Patriotism. A project by Misha Friedman and IMR

“Those Who Unleash a War on Ukraine Will be Damned by the Russian People.” Russia’s Opposition on the Ukraine Crisis.
06 March 2014

According to the state-owned All-Russia Center for the Study of Public Opinion, 73 percent of Russians are against intervention in Ukraine. All the leading opposition forces in Russia have condemned the military invasion and the planned annexation of Crimea. The Institute of Modern Russia publishes excerpts from Russian opposition statements on the situation in Ukraine.



Statement by the Republican Party of Russia – People’s Freedom Party (led by Mikhail Kasyanov and Boris Nemtsov):

“Putin's justifications for the Russian military intervention are flimsy—no one is going to attack the Russian population living in the Crimea and in the eastern regions of Ukraine… The main reason for this senseless act, in our view, is the reluctance of the Russian authorities to recognize the Ukrainian people’s sovereign right to decide its own fate. And now Putin is trying to stifle freedom not only in Russia, but also in the neighboring country… We demand that V. Putin immediately abandon his intentions of using the armed forces of the Russian Federation on the territory of Ukraine.”

Original (in Russian)


Statement by the Progress Party (led by Alexei Navalny):

“This reckless policy could result in the spilling of blood of both Russian and Ukrainian citizens. Russia is one of the guarantors of the territorial integrity of Ukraine… We call for the process of escalating tensions to be reversed; for Russia to cease preparations for sending the armed forces into the territory of Ukraine and to return all military units and formation to their bases.”

Original (in Russian)


Statement by the Russian United Democratic Party “Yabloko” (led by Sergei Mitrokhin):

“The territorial integrity of Ukraine must not be questioned… Russia must refrain from any actions of political, economic, and informational nature aimed at destabilizing the situation in various regions of Ukraine and throughout its territory. We believe that the approval to use the Russian armed forces in Ukraine must not be acted upon. Those who unleash a real war between Russia and Ukraine will be forever damned by the Russian people.”

Original (in Russian)


Statement by the Russian United Democratic Movement “Solidarity”:

“This cynical venture, aimed only at cementing the Putin regime and based on the doctrine of reestablishing the Soviet empire, will bring great peril and suffering to both our peoples, Russian and Ukrainian. We express our categorical protest against attempts at a military seizure of Crimea, against military interference in the internal affairs of Ukraine.”

Original (in Russian)


Statement by Members of the St. Petersburg Legislative Assembly Grigory Yavlinsky, Boris Vishnevsky, Alexander Kobrinsky, Sergei Trokhmanenko, Marina Shishkina, Irina Komolova, Maxim Reznik, Olga Galkina, Vyacheslav Notyag:

“We…believe that the decision taken by the Federation Council at the request of the president of Russia on the possibility of using Russian troops on the territory of Ukraine is misguided and dangerous. We are certain that the realization of this possibility will lead to catastrophic results. Military actions on such a scale will constitute a crime against the Ukrainian and the Russian peoples.”

Original (in Russian)


Boris Nemtsov, co-chairman of the Republican Party of Russia – People’s Freedom Party, Member of the Yaroslavl Regional Duma:

“Putin has declared a fratricidal war on Ukraine. This bloody madness of a deranged chekist [KGB officer] will cost both Russia and Ukraine dearly: killed young men from both sides; miserable mothers and wives; orphaned children. An empty Crimea where no one will go. Billions, tens of billions of rubles taken away from the elderly and the children and thrown into the furnace of war; and then even more money to support the corrupt regime in Crimea. It seems that [Putin] cannot hold on to power by any other means.”

Original (in Russian)


Grigory Yavlinsky, founder of the Yabloko Party, leader of the Yabloko caucus in the St. Petersburg Legislative Assembly:

“All those who support a war between Russia and Ukraine, in any form, must know that it is an absolute crime, and that they will have blood on their hands if they support it… This goes against all laws—our laws, the Russian Constitution, international law, the UN Charter.”

Original (in Russian)


Boris Vishnevsky, deputy leader of the Yabloko caucus in the St. Petersburg Legislative Assembly:

“This is an aggression that is fatal both for Ukraine and for Russia itself. [An aggression] initiated with the aim of separating a part of the territory of a sovereign state, the borders of which are officially recognized by Russia and guaranteed by it (together with the US and Great Britain) twenty years ago… It seems we already have an answer to the question of whether there will be a ‘Sudetenland scenario.’ The question now is whether there will also be a ‘Munich deal’.”

Original (in Russian)


Lev Shlosberg, Member of the Pskov Regional Assembly, Yabloko Party:

“The boundary between human and non-human now lies between those who justify this war and those who do not accept it. For now, [this war] is only looking at its potential victims. It has not yet lifted its scythe and has not opened its bottomless black cloak. The most important thing that a Russian citizen can do now is to say ‘No to the war’.”

Original (in Russian)



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