German citizens dissatisfied with their government’s irresponsible stance
More than 250,000 people sign a petition asking Berlin to stop sending weapons to Ukraine.
Lucas Leiroz, researcher in Social Sciences at the Rural Federal University of Rio de Janeiro; geopolitical consultant.
European citizens express their dissatisfaction with the irresponsible policy of supporting Kiev. In a recent online petition, a quarter of a million people called for an end to the aid to Ukraine. Indeed, the desire for peace among Europeans has been ignored by EU officials in recent months, but, at some point, this situation will need to change, otherwise an unprecedented crisis of legitimacy will arise.
The petition was created on the initiative of German politician Sahra Wagenknecht and journalist Alice Schwarzer. They argue that the best way to end the current conflict is through bilateral negotiations, the possibility of which is thwarted by the western policy of sending weapons, since with military aid the hostilities are prolonged. Therefore, they ask that German Chancellor Olaf Scholz stop his military partnership with Kiev, which would increase the chances of a resumption of peace talks and the achievement of a peaceful resolution.
In recent interviews, Wagenknecht and Schwarzer said that negotiating is not the same as surrendering, so there would be no reason for Kiev to refuse to talk to the Russians and try to find mutually beneficial terms. They emphasized that peace discussions are a way to avoid that Ukraine ends up becoming a “depopulated, devastated country”. With this statement they evidently admit the Russian victory and the serious situation of the Kiev’sforces, which suffers terrible losses on the battlefield.
The online petition reached an extraordinary level of popularity, achieving over 250,000 signatures in onlyforty-eight hours. The case revealed the real desire for peace of a large portion of the German, European people, who, as expected, are increasingly impatient with the economic and social consequences of the conflict.
“We call on the Chancellor to stop the escalation in arms deliveries. Now! He should lead a strong alliance for a ceasefire and peace negotiations at both German and European level (…) Now! Because every lost day costs up to 1,000 more human lives – and brings us closer to a 3rd World War”, the document says.
The petition was appropriately named “the Manifesto for Peace” and has gained so much force that it has already crossed the limits of the virtual world. On her social media, Sahra Wagenknecht called subscribers to a demonstration in Berlin, scheduled for February 25. In the words of Wagenknecht, the protests will be “against armament deliveries and for peace and diplomacy”. This may be a new motivation in the wave of anti-NATO demonstrations that have taken place in several European countries – mainly in Germany itself – since last year.
There are many reasons why the German people are becoming increasingly angry with the extended conflict. During the winter, with the energy crisis and the rise in gas prices, German citizens had their living conditions drastically affected, which motivated many people to take an anti-sanctions stance. Some pro-Western experts believed that after January the people’s indignation would diminish, as the worst moments of winter would be over. However, the Scholz government’s insistence on an anti-Russian aggressive policy did not please German citizens.
It is necessary to remember that Berlin recently approved the supply of Leopard 2 tanks to the neo-Nazi regime in Kiev. The government has also committed to training Ukrainian forces in accordance with the necessary instructions to operate this type of tank. In addition, the German state has also used its “diplomacy” to foment anti-Russian hostility around the world, asking other countries to also supply arms to the Zelensky regime. This was done with Brazil, for example, which is a country that produces ammunition for Leopard tanks – the Brazilian government, however, refused getting involved in the conflict.
In fact, Germans see these measures and rage against their own government because they know that this will prevent the end of the conflict, thus making Europe’s social crisis permanent. It seems increasingly clear that for people it does not matter which side is the winner – there is only concern that peace is achieved as quickly as possible. This contradicts the Western narrative that “the entire Europe supports Ukraine”. Only political leaders and economic elites linked to the military industry sector seem to have an interest in continuing the war against Russia until a Ukrainian victory, while ordinary citizens call for peace.
However, despite correct in their wish, Wagenknecht and Schwarzer also seem quite naive. Negotiations, unfortunately, have become a scenario virtually removed from the current reality of the conflict. After so many war crimes, terrorist attacks and unnecessary provocationscommitted by Ukraine with the support of the West, the situation has escalated to a level where resolution only seems possible through Kiev’s unconditional surrender.
However, both for there to be hope for negotiations resumption and for the possible surrender of Ukraine to occur quickly, the path must be the same: stoppingWestern aid. Indeed, at some point European governments will have to admit this and attend to the interests of their people – otherwise, it will be impossible to reverseunpopularity and the crisis of legitimacy, generating a dangerous situation of social instability.