DRAFT: Open the borders for Russians refusing military service!


Draft ENSU statement

October 8, 2022

This is a draft resolution to be discussed by ENSU members

Putin's attempt to conscript young Russian citizens to fight in Ukraine is failing. In less than one week, more than 300,000 have sought refuge abroad, mostly in Kazakhstan, Georgia and Mongolia. Hundreds of thousands more are expected to seek exile in the next few weeks.

Those European countries which don't have borders with Russia and Ukraine have so far provided only marginal support to refugees from this invasion. They have no excuse to refuse protection to Russian citizens who refuse to fight for Putin.

By closing borders and refusing to issue tourist visas to Russian citizens, Western countries make it more difficult for them to avoid military service. That makes Putin more powerful, and means more death, rape and suffering of innocent Ukrainians. The massive emigration of Russian citizens to avoid conscription is possible precisely because Georgia, Kazakhstan and Mongolia allow Russian passport holders to enter without visas.

Every young Russian citizen who refuses to be cannon fodder for Putin's imperialist adventure helps the Ukrainians to expel the invaders! It is better to welcome these Russian citizens who refuse war, than to see them killing Ukrainians or being killed for an unjust cause.

The resistance to Putin war has up to now been almost entirely concentrated in Ukraine, an inspiring mass fightback which has surprised the world with its courage, tenacity, solidarity and determination. From the beginning, demonstrators in Russia have also shown enormous courage, but remained small in number. After the invasion, more than 17,000 Russian citizens were imprisoned or fined for protesting against the war, with some sentenced to many years in prison. Several thousand more have been arrested in the last two weeks, for protesting against conscription. Protests are particularly strong among Russia’s non-Russian nationalities, who are more likely to be conscripted than the Russian Federation’s Slav majority.

The European Network for Solidarity with Ukraine (ENSU) supports the armed and unarmed resistance of the Ukrainian people and opening European borders to all refugees from the Ukraine invasion. We also support those in Russia and Belarus who are sabotaging the imperialist war machine, and calling for the withdrawal of all Russian troops from Ukraine.

Amendment 1 (to be discussed)

To move the penultimate paragraph ("The resistance to Putin's war [...] Slav majority.") to the top of the declaration/petition.