Brainerd Area Coalition for Peace (BACP) Statement on the Ukraine War:
BACP supports an armistice halting the fighting in Ukraine. BACP supports a peace settlement between Russia and Ukraine ending the war.
BACP opposes the U.S. arming Ukraine, training Ukrainian soldiers, imposing a no-fly zone over Ukraine, or sending U.S. troops to Ukraine. These actions prolong the Ukraine War and risk a war between the United States and Russia. Instead of taking measures which prolong the war or risk a war between the United States and Russia, the U.S. should support every diplomatic effort to end the war.
BACP supports providing humanitarian assistance to Ukrainian refugees and internally displaced Ukrainians. Ending the war will allow people to return home and rebuild.
BACP opposes the U.S. sanctions regime being imposed on Russia. The sanctions are hurting people who have no control over their government's policy. Sanctions which hurt civilians are a form of war. The imposition of a harsh sanctions regime will only make it more difficult for the U.S. and Russia to reconcile.
The increase in prejudice and discrimination against Russians living in the United States is appalling. There is absolutely no justification for such bigotry. Minnesota has a thriving Russian-American community. Instead of cutting off cultural ties with Russia, the United States should strengthen such ties to increase understanding between Americans and Russians and improve relations between the U.S. and Russia.
BACP deplores the U.S. mainstream media's exclusion of opinions calling for a peaceful resolution to the Ukraine War. The U.S. mainstream media is amplifying demands to escalate the Ukraine War by providing more weapons to Ukraine, imposing a no-fly zone, and possibly deploying U.S. troops to Ukraine.
BACP supports the right to self-determination for people living in the Donbas region of Ukraine. Donbas residents have suffered tremendously since the U.S. and EU-backed coup which overthrew Ukraine's democratically-elected President in 2014. The coup regime consisted of extreme Ukrainian nationalists and Nazi groups such as Right Sector, Svoboda, and the Azov Battalion.
Donbas residents, who identify heavily with Russia, revolted against the coup regime. The Ukrainian government used brutal force to try to crush the rebellion. The ensuing civil war in the Donbas region killed 14,000 people. Donbas residents should be able to decide if they want to remain in Ukraine as an autonomous region or become an independent nation. An internationally supervised referendum could be held after the war ends.
BACP supports disbanding NATO. NATO has grown steadily since 1999, incorporating 14 new member nations, all in Eastern Europe. This expansion violates a pledge in 1990 not to expand one inch east of the newly reunified Germany. NATO steadily expanding eastward deeply antagonized Russia. According to a 2008 diplomatic cable written by then-U.S. ambassador to Russia William Burns (now CIA director), virtually all Russians, regardless of political beliefs, oppose NATO expansion. Contrary to a 1997 agreement between NATO and Russia, the U.S. and other NATO nations deployed troops and missiles to the new NATO member nations, built bases in these nations, and conducted military exercises near Russia's borders. Russia considers all of these activities threatening.
NATO does not promote peace. Instead, NATO has waged numerous aggressive wars since 1995. These include wars in Bosnia, Kosovo, Afghanistan, Libya, Syria, and Iraq.
BACP supporting the disbandment of NATO is in keeping with BACP's longstanding opposition to U.S. military alliances, U.S. military aid, and the stationing of U.S. troops overseas.
BACP supports the U.S. Senate ratifying the UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons. This treaty, which abolishes nuclear weapons, became international law in 2021 when the 50th nation ratified the treaty. The Ukraine War demonstrates the urgent need to abolish nuclear weapons as a misunderstanding between Russia and NATO nations could escalate the current war into a nuclear war.
BACP joins our allies in Grandmothers for Peace, Veterans for Peace, and Women Against Military Madness in calling for peace in Ukraine and opposing a U.S. war against Russia.
As of October 12, 2021, the monthly Stop Line 3 vigils are discontinued. Shut Down Line 3 vigils may be held on an occasional basis.