Counseling hotline for conscientious objectors and deserters of the Ukrainian war established

by Connection e.V.

(07.04.2022) "We experience that men from Belarus and Russia as well as from Ukraine refuse to serve in the war and flee the country. Those who refuse to serve in the military for reasons of conscience and are persecuted for it need protection and asylum," says Rudi Friedrich of Connection e.V. He adds, "Conscientious objection is a human right, as the European Court of Human Rights has established. This human right to conscientious objection must be protected in all countries, especially in those at war."

While Ukrainian refugees have a safe stay for an initial period of one year through the European Union’s regulation, it is different for deserters and conscientious objectors from Russia and Belarus. As things stand, they all have to go through the asylum process. And the outcome is uncertain. This is because persecution for conscientious objection and desertion does not automatically qualify as grounds for asylum in Germany.

Especially in view of the war of aggression by Russia, supported by Belarus, which is contrary to international law, the Qualification Directive of the European Union must be applied here: "In Article 9 of the European Union’s Qualification Directive, protection under refugee law is promised to people who evade acts or wars contrary to international law. This must now be applied in full," explains Rudi Friedrich. Russian and Belarusian servicemen and servicewomen who have evaded military service and thus a possible war mission in Ukraine, or who have deserted, must be recognized as refugees in accordance with the Qualification Directive.

Germany must also grant asylum to Ukrainian conscientious objectors who have been denied recognition in Ukraine and to Ukrainian servicemen and women who have evaded actions on the side of Ukraine that are contrary to international law. This has not happened so far. In recent years, several hundred conscientious objectors from all parts of Ukraine had already come to Germany to find protection here. "However, most of them were rejected in the asylum procedures and are now again facing the danger of being deployed to war. This must come to an end," demands Rudi Friedrich.

"In order to be able to give the best possible support right from the start, we have set up an counseling hotline in Russian, English and German languages for initial information for deserters and conscientious objectors who refuse to go to war in the various countries. They need assistance in a language they can understand. At the same time, we have put basic information online in Russian, English and German," says Rudi Friedrich.

More information at:

Information on the legal situation for conscientious objection and desertion in Belarus, the Russian Federation and Ukraine can be found  here.

Information on protection and asylum for conscientious objectors and deserters can be found here.

Connection e.V.: News April 7, 2022

Keywords:    ⇒ Belarus   ⇒ CO and Asylum   ⇒ Connection e.V. - About Us   ⇒ Conscientious Objection   ⇒ Russia   ⇒ Ukraine   ⇒ War