Italian pacifists off to Ukraine to help ending the war


Southern Europe


Pacifist protest by "Stopthewarnow". Photo YouTube, Comunità Papa Giovanni XXIII

Members of the Italian pacifist and non-violence movement have travelled to Ukraine to call for the end of the conflict.

It is the fourth time since last spring that a caravan from Stopthewarnow travels from Italy to Ukraine, Avvenire reports. They travel in vans and minibuses loaded with items to help refugees.

The last couple of times the caravan went, it focused more on humanitarian aid. However, the 25 Italian pacifists have a more political mission this time. In Ukraine, they want to establish a more solid network of organisations, unions and social groups that believe in non-violence and alternatives to weaponised conflicts.

Van of the convoy of pacifists. Photo YouTube, Comunità Papa Giovanni XXIII

On Wednesday, the convoy stopped in Chernivtsi, Western Ukraine. There, the pacifists delivered humanitarian goods. Furthermore, they participated in a seminar on the topic of peace given by a professor from a university that welcomed over 5,000 refugees in its dorms.

In the coming days, the group will meet Ukrainian pacifists and people who refuse to join the army because of conscious objections. The trip is also meant to draw attention to this group of people, of whom some are under investigation in Ukraine.

The activists carry out similar actions in Russia to support conscientious objectors there. They risk their freedom even to spread anti-war messages, Alfio Nicotra explains. He is part of the association that organised the caravan.

The chairman of the Italian Bishops Conference encouraged the activists travelling to Ukraine. “I accompany you with affection and friendship”, he wrote in a message to them. He added that resigning himself to “war and its terrible price of death and suffering that it produces is impossible.”



Subscribe for an update, and receive a documentary and e-book for free.

Choose your subscriptions*

You may subscribe to multiple lists.