Mothers, what are your sons dying for?
In the recent weeks news of Russian servicemen, both draftees and contract soldiers, being killed while fighting in Ukraine have spread over Russian and world media. The Russian Anti-War Movement, formed in late August as a response to direct invasion of Ukraine by Russian forces, issued a statement urging the mothers to take action on September 6, 2014.
The movement calls Putin’s aggression against Ukraine a blatant violation of the Russian Constitution and international law. They claim that Russian forces in Ukraine have taken “enormous losses that the government takes pains to cover up”. The movement warns Russian women their husbands and sons may be “in grave danger” fighting a war “to punish the people of Ukraine for their rebellion against the thief Yanukovych”. The war, the statement argues, is not being fought for the “Russian world” but for the right of Vladimir Putin and his oligarchy to stay in power.
This bloody war is not being waged for the “Russian world,” as the Kremlin propagandists try to convince us — it is being waged to punish the people of Ukraine that rose up against Yanukovych the thief and deprived him of his palace in Mezhyhiria and notorious “golden toilet.” This war is being waged for the right of Vladimir Putin, and also the 200 richest families of officials and oligarchs that seized 90% of Russia’s national wealth, to eternally own billions, palaces, and yachts on the Cote d’Azur and near Gelendzhik at the cost of ruining and impoverishing the people and degrading the country.
In order to save their beloved from being buried in a mass grave, dumped into a coal mine or burnt in a mobile field crematorium, the mothers and wives, according to the movement, should take the matter in their own hands.
According to the statement, since no war has been declared on Ukraine, any order to fight on the Ukrainian soil is illegal and violating it is not a criminal offense. Moreover, the very fact of fighting in a foreign country without insignia violates several articles of the Russian criminal code, effectively making the soldiers criminals.
According to Russian and international law, individuals that are part of military units acting in the territory of another country without an official declaration of war with it are considered mercenaries and are not covered by the Geneva Convention on the protection of prisoners of war. Under international law, they are terrorists, and on legal grounds your loved ones may be killed or interned by representatives of legitimate authorities.
The movement calls on the soldiers’ mothers to recall the heroism of mothers coming to take their sons from the warzone during the war in Chechnya in the 90’s. The statement lists contacts of human rights watchdogs to appeal to in order to prevent a soldier going to the illegal war in Ukraine. Among them there is the committee of soldiers’ mothers that has offices all over Russia.
The Human Rights Center “Memorial”
Website: http://www.memo.ru Phone: (495) 225-31-18 (495) 699-11-80 Fax: (495) 699-11-65
Lawyer Alexander Osovtsov
Page on facebook: https://www.facebook.com/osovtsovaa
e-mail: [email protected]
RAD info (Russian anti-war movement)
Phone: (499) 136-00-47, (903) 136-00-47
Forum “Mother of a Soldier”
Committee of Soldiers’ Mothers of Russia
Tel. / Fax: (499) 369-52-18
Skype: ksmrus ICQ: 322904377
A warning from a soldier that he won’t be able to call for more than a month may be a sign of him being sent to the warzone, the statement warns. In that cases it urges mothers to go the location of their sons’ units and prevent them being sent to war by setting up a watch at the gates, as well as to appeal to all law enforcement and other agencies, up to the President of Russia.
The committee advises those mothers who have already lost connection with their loved ones to appeal to the soldiers’ mothers’ committees of Rostov region and other border regions, since this is where their sons may be stationed; they could also know the location of the unit from previous enquiries. The mothers are also advised to look up their sons at numerous websites cataloging Russian soldiers killed or captured in Ukraine.
- RAD-Info (Russian anti-war Movement)
- Cargo-200 page: https://www.facebook.com/groups/gruz200/
- Organization “Soldier’s mother”: http://www.mamasoldata.org
- TV Channel “Dozhd”: http://tvrain.ru/soldat
- Resource LostIvan: http://lostivan.ru
Another option is calling Ministry of Defense of Ukraine’s hotline set up for Russian soldiers’ mothers: 0800501482 и 0968878094.
The statement also notes that most soldiers can’t be identified due to absence of papers taken away by the commanders. However, not finding your son on one of the ominous lists gives hope that he might be still alive and fighting or wounded in a hospital in Russia. In that case, according to the committee, a mother should call all the hospitals where Russian soldiers fighting in Ukraine may be treated. Civilian medical institutions in the respective cities, the statement advises, also should be contacted due to the hospitals being overcrowded.
Finally, the statement links to a list of units allegedly fighting in Ukraine. Should a son’s unit appear on the list, the mother’s advised to go to the Rostov region where the Russian armed group is situated and join efforts with human rights workers and other mothers to save their sons’ lives. Reaching the unit with other mothers and bringing the statement to the attention of the son and his superiors is advised as the best thing a mother can do.
In the end, the movement calls to participate in peaceful protests that have been taking place all over Russia and create local subdivisions of the anti-war movement in order to stop the war and get the soldiers back home.
Given that the Russian government is really making a great effort to cover up the invasion, the effect of all of the suggested measures seems doubtful. However, looks like nothing short of a miracle of motherly love could stop the war at this point.Source: Russian anti-war movement
Prepared by Kirill Mikhailov and Alya Shandra