The consensus is absolute between the three winners of the last prize Peace Nobel in 2022. Gathered during the week that now ends in Madrid under the aegis of the Spanish Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the European Commission and the Rafael del Pino Foundation, representatives of the Russian human rights organization Memorial, the Center for Civil Liberties of Ukraine, and the Belarusian Viasna Center for Human Rights, as well as prominent representatives of civil societies from the three countries, have urged Europa y USA not to give in to the pretensions of the Kremlin and help Ukraineby all possible means, to prevail in the war waged against Russiaso that he can recover the Slavic country his territorial integrity in its entiretyincluding the peninsula Crimea and the eastern part of the region of donbasterritories occupied by Russia since 2014. Likewise, they have demanded that the Western powers establish mechanisms to bring to justice the perpetrators of war crimes and crimes against humanity.
In discussions to open mic the en sessions behind closed doorsa good number of activists in favor of democracy and human rights from the three main former Soviet republics have tried in recent days to answer questions such as the reasons and the historical factors that have led to Europe once again becoming battlefield, in a historical moment in which it was thought that wars were banished from the Old continent. In addition, they have begun to discuss aid instruments for the not insignificant part of Russian society that does not agree with the Kremlin leader and its values and principles, so that it has more visibility and can promote and promote political change in the Kremlin. The argumentative substratum of the reflections of these days is based on the fact that the current Russia, as it is conceived by its president, as a militarist and imperialist power, is incompatible, not only with an independent Ukraine, but also with a Democratic and pluralistic Russia and therefore with the political stability from all over Europe.
The Ukrainian Mikola Riabchuk, a member of the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine, has advocated breaking once and for all with the “wrong premises“, very widespread in the West, who maintain that “there are no differences” between the two states, or that your country is a kind of appendage, a “little russia“, according to a vocabulary widely On circulation. “Little by little, a false perception of Russia and the region. Ukraine was left out of the european project and under the influence of Russia”, denounced the academic. “The policies of the West have been based on wrong assumptions”, he stressed.
At his side, the Russian Yelena Zhemkova, from the NGO Memorial, after admitting the inability of her organization to prevent the war, has agreed on the need to “help Ukraine win the war because this is also our destiny”. . The activist has considered that, unfortunately, the Kremlin’s propaganda “is working well” and people have in mind the idea that “the person in charge is not responsible” for the country’s problems, such as “unemployment or the price of food.”
Parallelism with Stalin
Zhemkova has established a parallelism between the current situation and the one experienced at the end of the USSR, when her organization was created with the aim of rescuing women from oblivion. victims of Soviet repressionespecially the victims of was stalinist. Again, he assured the Russian representative, as during the Georgian dictator’s tenure, “the State is out of control, it commits crimes.” Therefore, once “the system has collapsed”, the organization that he co-directs can dedicate himself to his usual work, document the crimes and “fight for the truth.” And justice, in his opinion, should “compensate” the victims and “punish” the guilty. Paraphrasing Anna Politkóvskaya, journalist for the independent publication Novaya Gazetamurdered fifteen years ago, who used to warn in the first years of the mandate of Vladimir Putin that the policy of looking the other way from the West regarding the abuses and war crimes in Chechnya would end up reversing and turning against Europe and the US, the activist has warned that “if crimes are not punished, they end up becoming crimes that are committed out of the country.”
The debate around the sanctions, its convenience and its effectiveness, has agitated opinions in the auditorium of the Rafael del Pino Foundation. While the Russian opposition has pointed out that economic punishment strengthens, within Russia’s borders, the Kremlin’s narrative that the world “is against us”, propping up Putin in the process, Riabchuk He has emphasized that such measures are especially necessary because they seek to limit the “Kremlin’s resources to continue the war.” Special consideration has been given to the time given to Russian citizens who flee their country and do not want to be enlisted in the fight. “People who are afraid, who are under pressure, you have to tell them that you are not alone and that we are going to try to help you,” Zhemkova requested, a kind way of asking for a greater opening to the citizens of their country who go abroad, who, deep down, are fleeing from the same thing as the ukrainian refugees.