Subscribe to Secularism is a Womens Issue

Secularism is a Women’s Issue

Home > impact on women / resistance > Call to Belarussian Men to Refuse Recruitment to Fight for Russia in (...)

Call to Belarussian Men to Refuse Recruitment to Fight for Russia in Ukraine: “No Means No!”

Tuesday 15 March 2022, by siawi3


Call to Belarussian Men to Refuse Recruitment to Fight for Russia in Ukraine: “No Means No!”

Wednesday 2 March 2022,

by Olga Karatch

I am requesting you to support our campaign “No Means No”, dedicated to reducng the number of Belarusian soldiers sent by the regime of Alexander Lukashenka to fight on the side of Russia in the war in Ukraine.

Today a mass mobilization of Belarusian men in the age from 18 to 58 to the Belarusian army is under way: draft notices are arriving, instructing men to appear for service on March 4-9, 2022. According to an unconfirmed report received from sources inside the Belarussian armed forces,, Alexander Lukashenka is planning to urgently call up for military service about 35-40 thousand Belarussian men.

But Belarusian men do not want to go to the war! They are called to enlistment offices in large numbers, together with their families. When they arrive there, they are deprived of their passports and mobile phones. The relatives are threatened. A coercive and violent mobilization of Belarusian men is under way.
In our culture, desertion is not a very positive phenomenon. In our patriarchal world deserters and those men who refuse to fight are not “real men”. Such gender stereotypes are a serious obstacle, as Belarusian men who survived terror, torture and certain symbolic “castration” by the regime of Lukashenka, are afraid that if they desert the army, they will encounter mass condemnation.

We have an agreement with the Ministry of Defence of Ukraine, and we have political support for those Belarusian soldiers who decide to surrender themselves to Ukrainians and desert from the war to which Vladimir Putin is sending them.

We call on to all the women of the world to make an appeal to the Belarussian men and tell them that today the real heroism and courage of Belarusian soldiers will only be expressed if these men refuse to fight on the side of Russia, refuse to kill Ukrainian women and children, refuse to support Putin and his war in Ukraine. We should promote the message that such men are real men and heros indeed.

Can I ask you to make a short video with hashtags #NoMeansNo, #NoWar, @StandUpWithUkraine with an appeal to Belarussian men telling that you will support with all your forces their decision if they decide not to fight on Putin’s side? That this is real heroism nowadays? Please, also tag “Our House”.

Appeals can be made in any language, we have women in all the Belarussian diasporas who can translate them, then we’ll make Russian subtitles and spread the video appeals inside Belarus as wide as is possible.

Can I ask you to ask other women to make the same video statement with the same hashtags?

We will distribute any woman’s voice within Belarus.

Of course, support statements from men are always welcome too! I want Belarusian men to hear the voices from all the women of the world, and I want them to make the right choice: avoid fighting for Putin against Ukraine.

Please, help us persuade Belarussian men, that it is stupid to die and to kill onlybecause they cannot (or are scared to) say “NO!”

Thank you very much for your time and consideration!’

Olga Karatch is President of the human rights group Nash Dom (Our Home), based in Germany

Via Centar za ženske studije (Centre for Women’s Studies), Croatia