Since March, the International Institute for Nonviolent Action (Novact), the Catalan Institute for Peace (ICIP), and the NGO Corridors – Dialogue through Cooperation have been collecting stories of civil resistance in Ukraine. The result of their work, Ukrainian Nonviolent Civil Resistance in the Face of War, analyzes the trends, impacts and challenges of nonviolence in Ukraine from February 24 through June 30. In cooperation with students from the National University Kyiv-Mohyla, the authors identified and systematized 235 nonviolent actions during this period; detailed information of this process can be found in this map.
- English version: https://novact.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/10/ENG_VF.pdf
- Ukrainian version: https://novact.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/10/UKR_VF.pdf
The authors found that nonviolent resistance 1) has hindered some of the long-term military and political goals of the Russian authorities, such as the institutionalization of the military occupation and repression in the occupied territories; 2) has protected many civilians; 3) undermined the Russian narrative; 4) built community resilience; and 5) strengthened local governance.
At the end of August, an international group joined PATRIR, based in Romania, on a trip to Ukraine to meet with leading Ukrainian nonviolent activists and peacebuilders, to hear stories of resistance, as well as to hear their requests for support and resources. Members of PATRIR visited Brussels on October 7 to advocate for more funding to support such activities. They asked for similar advocacy to the U.S. government.
The Ukrainian nonviolent activists asked that the international group 1) share their examples of nonviolent resistance; 2) advocate with their government and other governments to support the development of a nonviolent strategy of non-cooperation with the occupation; and 3) provide resources such as financial, strategic training, and technology/digital security. Ultimately, and most pointedly, they asked that they not be left alone.
One of the conflict monitors in Kharkiv said that Ukrainians faced less repression in the occupied areas where resistance was primarily nonviolent.
Nonviolent Peaceforce has begun programming in Mykolaiv and Kharkiv, Ukraine. They are providing unarmed civilian protection especially to elderly, disabled, children, etc.
If you are interested in more information, please contact Eli McCarthy, firstname.lastname@example.org.