Ukrainian German

The third year of Russia’s war against Ukraine has been marked by a large number of civilian deaths and soldier casualties on both sides, unprecedented destruction of civilian infrastructure, and horrific crimes. The Ukrainian population, on whose territory this bloodiest war in Europe since World War II is being waged, suffers the most. During these three years of Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine, the government of Volodymyr Zelensky has continued a policy of repression, censorship and human rights violations.

Three years of continuous slaughter and destruction have proven what was clear since the first day: no one is interested in the lives and livelihoods of men and women in Ukraine and thousands of soldiers on both sides are used as cannon fodder by their governments. We fully condemn Russia’s aggression and continuous onslaught, but we insist on the responsibilities of all actors involved, including the EU and NATO, active in fueling militarization and war propaganda, and we will not turn a blind eye to Volodymyr Zelensky’s criminal, anti-social, militaristic, and authoritarian policies.

Since 2022, the vast majority of Ukrainian citizens aged 18 to 60 with a male gender marker in their documents are prohibited from leaving the country. This ban has led to dozens of deaths of people attempting to flee the war illegally and negatively impacts not only male-gendered Ukrainians but also members of the transgender community and women who, as refugees abroad, have been unable to reunite with their loved ones for years, and children whose parents cannot visit them.

This year, the Zelensky government decided to intensify measures of forced mobilization, which include denying at least hundreds of thousands of Ukrainian citizens consular services abroad, who do not wish to either go to war or be trapped in Ukraine if they return and update their data in Ukrainian military offices. In the name of the war, the Zelensky government is fully active in promoting anti-social policies, repression against dissenters, implementation of censorship and human rights violations, particularly against people with a male gender marker in their documents, and persecution against conscientious objectors and anti-war activists like Yurii Sheliazhenko, a leading Ukrainian pacifist, who is currently being prosecuted with false accusations of ‘justifying Russian aggression.’

We refuse the argument that in the name of the war, everything must be accepted, that the only logic at play is that of the enemy and foe, and we stand in solidarity with Ukrainian men who resist forced mobilization and the women who help them. We stand in solidarity with Ukrainian truck drivers who recently went on strike against the intensification of unfair and repressive mobilization. Our solidarity extends not only to Ukrainians resisting war and militarization within Ukraine but also to those abroad who oppose the war and human rights violations by the Ukrainian government. These voices, often marginalized and neglected in Western countries, deserve to be heard and supported.

War and militarism foster authoritarianism – as we see also in the way any critique to Israel’s genocidal war in Gaza is treated everywhere – and impose their own policies – as we see in the way public spending is redirected to rearmament. We urge all our friends and comrades, fellow activists, workers and students, men, women and LGBTQI+ people, to organize transnationally to keep open spaces for communication and struggle.