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Background on the crisis in Ukraine

Currently, we are three months into the war between Russia and Ukraine, which shows no sign of stopping. Not only is this war causing needless civilian deaths and environmental destruction, its shockwaves affect the entire world through disruptions in different production sectors, energy sources, and financial systems tied to both Russia and Ukraine. 

As the war continues, the risk of further escalation grows, potentially putting the nuclear option on the table if the United States were to become involved. NATO has played a major role in exacerbating this conflict and we must now call on NATO to play a role in its de-escalation.

The Minsk II Accord has successfully prevented a new escalation of the Civil War in Ukraine since 2015. Ukraine’s people are divided, with millions speaking Russian and looking to the East, while others in the West are more oriented towards Europe. The Minsk II Accord, negotiated by France, Germany, Russia, Ukraine and the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE), recognized these divisions and sought a political resolution to them, one that would explicitly include greater autonomy for the Donetsk and Luhansk regions.     

But NATO and the United States have encouraged the Ukrainian government to ignore its obligations under Minsk II, and to instead reassert absolute sovereignty over the  Donbass region. They have supplied more powerful weapons, which Ukraine has deployed and used in Eastern Ukraine. 

The United States bears a great deal of responsibility for this crisis, starting with its support for the violent overthrow of the elected government of Ukraine in 2014. In persisting with its support for the coup, the United States simply ignored the February 2014 agreement for a political transition negotiated by the European Union and the Foreign Ministers of France, Germany and Poland, all NATO members. 

The U.S.-backed coup reversed the will of the majority of Ukrainians who elected the Yanukovych government, and led directly to the secession of Crimea and the Donetsk and Luhansk regions from Ukraine. 

And yet, under the leadership of NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg, NATO has played a supporting role as the United States has internationalized the post-coup political division of Ukraine and escalated it into a geopolitical crisis. Ukraine is not a NATO member, and NATO is a military alliance, not a universal international organization like the United Nations. NATO can therefore play no legitimate or helpful role in this crisis, except to support the diplomatic efforts of its members, the OSCE and the UN. 

NATO members France, Germany and Poland have all played constructive diplomatic roles in the crisis in Ukraine in the past, and NATO should support diplomatic efforts by its European members to resolve this European problem, instead of acting as a sheep-dog to round them up and herd them into line behind dangerous U.S. policies. 

NATO expansion contributed greatly to the roots of the present crisis, by violating the agreements that brought the original Cold War to an end and reunified Germany. NATO should have kept its promise not to expand eastward. Instead, it has added 11 member countries that were once either Soviet republics or members of the Warsaw Pact, to triumphantly march a Western military alliance right up to Russia’s borders.

Russia has always been opposed to Ukraine entering NATO. In 2008, when Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko first applied for NATO membership, President Putin called Ukrainian membership "a direct threat" to Russia. But neither the U.S. nor NATO \should go to war with Russia to reunify Ukraine by force. NATO should recognize and respect Ukraine’s independence, neutrality and the will of all its people, and fully support the Minsk II Protocol.

Tensions with Russia have also been exacerbated by counterproductive NATO military exercises clearly intended to intimidate Russia. There is no equivalence between Russia conducting military exercises and troop movements within its own borders and NATO members flying in thousands of North American and Western European troops and deadly weaponry to conduct exercises directly across those same borders. 

The world cannot risk a military confrontation between the world’s two most heavily armed nuclear states–the United States and Russia. What we need instead is vigorous diplomacy to promote de-escalation and seek a negotiated solution, to avoid war and advance the Minsk II diplomatic process. That will be in the best interest of all NATO nations, the Russian people, all the people of Ukraine, and the world community, and that is what we must demand from NATO’s Secretary-General. 


Showing 19 reactions

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  • Tatiana Kokcharova
    commented 2022-10-28 08:08:34 -0400
    I am Russian and my Russian-speaking relatives live in the eastern part of Ukraine in the town of Lysychansk. Even though the front line runs a few kilometres from the town, the Ukrainians sometimes shell the town where there are no Russian soldiers. What about the residents of Donetsk, who are periodically shelled by Ukrainians. This is the second war for my aunt, she was a child in 1941.

    The following facts, contained in the official reports, will make it possible to understand who the aggressor really is and consider his true face:

    OSCE Reports Reveal Ukraine Started Shelling The Donbas Nine Days Before Russia’s ‘Special Military Operation’
    https://kanekoa.substack.com/p/osce-reports-reveal-ukraine-started

    Rapport de l’ONU sur les droits de l’homme en Ukraine: arrestations, déchaînement nazi, persécution des médias, discrimination linguistique. Observateur Continental, sep 2021
    http://observateurcontinental.fr/?module=articles&action=view&id=3168

    OHCHR : Report on the human rights on Ukraine 1 fév 31 jul 2021
    https://www.ohchr.org/sites/default/files/Documents/Countries/UA/32ndReportUkraine-en.pdf

    www.osce.org : Les crimes de guerre des forces armées et des forces de sécurité de l’Ukraine : torture et traitements inhumains, 15 avr 2016
    https://www.osce.org/files/f/documents/e/7/233896.pdf

    www.osce.org : 1 Right-wing radical groups, xenophobia, and aggression in Ukraine The Ministry of Internal Affairs and General Prosecutor’s Off, 14 sept 2018
    https://www.osce.org/files/f/documents/6/0/394781.pdf

    www.osce.org : The right to freedom of speech and opinion in Ukraine: threats and opportunities This report was prepared by the Ukrainian human, 11 sept 2018
    https://www.osce.org/files/f/documents/d/f/393431_0.pdf

    Ukraine.un.org : Conflict-related civilian casualties in Ukraine1, 27 jan 2021
    https://ukraine.un.org/sites/default/files/2022-02/Conflict-related%20civilian%20casualties%20as%20of%2031%20December%202021%20(rev%2027%20January%202022)%20corr%20EN_0.pdf?target=popup
  • Tatiana Kokcharova
    followed this page 2022-10-28 07:29:34 -0400
  • Jhon McFarland
    commented 2022-05-03 17:40:30 -0400
    This petition is true , I highly support it , people need to do research from different reporting sources , democracy now , Richard Medhurst ,Gonzalo lira,Arnab Goswami, Redacted, The nuclear threat is real ,people should listen to a few reports by experts also on this ,it’s terrifying ,, people need overall understanding , at what risk we’re at right now , of course it’s disgusting what Putin is doing , but also if you do research , you’ll find , that Russia has been pushed into a corner and they had written ,and verbal agreements . Over the years ,The world needs to talk to Putin not threaten him , or we could lose everything dear to us ,family ,our children ,and living things . Everything !,
  • Rachel Beckert
    commented 2022-04-25 12:15:35 -0400
    Two plus months into the horrific aggression by Russia, these comments appear naive. Now that Putin has plainly stated his plan, to simply grab the land of Ukraine and erase the people, do you still believe that NATO is to blame? All blame and shame is at Putin’s feet. To say otherwise is to be mouthpiece for genocide.

    You have all grown up in an extended period of peace so you may have forgotten that 70 years ago the Nazi regime was stopped only by brutal war. How many times have we asked, what if we could have stopped Hitler sooner, how many lives could we have saved?

    How many more children does Putin need to knowingly and willfully murder, how many more diplomatic promises does Putin need to break, how many more easily debunked lies do you need to hear from the Russian propaganda machine before you decide you might be mistaken? How many more countries and generations of people need to suffer from the actions of Russia?

    Even though negotiating with Hitler was making a deal with devil, should we have negotiated with Hitler just for the sake of “peace”?

    Please, continue to enjoy your current peace which you forgot people fought hard and had to die for. If we let Russia continue on its warpath your precious peace may soon be pierced.

    Defeat Russia NOW.
  • Tatyana iudean
    commented 2022-02-25 12:07:09 -0500
    I’m half Ukrainian, half Russian, I’m living here in the USA, and I see NATO as the only problem in the modern world. The events between Ukraine and Russia are extremely sad and painful right now, but I think none of that would happen if NATO refrained from sending weapons and support to Ukraine, from training Ukrainian army, from interfering. I wish NATO would not expand so much to the East. When there was a cold war and I was a child, I was falling asleep each night in fear that US will through the bombs on the Soviet Union. I wish none of the kids felt like this now, as NATO presence by Russian borders would mean those missiles are even closer to Russian kids’ heads, literally under their heads. It’s such a sad feeling. Ukraine should be a part of the EU and should be independent, but why is there a need for the missiles on the border with Russia, why is there a need for the expansion of NATO?
  • Fawzia Afzal-Khan
    commented 2022-02-23 15:57:15 -0500
    There are no good guys in this frightening scenario but the US and NATO have definitely been playing a deadly role that seems designed to encourage war in the region. There will be no winners of such a military escalation and indeed, ALL of us will suffer further economic and environmental crises. The ordinary peace loving citizens of the world must rise up and demand an end to such irresponsible military adventurism
  • Marco Toma
    commented 2022-02-20 07:32:15 -0500
    Si sta ripetendo in forma ultrallargata ed estrema il processo militare politico attuato negli anni 90 nei Balcani. Governi di estrema destra messi al potere, divide et impera tra diverse Etnie e comunità,, e in mezzo alla guerra generale che scoppia, la corsa a predare ogni risorsa della zona interessata da parte delle Lobby finanziarie.
    A questo punto, ognuno di noi, collettivamente, dice:NO.
  • John Perniciaro
    commented 2022-02-19 21:39:10 -0500
    It will be the people of Donbass who will suffer… children, the old— they will go up on the cross… for Russia cannot act until it is irrefutable (if ever the people of the US/West will ever get the truth) that they actually do not want a war…. even cold economic logic will tell you this. The propaganda coming out of the white house & state dept is so base & full of contradictions but it is a cruel game that in the end will hurt even us half a world away…. and that’s if the war doesn’t expand, which it might. At the very least, our “wise” leaders have married Russia & China… and we will, our everyday people will suffer from this even if we somehow avoid a nuclear exchange….
  • Kateřina Šumberová
    followed this page 2022-02-19 20:18:17 -0500
  • Charotte Burns
    commented 2022-02-07 12:58:09 -0500
    This country’s economy is based on looting and plundering, what can I say. We all know these corporate big shots are salivating over the goodies in Russia and have been trying to figure out a way to get them since god knows when. I’m sure these folks plot in some boardroom somewhere. They plan the propaganda, are most likely cooking up a false flag. They think they’ve got it all figured out. Just like with Iraq, we know they’d love to start a war and take out Putin. It’s kind of inconvenient having a president in Russia who doesn’t give away the store like Yeltsin did. They just won’t shut up about it. When will this country grow up? When will US citizens decide we’ve had enough? When we’re in a serious depression and the world is on its last legs due to global warming will we then storm the capital for a GOOD reason, armed with rotten tomatoes aimed at our useless representatives and DEMAND our tax dollars are spent on improving the lives of everyone and every critter on earth instead of this nonsense? Only in my dreams. Those greed bags would rather have Armageddon than give up their precious profiteering. That’s what this country was based on. Rich folks like Thomas Jefferson, George Washington, John Hancock, et al wanting maximum profits without interference from King George.
  • Werner Rhein
    commented 2022-02-06 14:03:49 -0500
    Ukraine and the Crimea where always a part of Russia under the Tzars. It has the only warm water harbours for the whole of Russia. It was the bread basket for a long, long time.

    Now the USA want to expand their influence into this part of the world.

    That is why their are Blackwater mercenaries (US shadow army) in Donetsk, directed by the CIA?

    The USA needs conflicts to keep their money hungry weapons industry going.

    Even as they are already broke and $30 Trillions in debt.

    What the US id doing now is the exact sings of a bully driven into a corner.
  • Nadine Poznanski
    followed this page 2022-02-03 22:40:32 -0500
  • randy martin
    followed this page 2022-01-31 05:36:53 -0500
  • Dick Pritchard
    commented 2022-01-26 00:48:12 -0500
    In 2014 the USA placed a puppet government in Ukraine causing Crimea to secede and eastern provinces to want to leave because unlike Americans, the people of Ukraine want their own government. Following, the USA claimed that Russia had “stolen” Crimea. Russia and other countries tried to implement a peace agreement (Minsk) but the USA and their lap dog EU refused to accept peace or the Minsk agreement either one. Certainly Russia has military within its borders and that is their legal right. However why does the USA and its lap dogs have military on Russian borders? Why did the USA attack Syria, Iraq, Libya, Venezuela, Iran and others? It’s sad that the American tax payers have chosen to live under an opressive government.
  • Fran Nowve
    commented 2022-01-24 16:13:21 -0500
    Russia and the Ukraine do not need the USA and NATO creating tension and fomenting war. We should keep our noses out of their business. Don’t we have enough to be getting on with what with COVID and the inflation in the USA and Republican blocking people’s right to vote? Cool it. OK? Fran Nowve
  • Stephen Bradley
    followed this page 2022-01-11 19:00:55 -0500
  • Cornelia Hall
    commented 2022-01-11 17:29:06 -0500
    It is insane of the Biden administration to foment a war with Russia. What does the US gain by this? Profits for the war machine? About 20% of the US population benefits financially from the development and deployment of technology and weapons of war (excluding the US military). What about the rest of us? Can Americans comprehend what carnage the expansion of our country’s hegemony throughout the world has cost and will cost? Or — doesn’t the US leadership know there’s not enough political capital to be made by just displaying power? A bully beating his chest is still just a bully. Maybe they don’t really care what results? But, without diplomatic imitative there can be no good outcome to US actions.
  • Wolfgang Carl
    followed this page 2022-01-11 15:24:32 -0500
  • Jojo Formin
    followed this page 2022-01-11 13:49:22 -0500