Skip to main content

Sign up for our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values. Direct to your inbox.

ONE DAY left in this Mid-Year Campaign. This is our hour of need.
If you value independent journalism, please support Common Dreams.

Join the small group of generous readers who donate, keeping Common Dreams free for millions of people each year. Without your help, we won’t survive.

peace mural

Passers-by observed a mural by street artist Laika, posted near the Russian and Ukrainian embassies in Rome, on February 16, 2022. (Photo: Marilla Sicilia/Archivio Marilla Sicilia/Mondadori Portfolio via Getty Images)

Biden 'Convinced' Putin Will Invade as Peace Movement 'Opposes Any War Over Ukraine'

"The crisis should be settled on a basis which recognizes the right of the Ukrainian people to self-determination and addresses Russia's security concerns," says Stop the War coalition.

Jessica Corbett

With U.S. President Joe Biden "convinced" that Russian President Vladimir Putin is planning not only confirmed nuclear drills but also an invasion of Ukraine that Moscow has repeatedly denied, the global peace movement on Friday reiterated calls for de-escalation.

"Stop the War opposes any war over Ukraine, and believes the crisis should be settled on a basis which recognizes the right of the Ukrainian people to self-determination and addresses Russia's security concerns," declares a statement from the U.K.-based coalition signed by thousands of people.

The Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Thursday accused the Biden administration of ignoring Moscow's security demands—including Ukraine's exclusion from the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO)—but also insisted that "there is no 'Russian invasion' of Ukraine."

Despite the assurance from Moscow, when asked Friday if there is any indication whether Putin has decided to invade Ukraine, Biden told reporters—without providing any further details or evidence—that "as of this moment, I'm convinced he's made the decision. We have reason to believe that."

Members of the Biden administration—and other Western officials—have also recently claimed, without offering proof, that Russia will engage in a false flag operation as a pretext for invasion.

Eight years into fighting in Ukraine's Donbas region, pro-Russian separatists and Ukrainian forces on Thursday accused each other of violating a cease-fire. After the Ukrainian military said shells fired by separatists hit a kindergarten, U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson claimed it "was a false-flag operation designed to discredit the Ukrainians, designed to create a pretext, a spurious provocation for Russian action."

Stop the War took aim at recent actions and comments from U.K. leaders.

"Our focus is on the policies of the British government which have poured oil on the fire throughout this episode," the coalition explained. "In taking this position we do not endorse the nature or conduct of either the Russian or Ukrainian regimes."

"The British government has talked up the threat of war continually," the statement continued. "Unlike the French and German governments, it has advanced no proposals for a diplomatic solution to the crisis, and has contributed only saber-rattling."

Instead of pursuing diplomacy, the British government has not only "sent arms to Ukraine and deployed further troops to eastern Europe," but also "declared that Ukraine has a 'sovereign right' to join NATO," the coalition added.

"Britain needs to change its policy, and start working for peace, not confrontation," the group asserted, encouraging a halt to the eastward expansion of NATO.

The statement also said:

We refute the idea that NATO is a defensive alliance, and believe its record in Afghanistan, Yugoslavia, and Libya over the last generation, not to mention the U.S.-British attack on Iraq, clearly proves otherwise.

We support all efforts to reach new arms control agreements in Europe and to move towards nuclear disarmament across the continent.

We urge the entire anti-war movement to unite on the basis of challenging the British government's aggressive posturing and direct its campaigning to that end above all.

High-profile signatories to the statement include former Labor Party Leader Jeremy Corbyn, along with another dozen members of Parliament, the heads of several U.K. unions, and various academics, activists, and artists such as musician Brian Eno and rapper Lowkey.

Other signatories include Joe Glenton of Veterans for Peace; Paweł Wargan, coordinator of Progressive International's international secretariat; and Kate Hudson, general secretary of the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament.

The statement came as anti-nuclear and peace campaigners urged against Russia's planned drills, which are scheduled for Saturday, set to be overseen by Putin, and will involve launching cruise missiles and intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBM).

"Test-firing ICBMs at this time of heightened tensions is particularly irresponsible but any practice to use WMDs at any time is unacceptable," the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN) tweeted Friday, referring to weapons of mass destruction.


Our work is licensed under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0). Feel free to republish and share widely.

Just ONE DAY left in our crucial Mid-Year Campaign and we might not make it without your help.
Who funds our independent journalism? Readers like you who believe in our mission: To inform. To inspire. To ignite change for the common good. No corporate advertisers. No billionaire founder. Our non-partisan, nonprofit media model has only one source of revenue: The people who read and value this work and our mission. That's it.
And the model is simple: If everyone just gives whatever amount they can afford and think is reasonable—$3, $9, $29, or more—we can continue. If not enough do, we go dark.

All the small gifts add up to something otherwise impossible. Please join us today. Donate to Common Dreams. This is crunch time. We need you now.

'Stark Betrayal': Biden Administration Floats New Offshore Oil and Gas Drilling

"This is the third time since November the Biden administration has announced new oil and gas leasing plans on the Friday before a holiday," said one climate advocate. "They're ashamed, and they should be."

Jake Johnson ·


As US Rolls Back Reproductive Rights, Sierra Leone Moves to Decriminalize Abortion

"I'm hopeful today's announcement gives activists in the U.S., and especially Black women given the shared history, a restored faith that change is possible and progress can be made."

Brett Wilkins ·


'Indefensible': Outrage as New Reporting Shines Light on Biden Deal With McConnell

The president has reportedly agreed to nominate an anti-abortion Republican to a lifetime judgeship. In exchange, McConnell has vowed to stop blocking two Biden picks for term-limited U.S. attorney posts.

Jake Johnson ·


Assange Makes Final Appeal Against US Extradition

"If Julian Assange is not free, neither are we," said a protester at a Friday demonstration against the WikiLeaks founder's impending transfer. "None of us is free."

Brett Wilkins ·


'Payoff for 40 Years of Dark Money': Supreme Court Delivers for Corporate America

"It was the conservative court's larger agenda to gut the regulatory state and decimate executive powers to protect Americans' health and safety," warned one expert.

Jake Johnson ·

Common Dreams Logo