Human values – Guarantee of world security
An appeal to the peoples of the world
from the 2nd Crimean Forum of Former Political Prisoners of Communist Regimes,
Representatives of National Liberation Movements, and Human Rights Defenders
(Ukraine, Lviv, 11 November 2016)
On 19 May 2012 in the city of Symferopol, the 1st Crimean Forum of Former Political Prisoners of Communist Regimes and Human Rights Defenders formulated three important conclusions:
- «The violation of the rights of the Crimean Tatar people became possible only because Communism still has not been condemned for crimes against humanity equal to Nazi crimes.
- Russias past threatens her future.
- The success of Ukrainian democracy is a key to the civilizational transformation of the whole post-Communist space. And, on the other hand, the failure of Ukrainian democracy is a direct threat for the rebirth of a geopolitical formation which will present a danger to the life interests of the whole world.»
Time only confirms the justice of these conclusions and has immersed all of us in the terrible consequences of ignoring them.
The uncondemned crimes of Communism became the seeds of a new Chekist regime in Russia, which has ruined the civilizational prospects of the Russian people and undermines the whole world order. On the conscience of this regime are a war in Georgia, the annexation of Crimea, a war in eastern Ukraine, threats directed at the Baltic countries, nuclear blackmail of the whole world, and the criminal bombardment of peaceful residents of Syria. This list of crimes will continue unchanged if this regime is not stopped.
Recently, countries of the democratic West have also felt the force of subversive actions and an information war. The level of their naive credulity and their inability to distinguish truth and lies is becoming more and more dangerous. As a consequence, the decisions they make are often ineffective and sometimes incorrect. The lack of desire of politicians of the West to look truth in the eye, which they justify as a lack of desire of getting dragged into a new cold war, only hastens slipping into a crisis.
The challenge offered by Putins regime to the whole world community is very dangerous. The level of this danger is felt by us, people who have known the cynicism, hypocrisy, and criminality of the Chekist regime in our own experience. So we strongly warn the governments and peoples of democratic countries against new, illusory attempts at «pacifying the aggressor.» To look for the average between good and evil means to condone evil.
We have no ready remedies for healing todays illness; it is only possible to find them by combining the efforts of all people of good will. However, we see certain pre-conditions for finding the correct way out of this situation:
- We express sincere solidarity with the Crimean Tatar people, forced for the second time in the last 72 years to suffer a mass tragedy, and we condemn the persecution of the Crimean Tatars by the occupying regime, in particular forbidding the activities of their higher representative structure, the Mejlis of the Crimean Tatar people. The nonviolent path chosen by the leadership of this people in the fight for their rights is not only admirable but it morally obliges other peoples to come to their defense.
- The de-occupation of Crimea, the renewal of Ukraines territorial integrity, the defense of human rights, and the freedom of the indigenous Crimean Tatar people and all ethnic groups of Crimea is a test for the conscience of the whole world. Any concession to the aggressor which brings alleged peace will be burdened by further world cataclysms.
- The return of Crimea to Ukraine is necessary as an act of the revival of justice, lawfulness, and world order. Ukraine and the whole world community should develop a roadmap to ensure the rights of the Crimean Tatar people to self-determination in their historical territory as part of Ukraine.
- We strongly condemn the aggression of the Russian Federation against independent Ukraine. We express sincere sympathy with families that have suffered difficult losses as a result of the occupation of Crimea and part of eastern Ukraine.
- We demand a halt to the kidnapping and murder of Crimean Tatars in occupied Crimea, an investigation of the circumstances of the crimes committed, and that those responsible be brought to justice.
- We demand the immediate release of all citizens of Ukraine who are illegally held in prisons and detention facilities on the territory of Russia in temporarily occupied Crimea and in the parts of the territories of the Luhansk and Donetsk regions controlled by militants.
- We call on the international community to demand that the Russian Federation stop its demographic intervention and attempts by violent means to change the ethnic map of Crimea.
- The renewal of the territorial integrity of Ukraine with internationally recognized borders is a necessary pre-condition for ensuring peace and democratic freedoms in the east of the country and in Crimea.
- The military aggression of the Russian Federation demands the mobilization of efforts of the whole Ukrainian people for the defense of national sovereignty. Under these conditions the success of democratic changes in Ukraine are the main factor in conquering the aggressor.
- We are in solidarity with all Russians who condemn the inhuman policy of the Russian leadership and we are ready together with them to seek models for the future co-existence of our countries. Our condemnation of the current regime in Russia involves the Russian people only to the extent that they support the criminal acts of their leaders.
- The hatred, violence, and deceit on which the Putin regime in Russia has grown can undermine the process of reconciliation and mutual cooperation thanks to which the new Europe has been born. Now national egoism, a lack of trust, pride, and the settling of historical «scores» are becoming a fashionable «gamble» that could poison the whole body of international relations. This path will lead to further concessions and more and more populism but will not provide an opportunity to resolve the problems of the modern world.
- No one has the power to change a law as old as the world: uncondemned and unrepented crimes become the seeds of new crimes. The world will be unable to develop further if the criminal acts of Communist regimes and their further Chekist reincarnations – the GULAG and the Holodomor, torture and executions, deportations and the extermination of peoples, and hybrid wars – are not condemned as genocide, crimes against humanity, and military crimes.
- The way out of all local and world crises is always one and the same: a return to those values that lie at the basis of human civilization. These very values unite us with the dynamic modern world. To find peace and security by rejecting these values is impossible.
Former political prisoners of communist regimes, human rights defenders, and other participants of the 2nd Crimean Forum:
- Alim Aliyev (Ukraine)
- Hennadii Afanasiev (Ukraine)
- Gulnara Bekirova (Ukraine)
- Natalia Belitser (Ukraine)
- Yosef Begun (Israel)
- Halyna Bolotova (Ukraine)
- Tatiana Bonner-Yankelevich (USA)
- Vasyl Boyechko (Ukraine)
- Valery Buival (Belarus)
- Inna Cherniavska-Naboka (Ukraine)
- Izabella Chruślińska (Poland)
- Refat Chubarov (Ukraine)
- Oles Diak (Ukraine)
- Ivan Feshchuk (Ukraine)
- Evgen Fialko (Ukraine
- Tariel Gviniashvili (Georgia)
- Borys Gudziak (France)
- Vardan Harutyunyan (Armenia)
- Paruyr Hayrikyan (Armenia)
- Maria Hel (Ukraine)
- Piotr Hlebowicz (Poland)
- Mykola Horbal (Ukraine)
- Bohdan Horyn (Ukraine)
- Leonards Inkins (Latvia)
- Gayana Juksel (Ukraine)
- Kalle Jürgenson (Estonia)
- Sinaver Kadyrov (Ukraine)
- Roman Kalapach (Ukraine)
- Stasys Kaušinis (Lithuania)
- Irina Kizilova (Russian Federation)
- Lidia Kovalchuk (Ukraine)
- Ivan Kovalev (USA)
- Sergey Kovalev (Russian Federation)
- Danuta Kuroń (Poland)
- Jarosław Kurski (Poland)
- Myroslav Levytskyi (Ukraine)
- Pavel Litvinov (USA)
- Larysa Lokhvytska (Ukraine)
- Liuba Marynovych (Ukraine)
- Myroslav Marynovych (Ukraine)
- Mykola Matusevych (Ukraine)
- Kalju Mätik (Estonia)
- Adam Michnik (Poland)
- Leonid Miliavskyi (Ukraine)
- Raisa Moroz (Canada)
- Viktor Niitsoo (Estonia)
- Yevhen Obertas (Ukraine)
- German Obukhov (USA)
- Tatiana Osipova (Kovaleva) (USA)
- Pavlo Otchenashenko (Ukraine)
- Vasyl Ovsiyenko (Ukraine)
- Lagle Parek (Estonia)
- Saulius Pečeliūnas (Lithuania)
- Viktor Pestov (Russian Federation)
- Aleksandr Podrabinek (Russian Federation)
- Zorian Popadiuk (Ukraine)
- Danuta Przywara (Poland)
- Konstantins Pupurs (Latvia)
- Oleksa Riznykiv (Ukraine)
- Yaroslava Riznykova (Ukraine)
- Hanna Sadovska (Ukraine)
- Ayshe Seytmuratova (USA)
- Ryza Shevkiiev (Ukraine)
- Oles Shevchenko (Ukraine)
- Oleksandra Shukhevych (Ukraine)
- Yuriy Shukhevych (Ukraine)
- Aleksei Smirnov-Kosterin (Russian Federation)
- Orysia Sokulska (Ukraine)
- Grażyna Staniszewska (Poland)
- Abmezhyt Suleimanov (Ukraine)
- Petruška Šustrová (Czech Republic)
- Wolfgang Templin (Germany)
- Maria Trofimovych (Ukraine)
- Andrius Tučkus (Lithuania)
- Piotr Tyma (Poland)
- Leonardas Vilkas (Lithuania)
- Yuriy Zaitsev (Ukraine)
- Yevhen Zakharov (Ukraine)
- Roman Zaleski (Poland)
- Taisia Zaretska (Ukraine)
- Oles Zaretskyi (Ukraine)
- Yosyf Zisels (Ukraine)