Here is the English translation of the founding statement by The Anti-War Committee of Russia established on February 27, 2022 by a group of exiled Russian elite.
I have no idea how popular this statement would be either in Kyiv or Moscow, bearing in mind it is made by a newly formed committee in response to the invasion of Ukraine by the Russian Federation.
There are other anti-war groups of long standing in Russia that opposed Russian wars in Chechnya and Afghanistan. Who can forget the Chechen women who protested in a Moscow theatre in 2002 only to have the theatre stormed by Russian special forces who gassed and shot them. Many of their ‘hostages’ also died.
This Russian anti-war movement is being ‘talked up’ by mainstream Western media (and social media like YouTube) in the same way Hong Kong protests against Beijing have been for years. Headlines claim thousands have been arrested across Russia. More independent reports say hundreds. It is hard to know what to believe, I suppose you would have to be there, in Russia, organising against the war to know the answer.
There is also a pro-nationalist movement in Russia that supports the war in Ukraine which goes under the acronym “Z” for Zapad a Russian word for victory. You can see “Z” on many of the Russian tanks and armoured cars as they rush along the roads of Ukraine.
On February 24, 2022, the Russian leadership, led by Vladimir Putin, unleashed an aggressive war against Ukraine. In the eyes of the world, this war crime was committed on behalf of the entire country, all Russians.
As citizens of the Russian Federation, we, against our will, were responsible for the violation of international law, the military invasion and the mass loss of life. The enormity of the crime committed leaves no room for silence or passive dissent.
For people who grew up on the ideals of a world free of Nazism, a war of aggression is the most terrible and shameful thing in the world. Non-resistance to such a war is aiding and abetting. And resistance is the only possible and proper course of action.
The anti-war committee of Russia is based on a simple principle, which is very important for us. There is a clear difference between Russians, involuntary participants in Putin’s adventures, and those who consciously assist Putin’s regime in fratricidal aggression.
We bear moral responsibility for failing to prevent the war, for allowing the treacherous attack by Russian troops on a neighbouring country. But the direct participants in the invasion – the generals who devised the plan and Russia’s political leadership – should be called war criminals. Each and every one of them individually, and all of them together, must be punished for what they have done. For the crimes they committed there is no statute of limitations, and they must be paid what they deserve, no matter how long the world and their victims may have to wait for it.
The Anti-War Committee of Russia appeals to governments of the world to take a principled stand with regard to violators of international law.
The Anti-War Committee appeals to all true patriots of Russia to consolidate in the fight against the aggressive dictatorship of Vladimir Putin, regardless of any political differences, ideological differences and personal sympathies or antipathies. [Translated with http://www.DeepL.com/Translator%5D
This was signed by Russian Anti-war Committee (see below).
Members of Anti-War Committee of Russia:
Mikhail Khodorkovsky, Russian oligarch and oil millionaire.
Garry Kasparov, former world chess champion and now Presidential hopeful, leader of the opposition-in-exile. Interestingly, when Kasparov fell out with the World Chess Federation (FIDE) he set up his own organisation in opposition. Kaparov is a wealthy man mainly because he was world champion for so long.
Sergei Aleksashenko, Russian economist and former first deputy chairman of the board of the Central Bank of Russia.
Sergei Guriev, Russian economist and chief economist at the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development.
Yuri Pivovarov, historian, member of Russian Academy of Sciences.
Yevgeny Kiselyov, Russian interpreter in Iran and Afghanistan during the Soviet–Afghan War, (former political talk show host in Ukraine.
Vladimir Kara-Murza, London based journalist and author of Reform or Revolution: The Quest for Responsible Government in the First Russian State Duma (in Russian only), which recounts the unsuccessful attempt by the Cadets or Constitutional Democratic Party to form a government during the brief existence of the first Russian Parliament or Duma from April to July 1906.
Dmitry Gudkov, politician. Gudkov was expelled from the Russian Communist Party on 13 March 2013 after it accused him of “calling on the American authorities to interfere in Russia’s internal affairs“).
Boris Zimin, Israeli based entrepreneur and member of Soviet Armed Forces from 1987-1989, carrying out most of his service in Kazakhstan.
Yevgeny Chichvarkin, Russian mobile phone retailer and oligarch.
Viktor Shenderovich, scriptwriter of popular political puppet show Kukly (Puppets) based in Poland.
30 March 2022