Statement in Solidarity with Russian Protesters
February 26, 2022
The Lemkin Institute for Genocide Prevention expresses its admiration for and solidarity with the Russian citizens who are courageously protesting the current war against Ukraine in over 50 cities across Russia. They have been taking to the streets since Thursday, February 24, despite the risks they face from police and the judiciary. They are being joined by Russian notables in journalism, entertainment, sports, and business, many of whom have posted against the war on social media.
An estimated 1,800 protesters have been arrested since Thursday.
It is essential that people all over the world protest wrongs committed by their own state leaders in the name of peace and international cooperation. As an organization committed to grassroots genocide prevention, the Lemkin Institute finds inspiration in many ways that people find to exercise a moral voice at times of profound threats to peace and security.
Some of us at the Lemkin Institute were involved in protests against the Iraq War in 2003, in solidarity with people all over the world and particularly with the Iraqi people. Although the people of the world could not stop that illegal war, we hope that we all will be more successful this time in bringing this dangerous and tragic situation to a halt.
Citizens of the world’s great powers have the tremendous and inescapable responsibility to hold their leaders to the highest human rights standards, given the frightful power their leaders wield on the world stage. Many Russians are offering us leadership in how we can fulfill this responsibility, and they are doing so in the spirit of self-sacrifice, at great risk to themselves.
The Lemkin Institute wishes to publicly recognize the value of peacemakers in Russia.
Once again, we call on the world to marshal all its resources to stop this war, to protect the Ukrainian people, and to pursue peaceful politics towards global stability and equity.