The population of Russia and its workers have the power to stop Putin’s war machine:
Let’s support them, in Russia and elsewhere
If we consider that stopping Putin’s offensive is the most important task of the hour, then we must rationally envisage what could make a difference. The resistance of the Ukrainian population and its army is one element, but there is little help that we, as citizens of the world, can provide in a military confrontation. And such a confrontation is radically about force, killings, taking prisoners, etc. For the moment, we may all envisage that there is a clear superiority of the Kremlin’s forces in this battle, just because of the numbers of soldiers, cannons, tanks, etc.
But there are other ways to stop a war machine, especially if we see the larger picture. In order to move, to fire ammunition, to feed soldiers and care for the wounded, Putin’s war machine needs infinite support from almost the entire population, starting with railway workers, lorry drivers, doctors and nurses, farmers – a whole national supply chain, without which no army in the world may move forward. When we support the youth, the students, the urban crowds connected to the rest of the planet, who are protesting every day in Russia against the war, we are actually supporting those who can bring this message to the entire Russian population: “We can stop him before he and his gang take us to poverty and isolation”. The people who demonstrate in Moscow and other cities are courageous messengers not simply of peace, but of the people’s offensive against this war machine. We must support them, from all over the world, as they spread the word that is possibly the only way to save Ukraine and the world from more war and desolation.
Now, what can we do? We must understand that these people who protest are facing a mean and brutal police state. Those arrested do not only face prison, but also harassment at their workplace, for them and their loved ones. As of today, more than 6,000 people have been arrested in Russia since the beginning of the invasion of Ukraine. Police stations are overflowing with people. Ironically, others may decide to take to the streets, thinking that there is no jail in which to house them. A lot of them will pay a very high price for their courageous stance. A lot of them might decide to leave Russia as their lives are shattered by repression.
We can help them. We can change things for them and make the anti-war movement stronger in Russia. At the moment, Russian exiles are not treated properly by Western countries. If we want people in Russia to risk losing everything they have in order to spread the message that could stop Putin’s war machine, we must make things easier for those who can’t stay in their country because of repression. We must make our governments change their policies on Russian exiles and obtain the extension of the special refugee statuses recently implemented for Ukrainians fleeing their country. This is something which is at hand, right now. We can also provide the anti-war movement in Russia with any help available regarding communications, counter-information, legal aid, and freedom campaigns for individuals etc. But the first thing we can change is organizing this emergency exit for the people fighting for us, against the war in Ukraine, at the heart of the reactor in Russia.