Yorkshire CND statement on Russian invasion of Ukraine

Yorkshire CND statement on Russian invasion of Ukraine

Yorkshire CND strongly condemns the Russian invasion of Ukraine

We call for immediate de-escalation before it is too late

War is never acceptable and Russian attacks on Ukraine will have catastrophic consequences for civilians and the environment. Yorkshire CND warns that the Russian invasion risks escalating the conflict to one involving nuclear weapons. On Feb 19th, President Putin conducted a strategic nuclear weapons exercise, practising dropping weapons of mass destruction on civilian territory with intercontinental ballistic missiles, submarine launched missiles and bombers. Even more alarming, the same day, Putin stated that: “No matter who tries to stand in our way… Russia will respond immediately, and the consequences will be such as you have never seen in your entire history.” This was followed on Feb 27th with Putin putting Russia’s nuclear forces on high alert. These instances amount to threats to use nuclear weapons and it is clear that the risk of nuclear weapons use is increasing. This must not continue!

The conflict is already harming the civilian population. Adding threats of mass murder by nuclear weapons does nothing to protect people. The only thing that the threat of nuclear weapons can do is elevate the risk of a massive humanitarian catastrophe.

Belarus’ referendum on 20th Feb to revoke its nuclear-weapon-free pledge in its constitution adds fuel to the fire at an already tense time. We urge all states not to engage in nuclear weapons exercises and any other activities that could further their possible deployment.

We also urge our government, which has played a provocative role in the present crisis, talking up war, decrying diplomacy as appeasement and escalating arms supplies and military deployments to Eastern Europe, to get all parties to the negotiating table, secure Russian troop withdrawal, make the Minsk agreements work, and call a halt to NATO expansion. The government must also commit to providing sanctuary to those displaced and urgent humanitarian aid to those who remain.

We affirm our support for the right of the people of Ukraine to live in peace and run their own country, free from superpower meddling.

We also strongly support the courageous people speaking out for peace in Russia and in Ukraine and all people around the world who are calling for an end to the violence. Yorkshire CND will be joining the Stop the War in Ukraine Global Day of Action on Sunday 6th March demanding Russian troops leave Ukraine, a halt to any further NATO expansion and for a negotiated peace to the war. There is no possibility whatsoever that war will resolve these complex problems, but it might end with the destruction of humanity. We must de-escalate now before it is too late.

For more information on the Ukraine crisis, watch the International Emergency Online Rally.