Pseudo-Pacifism as an Instrument of Russia’s Destructive Influence on European Countries

Since the beginning of this year, messages about war fatigue and stopping the supply of weapons to Ukraine that can stop Russia are increasingly heard in the European media space. It is not surprising that this informational wave of “pacifism” was launched by Russia itself, which, under the guise of good intentions and a desire to establish peace, implements its invasive plans.

In order to accumulate military resources, which later might be used not only against Ukraine, but also against EU countries, the Kremlin, through non-governmental organizations, promotes pseudo-peacemaking rhetoric in Europe in order to obtain a tactical pause in the war. For this, Russia uses pseudo-pacifists from various European countries.

“Pacifists” who are against war often ignore its causes. The European community quite often ignored Russian imperialism, because the aggression against Ukraine was preceded by the Chechen wars, the invasion of Georgia, and Russia’s participation in the Syrian war.

Pseudo-pacifists, who speak about the social challenges of warring countries, rarely criticize Russia. They ignore processes within Russian society that clearly indicate its militarization.

In turn, pro-Russian proxy organizations are not directly connected with Russia, but Moscow’s influence on them is obvious. One such organization is the International Peace Bureau (IPB), which allegedly promotes the ideas of peace, pacifism and non-violence.

At first glance, it seems that the International Peace Bureau is a serious pacifist organization, which was established back in 1891 and was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1910 for its work. One of the leaders of this organization, Sean McBride, was also a Nobel Prize for Peace laureate. At the same time, Sean McBride was a member of the Irish Republican Army (IRA) and actively cooperated with Soviet intelligence, collecting information about the British army for the USSR. In 1975, this person was awarded the Lenin International Peace Prize. Therefore, in the 1980s, US intelligence included the International Peace Bureau to the list of organizations that worked in the interests of the USSR.

Former Executive Director of the International Peace Bureau, Reiner Braun, continues to spread Russian propaganda. He spreads disinformation about NATO expansion as the source of the Ukrainian “crisis” and Russian aggression, and sufferings of Europeans that associated with sanctions against Russia. Braun is known as an “expert” on Russian politics who favor a diplomatic solution to the war. He called the Russian invasion of eastern Ukraine a “civil war”, and in 2021 he said that “friendship” with Russia meant “peace” in Europe.

Despite the dismissal of Reiner Braun in 2019, the International Peace Bureau continues to invite him to various events. The organization still declares that “it is wrong to support only one warring armies, it is necessary to take the side of peace and justice” and “the establishment of peace requires the actions of both sides.”

Such calls for peace are actually in the Kremlin’s interests, and spread pro-Kremlin narratives in Europe. After all, the IPB does not even consider the most important issues for the restoration of a just peace in Ukraine, namely the de-occupation of the territories, Russia’s responsibility for the crimes committed, as well as security guarantees for the Ukrainian state.

Code Pink: Women for Peace (CODEPINK) is another pseudo-pacifist organization of the feminist direction. Allegedly advocating “peace and social justice”, it accuses the USA of financing wars around the world, calls for disarmament, supports the East-oriented world politics. The organization declares that the US is guilty of the full-scale aggression of Russia, and that the occupation of Crimea is “legitimate”.

Today’s “pacifists” are primarily interested in returning into the status quo, not in real, long-term peace. They do not offer other constructive ideas for the return of long-term peace: among the proposals, only compromises on Moscow’s terms and diplomacy, which is almost always counterproductive in the case of interaction with authoritarian regimes, as in Russia.

“Pacifists” insist on “peaceful” negotiations, while Russia actually wants to occupy Ukraine, not negotiate an end to the war. Formally, Moscow states its readiness to negotiate, but “taking into account the current realities.” It means that Russia is not going to stop the occupation of four Ukrainian regions and Crimea. Moreover, Russia has never agreed to discuss the payment of reparations to Ukraine or the punishment of war criminals. There are numerous calls for the enslavement and killing of Ukrainians, as well as for the seizure of the entire territory of Ukraine on Russian TV channels and in the state bodies of Russia. Therefore, negotiations with the Russians are an agreement to freeze the war and another aggression in a few years. The true victory of European democracy will happen only when Russia is incapable of military aggression towards other sovereign states, including European ones.