Appeal for United Response Against Fossil-Fuelled Terror

Thursday, March 10, 2022 by XR Україна

This statement was written by XR Україна just before the full-scale invasion of Ukraine by Russia on the 24th February, 2022. It ends with a call to action from those who read the letter, which is highlighted here and followed by the rest of the statement in full:

In the case of a full-scale Russian military invasion into Ukraine, XR Ukraine will not be able to communicate with XR Global and regional XR groups. XR Ukraine asks you to treat this message as a finalized version of our call to act. To act as soon as possible.

XR Ukraine Statement in full:

"The reason for this message from XR Ukraine is the escalation of Russian military aggression against Ukraine during recent days.

In our message below, we want to highlight how the EU’s dependence on Russian coal, oil and gas, has created existential threats both for world peace and for the climate. The money coming from those sources is no less than crucial for Putin's criminal regime, which uses fossil-fuel money for his military aggression outside of Russia and for unprecedented in world history TV, radio, print and digital propaganda and brutal police control inside Russia.

What climate policy can Germany and other European countries claim to have if they’ve been buying oil and gas from an international terrorist for decades?

How can the climate crisis be solved when there is an energy security crisis at the heart of the EU?

Even without a climate agenda, fossil fuels are a threat to world peace as they feed dictatorships all over the world. But Putin’s dictatorship is particularly outstanding. Here is why:

  1. History of Putin’s regime and his relations with Germany and the EU

    a. The history of tension in the energy sector between Russia and Europe spans over 20 years. At the same time the prices of oil and gas have been crucial for the economy of Russia during this period. The money coming from coal, oil and gas exports gave Putin the opportunity to start military ventures outside of Russia, including but not limited to: invasion into Georgia in 2008, supporting Assad’s regime and escalating civil war in Syria in 2011, the annexation of Crimea in March of 2014, starting the proxy-war against Ukraine in April of 2014. The war has already lasted for almost 8 years and transformed into the full scale invasion of Eastern Ukraine on February 21 2022.

    b. To begin with, it’s worth recollecting facts about how Putin became President, what methods he used, and what can be concluded about the threats for Ukraine at the moment, and possibly to the stability of the world in the upcoming future. Before becoming a president Putin has worked in KGB (communist security agency responsible for the majority of repressions against people of USSR) and in Federal Security Service - FSS, the main successor agency to the Soviet Union’s KGB.

    c. Russian alcoholic president Yeltsin announced his resignation on 31 December 1999. Immediately after that, Putin had become Acting President of the Russian Federation. There were lots of attempts to disclose the true reasons for the resignation of Yeltsin, some sources concluded that it was due to the pressure on him from Russian military and secret service circles, including FSS. Putin won the first presidential elections due to the support from Yeltsin and his party, the support obtained under pressure. Putin's rating during the first term was declining, but after the Moscow theater hostage crisis (Nord-Ost) his rating skyrocketed. Anna Politkovskaya - the investigative journalist, who tried to investigate role of FSS in Nord-Ost tragedy, was murdered before she could publish her findings. Prior to that false-flag Russian apartment bombings in Moscow in 1999 led to the Second Chechen war. People of Russia had been constantly trained to vote in the atmosphere of fear. If Putin wants to increase his support inside the country - he creates fear: fears of terrorism inside Russia, fears of NATO and geopolitical instability of near Russian borders.

    d. In 2004-2005 there was the Orange Revolution in Ukraine - the act against anti-democratic presidential elections in Ukraine, which turned into the victory of democratic forces in Ukraine and defeat of Putin’s puppet - Victor Yanukovych. This revolution was dangerous for Putin - people in Russia shouldn’t be seeing democratic elections and protests in the neighboring post-Soviet state. As a measure to tame the development of democratic Ukraine Moscow used blackmail in the energy sector against Ukraine during so-called gas wars: Ukraine had been paying much higher prices for Russian gas and oil than other European states.

    e. Germany and the EU largely ignored the events mentioned above and together with Russia began the construction of North Stream 1. Putin’s regime has earned huge money thanks to this project in the last 10 years. And it’s on top of the gains from the fossil fuel export projects that existed before that. Money he obtained was not spent on making the life of an average Russian better, instead Putin’s regime has injected billions into the military sector and powerful propaganda inside and outside of Russia. That propaganda is comparable in its power to the propaganda of Hitler’s Third Reich, but surpasses it in the technical sophistication and extent of its coverage, including orchestrated manipulation of public opinion in digital media.

    f. In 2014, the Euromaiden Revolution took place in our country, which toppled the kleptocratic regime of Victor Yanukovych. Immediately after shootings of people in the Maidan central square by special forces and the flight of Yanukovych to Russia, the annexation of Crimea took place. Just in a few weeks with military support and funding from the Russian Federation, violent events unfolded in the east of the country. We all have friends or acquaintances from this region who were forced to leave their homes and flee from the war and lawlessness. The Western reaction was to impose limited sanctions, which did not affect the energy sector and the export of fossil fuels from Russia. Moreover, the construction of Nord Stream 2 began in 2018.

    g. The consequence of ignoring all of the above by the West is the energy blackmail and gas terror against the EU, which unfolded in the winter of 2021-2022. Putin also crushed democratic uprisings against dictators in the neighboring countries - Belarus and Kazakhstan. A large concentration of Russian troops now continue to be on the territory of Belarus.

  2. Current Situation:

    a. The world faces the threat of unimaginable destruction. The call for international solidarity is urgent as never before. Now with Ukraine, Putin is acting in the same way as Hitler did in 1939, when an extensive armed forces invasion followed a provocation on the border of Poland. But unlike Putin today, then Hitler didn’t have in possession nuclear weapons and largest reserves of fossil fuels.

    b. This week the shelling goes both towards Ukraine and to the occupied territories in order to create a pretext for a full-scale invasion. This is a matter of very limited time. Ukrainians are preparing for this as much as possible. The only way to stop the war is to block financial flows from the EU customers to the Russian oil and gas industry. Unfortunately, the sanctions imposed to date by the Western world, like temporarily blocking Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline, offer very little to address the true cause of what is happening.

    c. If the Green New Deal agenda was established earlier and implemented in the EU at a faster pace, if the EU would have announced carbon neutrality by 2030, the massive problems that Europe faces today could naturally have been avoided.

    d. We believe that the threat of global war, which can potentially become nuclear, can be diverted if Gazprom, Rosneft and all oil and gas companies that actively cooperate with Putin's regime, are immediately deprived of financial resources and political influence. This will not only guarantee peace, but also enable achieving carbon neutrality faster and solve the climate crisis before it becomes unmanageable.

  3. The new global anti-apartheid is needed: we need to stand united against fossil-fuelled terror.

    a. Today we need an international public response against Putin’s regime at the global scale, which can only be paralleled with the response and measures taken against apartheid regime of South Africa in late 1980s but at deeper level and with universal coverage.

    b. We need to start global divestment from all fossil-based businesses that feed billions into escalation of two potentially planet-killing threats - Putin’s military machine and escalation of the climate crisis.

    c. Not only Russian energy companies like Gazprom and Rosneft, but also transnational corporations Exxon, Shell, Chevron, BP, OMV and other fossil fuel majors, which extensively cooperated with Putin’s regime during past decades, should be stripped of cash, political influence and control over media. Next, their CEOs with Rex Tillerson in the front seat should be taken to international criminal court for crimes against humanity - they deserve a tribunal together with Mr. Putin as his close aides in the project of planetary destruction and war against people and nature.

    Therefore, we call for blocking, picketing and climbing over the offices of oil and gas companies of the Russian Federation and all their business partners in the EU, UK and worldwide.

    We hope that in this way it is possible to attract the necessary attention of politicians, media and the general public.

    We need to make it clear to all people in Europe who worry about Ukraine’s fate, global peace and climate justice, that each responsible person can and should impose sanctions against Putin’s regime, Gazprom and other fossil majors like Exxon, Shell, Chevron, BP, OMV and others, going under the representative offices of these companies and acting in all possible ways to dismantle their financial and political influence.

    As a priority action in European capitals, we are calling to block the offices of Gazprom, Rosneft, Transneft, Surgutneftegas, LukOil, Russian Coal, Karadeniz, SUEK, Kuzbassrazrezugol and other companies, which supply oil, gas and coal from Russia to the EU.

    In the case of a full-scale Russian military invasion into Ukraine, XR Ukraine will not be able to communicate with XR Global and regional XR groups. XR Ukraine asks you to treat this message as a finalized version of our call to act. To act as soon as possible.

Über die Rebellion

extinction rebellion ist eine selbstorganisierte, dezentralisierte, internationale und politisch unabhängige Bewegung, die gewaltfreien zivilen Widerstand einsetzt, um Regierungen dazu zu bewegen, auf gerechte Art und Weise auf die ökologische Krise und den Klimanotstand zu reagieren. Die Menschen in unserer Bewegung kommen aus allen Lebensbereichen und bringen auf unterschiedliche Weise ihre Zeit und Energie ein. Wahrscheinlich gibt es eine lokale Gruppe ganz in deiner Nähe, und wir würden uns freuen, von dir zu hören. Mach mit …or erwäge eine Spende zu machen.