Calls for peace mark six months of ‘senseless’ war in Ukraine

As Russia presses ahead with its lumbering invasion of Ukraine and Western nations led by the United States continue to send billions of dollars in arms and supplies to bolster Ukrainian resistance, peace advocates on Wednesday marked the six-month anniversary of the war — and Ukraine’s Independence Day – made renewed calls for peace.

“A decisive victory for both sides seems a long way off. The only possible solution is a negotiation process.”

United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres condemned the “senseless war” and told the world body’s Security Council on Wednesday that “the people of Ukraine and beyond need peace, and they need peace now.” Peace in accordance with the UN Charter. peace in accordance with international law.”

Journalist Shadia Edwards-Dashti, writing for the UK-based Stop the War Coalition, observed that “the war was a disaster for the Ukrainian people, with tens of thousands of Ukrainian casualties and the displacement of more than 13 million people – just barely a third of the population. On the Russian side, some estimates put the number of dead or injured at up to 75,000.”

“Since the beginning of the invasion, the Western response has focused on military solutions,” she continued. “Within a week of the invasion, NATO forces had rolled out their largest military mobilization in Europe since the end of the Cold War. The goal from the start was a decisive military victory against Russia. As a result, negotiations were discouraged and opportunities for peace wasted.”

“We simply cannot allow this six-month war to drag on for years as some analysts are predicting,” Edwards-Dashti added. “A decisive victory for both sides seems a long way off. The only possible solution is a negotiation process. As the economic crisis deepens and Western governments threaten to increase defense spending, we in the West must reinforce our call for peace and sanity.”

Anatol Lieven, director of the Eurasia program at the Quincy Institute for Responsible Statecraft, warned that given the Russian military’s problems on the battlefield, NATO countries “can now afford to be less afraid of Moscow,” “the risk an unintended escalation to nuclear war remains very high, however.”

“With nuclear weapons being the only area in which Russia remains a superpower, there is an obvious temptation for Moscow to engage in nuclear brinkmanship,” he added, “and anyone who decides to walk down a chasm runs the risk of crossing it.” overthrow. “

Martin Kimani, Kenya’s ambassador to the United Nations, similarly warned: “Unless the war in Ukraine is ended through dialogue and negotiations, it could be the first in a series of conflicts that future historians will call World War III.”

“Such a catastrophe would be unlike the last world wars and all wars before that,” he said. “The dangers of direct conflict between nuclear powers mean that most of their confrontations would be conducted by proxy. Africa and the rest of the world would be thrown into a Cold War mirror.”

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy marked the six-month anniversary of the war and his country’s Independence Day by hailing Ukraine’s unexpected success in resisting the Russian invasion.

“Every day is a new reason not to give up,” he says said in a video address from the center of Kyiv. “Because we’ve been through so much, we have no right not to reach the end. What is the end of the war for us? We used to say ‘peace’. Now we say ‘victory’.”

Asked in an interview with NPR When she sees “some negotiated way out” from the war, Norwegian Ambassador to the UN Trine Heimerback replied: “I think that’s the question we all have. At the moment I think unfortunately we are not too optimistic.”

James Kariuki, Heimerback’s British counterpart, said the negotiation issue was for “the Ukrainians” to decide.

“But,” he added, “the best way to end the conflict would be for Russia to withdraw its troops and end its illegal occupation.”

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