Video: Yurii Sheliazhenko on Value of Studying Unarmed Civilian Defense

By World BEYOND War, May 17, 2024

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Dear friends, greetings from Ukraine! My name is Yurii Sheliazhenko, and I am facilitator of online course Unarmed Civilian Defense Instead of War. This place in Kyiv, capital of Ukraine, is called Independence Square, the Maidan Nezalezhnosti. It is a symbolic place. Here in the 1990 student protesters during Revolution on Granite peacefully overcame the authoritarian regime of communist empire by their civil disobedience, by refusal to serve in the Soviet army. Here thousands of people gathered to stop electoral fraud in 2004 during Orange Revolution, and again after decade to end the corrupted dictatorship in 2013 during Euromaidan. Unfortunately, ten years ago peaceful protests did not managed to change domestic and international power structures and prevent bloodshed. But the Independence Square still reminds us of people’s power to resist nonviolently to tyrants, imperialism and aggression. Here unarmed people had stand in solidarity helping each other to face police brutality. From here, at the underground subway station, at the press conference in April 2022 President Zelensky called Putin to stop aggression and seek a diplomatic solution at the negotiation table. What could Maidan teach us? How do some Ukrainians resist Russian aggression without violence and protect civilians without weapons in the spirit of humanitarianism? I invite you to the World BEYOND War course Unarmed Civilian Defense Instead of War to learn more. Please invite your friends, families, colleagues, and networks to join us for this online course. Let’s resist war, study and build peace together.

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