Russian Anti-war Movements Around the World
Those who do not afraid to speak up
December 20, 2022
You can find Russians who are against the war in Ukraine in every big country around the globe
From the very beginning of the full-scale Russian invasion of Ukraine, Russians living abroad joined the anti-war protests and organised their own movements against the war and Putin's dictatorship. There is also grassroots resistance inside the country which takes different forms, but this is a story for another time. Now, we would like to tell you about the organisations that can exist right next to you.
Russian Anti-war Committee
This committee was created by famous Russian exiled politicians like Dmitry Gudkov, economists, journalists, and entrepreneurs. Some of them were imprisoned in Russia like Mikhail Khodorkovsky and some like Vladimir Kara-Murza are now behind the bars.
“We are convinced of the absolute value of human life, and that individual rights and freedoms are inviolable. Putin's regime is a threat to these values. We see our task as uniting all forces to resist this. It was not the Russians who started this war, but a mad dictator. But it is our civic duty to do everything we can to stop it,” declares the Committee on their website.
The Committee has several areas of work, but the most important now is its aid for Ukrainians. You can donate for the humanitarian supply of medicine and food needed in different Ukrainian cities as well as becoming a volunteer. With winter approaching, the Committee fundraises for portable stoves for heating and cooking.
Feminist Anti-war Resistance**
It is said that the main driving force of the Russian anti-war movement now is women. And this is not only about women taking to the streets in Dagestan and Tuva after the start of mobilisation. The biggest grassroots anti-war organisation which members you can find all over the world – some of them are still opposing this war in Russia despite all threats—is Feminist Anti-War Resistance.
“Today feminists are one of the few active political forces in Russia. For a long time, Russian authorities did not perceive us as a dangerous political movement, and therefore we were temporarily less affected by state repression than other political groups. Currently more than forty-five different feminist organisations are operating throughout the country... We call on Russian feminist groups and individual feminists to join the Feminist Anti-War Resistance and unite forces to actively oppose the war and the government that started it. We also call on feminists all over the world to join our resistance. We are many, and together we can do a lot,” states the FAR's Manifesto.
There are cells of FAR in Europe, UK, USA, Korea, almost 20 in total and counting. Not only they help Ukrainian and Russian refugees and hold actions against the war, but also fundraise to help those in Russia who are at risk of losing a job for their anti-war position as well as breaking the wall of propaganda by creating anti-war fliers that activists inside Russia can print and distribute with caution.
Local Russian Anti-war Movements**
Russians live all over the world, and after the war started, many united to protest against the invasion and show that there are many Russians who condemn Putin's regime and its decisions. Rosjanie Przeciwko Wojnie in Poland, Russian Resistance in Ottawa-Gatineau (Canada), Russian Canadian Democratic Alliance (Canada),_ YaSoprotivlenie _in Japan are just a few of many. All of them stand with Ukraine, help refugees, speak up against the war and Putin's regime.
One of such organisations is Free Russia NL in the Netherlands. Its story began in January 2021 after yet another Alexei Navalny's unlawful imprisonment. With the beginning of the full-scale Russian invasion of Ukraine, many Russians joined the initiative. Since then, they have been organising protests, educational public events, petitions, etc. They established an NPO and created a Telegram bot for targeted aid to Ukrainians (and now also Russians) refugees.
Lana Pylaeva, the coordinator of Free Russia NL, told Notmywar about the organisation's greatest achievement and what they plan to do after the end of the war:
“To me, the greatest achievement is that we have established ourselves in the Netherlands as a community of war-opposing Russians. To achieve this, we have organised a whole complex of activities since the start of a full-scale war. We organise demonstrations, help refugees from Ukraine in the Netherlands, provide humanitarian aid to Ukraine, and write open letters to the Dutch government about visa policies for Russian citizens. When the war ends, we will support the rebuilding of Ukraine and democratisation of Russia. Our main focus is on creating and developing a warm and welcoming Russian (Russian speaking) community in the Netherlands, and we will continue to work on that by organising events for our community, interacting with Dutch officials to support its interests and, of course, providing the Dutch society with accurate information about Russia.”
- Note: During the work on this article, the State Duma members had proposed to recognise Free Russia NL and 29 other Russian anti-war organisations working abroad as “undesirable”. According to Russian undesirable organisations law, anyone participating in such an organisation can face criminal charges and get a prison time of up to 10 years.
Organisations around you
If you are curious and would like to learn about Russian anti-war movements in your area, try searching for «FAR [your city/country]» or «Russians against war [your city/country]» on Instagram, Telegram, or just google it. A friendly hint: If you see a white-blue-white flag, it's a strong indication of Russians who are against the war and Putin’s regime.
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