Winning the peace – not the war!

31. August 2023

We remember the German aggression against Poland in 1939, therefor the military beginning of the WWII as “Anti-war-day” with peace activities worldwide. The United Nations declared September 21 as international “Peace-day”. For both events, FIR underlines its basic position as “Ambassador of Peace”, to be fighter against war, for direct ceasefire and beginning of negotiations to stop wars.

Eighteen months after Russian troops invaded Ukraine, there is still no end in sight to the Russian-Ukrainian war. Instead, in recent months we have seen increasing brutalization to the detriment of all people in the war zones, in Ukraine itself, in the Donbass or in the Russian regions, which are now also war zones.
In the FIR newsletter we have underlined our concern about the use of munitions, which in the long term destroy the livelihood of all people in this region. This includes the supply by Britain to Ukraine of nuclear-enriched projectiles, which are said to have higher penetrating power. It is known that the use of such munitions means contamination of the combat zone itself for decades. Whether the “liberation” of an area can be achieved with these weapons is more than questionable. What is certain, however, is that in the future people in this region will only be able to live with damage to their health – regardless of who has gained the upper hand in the military conflict. The same applies to the massive use of booby traps and mines either in the retreat of own troops or in securing defense lines. Landmines were already distributed uncontrollably by the water masses during the flooding when the dam was destroyed. We know from previous wars in all parts of the world that landmines are one of the long-term consequences of war for civilians even after the fighting has ended.
We do not forget that as a consequence of the war and the political and military responses of all warring parties, about 16 million Ukrainians have had to flee the country, at the same time that hundreds of millions more people around the world are suffering the consequences of an economic war in which energy costs have risen extremely, fertilizer and grain have become almost unaffordable for the poorer countries of the world, and speculators are using this war to increase their profits.
This war is increasingly taking on the character of a proxy war between Russia and the NATO countries – on the backs of the people in the war regions. While Ukraine’s allies are planning for a war that is expected to last for many months with the announcement of new arms deliveries, we repeat our appeal from November 2022:
“Weapons will never bring peace, diplomacy and negotiations are the only way. This is necessary above all to save the lives of the civilian population on both sides.
In this we also see ourselves in agreement with Pope Francis, who has urgently warned of the danger of nuclear war, which will have catastrophic consequences not only on the battlefield, but also for all European countries and even more so for all humanity.”

It can be seen that the states of the global South (as demonstrated by the delegation of African states) are making many efforts under the slogan “No to war and yes to dialogue and cooperation.” They call for an end to the militarization of the region and an end to the sanctions policies that burden the world’s poorest states in particular.
The FIR and its member associations call on people in all countries to step up their public activities for peace, as they have already done on September 1, Anti-War Day, in many countries, or on September 21, the United Nations World Day of Peace. As peoples’ voices grow louder, governments must respond.
More than a year ago we appealed to the former veterans of the Great Patriotic War and their associations to work for the cessation of fighting.
“An immediate ceasefire is necessary to protect the civilian population, which includes many former Soviet veterans and their families. They know better than anyone that the guns must be silent. Arms deliveries will not bring peace, only a cessation of fighting and serious negotiations between the warring parties.”
This is the way of peoples and life, the dream of a better, more peaceful world. This is the way of the partisans of today.
Partisans of peace, partisans of humanity!