of nuclear war.
For the US and Russia, the only sane and humane course of action now is a principled commitment to clear, creative and persistent diplomacy— not military action.
At this perilous juncture, rather than allocate blame, we should be seeking 21st century alternatives to senseless military conflicts and wasteful spending on war. It is a time to redefine security so that women, families, and our children, can live in peace.
At a time when we find ourselves in perhaps the most dangerous moment since the Cuban Missile Crisis, we call on the media in both our countries to stop fueling the flames of war. We call on the media to fulfill their ethical responsibility as journalists to remind us of the price of war, the bloodshed and loss of human lives, to demand evidence when claims are made that can escalate tensions, and to have the courage to sound the alarm on the risk of escalation to a nuclear war that would mean the end of life as we know it.
At a time when poverty is increasing in the US, Ukraine and Russia, when the world collectively faces the existential threat of climate change, a pandemic that has taken 5.8 million lives and caused rising “deaths of despair,” declining life expectancy and extreme inequality, isn’t it time to think anew?
How might we seize the day and lay out a 21st century vision — that not only advances peace and security, but can unite the world — essentially a new realism? What could creative, humane diplomacy look like? If done thoughtfully, it could do more than resolve the standoff in Ukraine — it could pave the way for broader cooperation between the US, Russia, and Europe and beyond on climate, disarmament and more. It could lay the seeds for a new, demilitarized and shared security architecture.
We independent women, seekers of peace and security, understand the vital importance of engaging minds and hearts. We call on you to share this call for peace and urge our governments to keep talking, to pursue clear, creative and persistent diplomacy.
These are times of fear but also of hope and possibility. The world is in motion, the future is not written. As Americans and Russians, we have a compelling stake in deescalating tensions between our countries. The approach we suggest surely is more realistic, more wise, than preparing for a military conflict that could lead to unthinkable nuclear war.
We stand together and we call for peace. Stand with us. #WomenCall4PeaceUkraine
• Jackie Abramian, Writer
• Dr. Susan H. Allen, Director, Center for Peacemaking Practice at George Mason University’s Carter School for Peace and Conflict Resolution
• Nadezhda Azhgikhina, Journalist, Feminist, Director, Moscow PEN, Board Member, Article 19
• Natalia Bitten, Journalist and Feminist
• Sandra Cline, Trustee Emerita for Biosphere Foundation, Founder and Editor of • Dance of the Spirit, Writer and Novelist
• Dr. Ann Frisch, Prof. Emerita University of Wisconsin Oshkosh US; Chair Rotary Action Group for Peace Nuclear Weapons Education, Rotary Peace Champion 2017
• Paula Garb, PhD, Fellow, Center for Peacemaking Practice at George Mason University
• Dulcie Kugelman, Center for Citizen Peacebuilding
• Cynthia Lazaroff, Founder, Women Transforming Our Nuclear Legacy and NuclearWakeUpCall. Earth, Board Member, American Committee for US-Russia Accord
• Sarah Lindemann-Komarova, Writer, Researcher and Activist
vOlga Malutina, Artist
• Eva Merkacheva, Investigative Journalist, Member of Human Rights Council of Russia
• Galina Michaleva, Chairwoman of the Gender Faction, Yabloko Party, Russia
• Larisa Mikhaylova, PhD, Senior Researcher at Journalism Department, Lomonosov Moscow State University, Russian Society of American Culture Studies Academic Secretary
• Galya Morrell, “Cold Artist,” Polar Explorer and Visual Artist, Co-Founder, Citizen Diplomacy Initiative, “Arctic Without Borders”
• Marina Pislakova-Parker, Ph.D Sociology, Founder and Chair of the Board, ANNA – Center for the Prevention of Violence, Author, Researcher
• Joan Porter, Community Activist
• Lubov Shtyleva, Long-term President, Women’s Congress of Kola Peninsula and Board Member, Vyi i Myi Magazine
• Karen Sperling, Author and Publisher
• Svetlana Svistunova, Journalist and Filmmaker
• Katrina vanden Heuvel, Editorial Director and Publisher, The Nation magazine, Board Member, American Committee for US-Russia Accord
• Elizaveta Vedina, Artist, Illustrator
• Ann Wright, Colonel, US Army and Former US Diplomat, Veterans For Peace Advisory Board Member
• Natalia Zhurina, Research and Education Officer, Agency for the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons in Latin America and the Caribbean
Diplomacy Not War
Veterans For Peace
(February 25, 2022) —Veterans For Peace condemns the invasion of Ukraine. Our mission remains the same. We are committed to a sustainable and just peace. As veterans we know increased violence only fuels extremism. We have watched, and in some cases been firsthand witnesses to how the people of Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Libya, Yemen, etc. have had their countries and lives destroyed by US and Russian military involvement.
For the United States and Russia, the only sane course of action now is a commitment to genuine diplomacy with serious negotiations – without which, conflict could easily spiral out of control to the point of further pushing the world toward nuclear war. Genuine diplomacy is a commitment to compromise and maintaining open lines of communication.
We reject punitive sanctions that harshen the lives of people across the region. The sanctions that Biden is proposing are not tools of diplomacy, nor are they nonviolent methods of foreign policy; they do NOT target those responsible for war, but affect vulnerable civilian populations by limiting access to basic necessities.
The US has a responsibility to pursue genuine diplomacy to push for an immediate ceasefire and to apply pressure on other nations to do the same.
Veterans For Peace recognizes that this current crisis did not just happen in the last few days, but represents decades of policy decisions and government actions that have only contributed to the building of antagonisms and aggressions between countries. We must respond to this current crisis, and continue our focus on addressing the causes of war; by redirecting the military budget towards human needs, pushing for the global abolition of nuclear weapons and eliminating the ability of corporations to profit from war.
What Can You Do?
- Hit the streets in your local community to call for GENUINE diplomacy.
As evidenced by protests across the globe, we know that the vast majority of the global community does not want war. We know that war will have disastrous consequences for the people of Ukraine and throughout the region. Many people across the country, Europe and Russia are taking action the week of March 1-7th. Join an action or plan one of your own.
- Join the International Emergency Online Rally: No War in Ukraine – No to NATO
Organized by Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament, CODEPINK, Stop the War Coalition, No to NATO Network the online rally will feature many speakers. February 26, 2022 at 12pm (EST), 11am (CST), 9am (PST)
- About Face: DemilitarizeU: Ukraine & Russia
Join About Face: Veterans Against the War for an in-depth panel discussion with Ukraine & Russia activists & AF members with direct knowledge and lived experiences. The event will be livestreamed on their Facebook, Twitter, or Youtube,Saturday, Feb 26, 2pm(EST), 1pm(CST), 11am(PST)
- Join the War Industry Resisters Network’s next meeting.
Veterans For Peace has been part of a network planning a week of action April 17th-24th that will target local war companies and their corporate control over US foreign policy.
Our next planning call is Wednesday, March 2nd at 6:30pm (EST), 5:30pm (CST), 3:30 (PST). Our call will begin with a presentation by Christian Sorensen on the US militarization of Eastern Europe in recent years and Elizabeth Beavers, a driving force behind the Cut the Pentagon campaign, who will give us a rundown of some of the companies that will benefit the most in the most recent budget.
- Read and distribute our Nuclear Posture Review.
This most recent crisis illustrates it is more important than ever to implement measures that would reduce the risk of nuclear war, such as implementing policies for No First Use and taking nuclear weapons off hair-trigger alert. Join the Veterans For Peace Nuclear Abolition working group as they seek to apply pressure ahead of Biden’s release of the administrations own Nuclear Posture Review.