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  1. Bill Helmer

    It should be stated that the war can end now if Russia withdraws its troops from Ukraine, and stops the bombing. This is a Russian imperialist war against a nation which Russia still considers its colony. This is Putin’s war, not the war of the Russian people. Russian aggression in Ukraine is the promoter of NATO. Finland and Sweden now want to join NATO after Russian’s invasion of Ukraine. The military budget of the United States is being expanded due to Russia’s unprovoked war on Ukraine. We need to have the number one goal be the Russian withdrawal of its troops, to stop the bombing, and negotiate a peace agreement. The Ukrainian Left does not agree with much of the pro-Putin analysis of the American Left. The phrase “U.S. leaders have urged Ukraine to keep sacrificing its people…” is very ethnocentric and offensive, and gives no agency to the Ukrainian people. It implies that the Ukrainians are only fighting the Russian invasive forces because the United States is telling them to do this. This is not a proxy war. It is a colonial war by Putin, who wants to make a new Russian Empire. In the process, he is committing genocide against the Ukrainian people. The brutality of the Russian troops is horrible. The Peace Movement should not be siding with an extreme right-wing dictatorship such as Putin’s Russia. Ally with the Ukrainian Left in opposing Russian agression. Negotiations need to take place, and the first step is the withdrawal of Russian troops back to Russia, and a mulitlateral cease fire. I am opposed to war, but the Ukrainians have a right to defend themselves, especially when the alternative is genocide. The Vietnamese had a right to defend themselves against United States’ aggression during the Viet Nam War. During that war, we said, “U.S. troops out of Viet Nam!” Similarly, “Russian troops out of Ukraine!” should be said now, which is exactly what the Ukrainians are calling for in ending the war. Bill Helmer, Chico Peace Alliance, Chico, CA

    1. SJpeace

      Hi Bill Helmer,
      Thanks for your comment! 
      Russia should not use war to stop NATO expansion to its border.
      Several ceasefire talks were held in March, right after Russia’s invasion on Feb. 24, 2022. During the ceasefire talks, Ukraine proposed to become a neutral state in exchange for security guarantees. Kyiv would not join NATO, a key Russian demand. Negotiations were moving positively.
      But the ceasefire talks stalled since April when UK and US pledged to Ukraine with long-term support in financial and military aid. Most significantly, on April 25, US Defense secretary Lloyd Austin declared Washington’s goal: ‘We want to see Russia weakened’ — meaning no negotiated settlements.
      The US has been steadily sending military aid to support Ukraine fighting in a war with Russia, without actually declaring war and sending in troops. The Ukraine war has become a proxy war between Russia and the US.
      A constant flow of U.S. weapons serves as a disincentive to peace negotiations. Our community needs to know how our tax dollars are spent in the war. Since the war began, US has sent to Ukraine massive military aid of $ 23 billion!
      Ending the war cannot be achieved by more war. Instead of pumping more arms into the war zone, our government should lead the calls for a ceasefire and negotiated settlement. 
      Our call is to fund human needs, not war. 
      San Jose Friday Peace Vigil

  2. Bill Helmer

    The war can end immediately if Putin removes Russian troops from Ukraine and stops the bombing of innocent Ukrainians. That’s it–war’s over. The United Nation’s Assembly called for the withdrawal of Russian troops from Ukraine. Primarily, it is a war of Russian imperialism, and Putin’s genocidal attempt to get back what he considers it’s colony. Obviously, the expansion of NATO is not the main issue for Putin, because after every act of Russian aggression, more countries want to join NATO, i.e., Sweden and Finland. I agree with having a negotiated settlement, and the first step is for Russian troops to get out of Ukraine, and then have a ceasefire on both sides.

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