Athens: picket in support of Ruslan Kotsaba

On June 28, the Ukrainian embassies in Athens and Berlin picketed in support of Ruslan Kotsaba. The embassies pretended that nothing had happened.

In Greece, Amnesty International and the European Bureau of Ideological Denial of Military Service ( spoke out against political persecution and neo-Nazi attacks on the Ukrainian pacifist, in Germany DFG-VK and Connection eV (http: / /

In a statement, the European Office of Conviction Objection reads as follows:

On June 25, 2021, the president of the Ukrainian pacifist movement Ruslan Kotsaba was attacked by a neo-Nazi gang at the Ivano-Frankivsk station. Later he underwent an operation to preserve his vision due to a burn of the retina of the eye with green paint. Doctors diagnosed a corneal burn in one eye, now he is undergoing ophthalmological treatment. The attack is most likely related to the trial against Ruslan Kotsaba, scheduled for Tuesday June 29th.

The EBCO joins the demand of the Ukrainian pacifist movement calling on the police to investigate the dastardly and violent act of political violence by right-wing radicals who openly brag about their crime on social media.

Unfortunately, this was not the first attack on Ruslan Kotsaba. Already at the trial on January 22, 2021, Ruslan, his lawyer and his mother were attacked on their way to court by the extreme right-wing crowd, which formed a “corridor of shame” through which Ruslan had to walk. He was doused with a fire extinguisher, the crowd chanted “Death to enemies! Ukraine is above all! “

“Ebco is shocked by the new attack, as well as by the impunity of the criminals who attacked Ruslan Kotsaba, his mother and lawyer near the Kolomyia city district court on the day of the review of his case, January 22, 2021, they are under threat. We call on the Ukrainian authorities to immediately arrest and prosecute the instigators of hatred and violence, ”EBCO President Alexia Tsuni said today.

In 2015, after being in a war zone in eastern Ukraine, the journalist announced in a video posted on Youtube that he would refuse to be drafted into the army. At the same time, he advised his compatriots to do the same. Because of the video, he was arrested in 2015 and sentenced to 3.5 years in prison for “high treason” and “obstruction of the activities of the armed forces.” After 16 months in prison, he was acquitted by the appellate court. However, in 2017, this acquittal was again overturned by the High Court of Civil and Criminal Cases. The tests have been going on for more than three years. If found guilty, Ruslan Kotsabe faces several years in prison.

The video that brought Ruslan Kotsaba to the dock

“EBCO expresses solidarity with Ruslan Kotsaba and calls on the Ukrainian government to ensure that all pacifists in Ukraine, including activists of our affiliate, the Ukrainian Pacifist Movement, can freely express their opinions and continue their non-violent activities. We also call on the Ukrainian government to guarantee the right to conscientious objection to military service in accordance with European and international standards, including those established by the European Court of Human Rights, ”added Alexia Tsuni.

* More information:

Statement by the Ukrainian pacifist movement:

EBCO PRESS RELEASE, Brussels, January 23, 2021: “UKRAINE: EBCO shocked by the continued prosecution and attacks against Ruslan Kotsab. Criticizing the military is not a crime! Violence is a crime! ” Https://

OPEN LETTER from EBCO to the General Prosecutor’s Office of Ukraine, Brussels, April 7, 2021: “EBCO calls for the withdrawal of all charges against Ruslan Kotsab and the prosecution of the instigators of hatred and violence”, / node / 499

Article from the German newspaper TAZ:!5783127/

The European Bureau of Informed Objection (EBCO) is a European national peace organization supporting refuseniks. Based in Brussels, it was founded in 1979. The goal is to organize solidarity campaigns for conscientious objectors facing legal charges in European countries, and to lobby for the right to conscientious objection to military service in Europe. Together with Opposition International, which is also one of its members, it is considered one of the leading international non-governmental organizations working on conscientious objection to military service.

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