ISSN 2330-717X

Feminist Anti-War Resistance (FAS) Leads In Organizing Russian Protests Against Putin’s War – OpEd

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The Feminist Anti-War resistance, known by its Russian acronym FAS, arose the day after Putin invaded Ukraine and has become, as measured by the number of its social network subscribers, the largest organization committed to organizing demonstrations against the war.

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It is a network organization with no specific leaders or hierarchy, something that often makes it difficult for its various components to work together but helps maintain a sense of security while providing opportunities for those not supported by their families to know they are not alone (semnasem.org/articles/2022/04/19/moya-lyubov-k-rodine-bezotvetna).

The existence of FAS inspires its followers to speak out and share information and perspectives not just with one another but also with Russians who increasingly do not have access to accurate information about the war. And it helps its members who suffer incarceration to hold on and continue the struggle after their release.

According to the 7×7 news agency, those who take part in FAS-organized demonstrations or follow its posts online almost inevitably become more radical in their criticism of the regime and its war, more prepared to suffer for their beliefs, and also more ready to cooperate with other opposition movements.

FAS has also gone international establishing links with opponents of Putin’s war in Ukraine in other countries and has created two hashtags for Twitter, Voices of Ukrainian Women and Voices of Russian Women, where people on both sides of the battle line can speak with each other.

All the FAS followers with whom 7×7 spoke said they planned to continue as a movement even when the war ends; and many said that they are convinced that boosting the number of women in leading government positions will be the salvation of the Russian Federation in the future.  

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Paul Goble

Paul Goble is a longtime specialist on ethnic and religious questions in Eurasia. Most recently, he was director of research and publications at the Azerbaijan Diplomatic Academy. Earlier, he served as vice dean for the social sciences and humanities at Audentes University in Tallinn and a senior research associate at the EuroCollege of the University of Tartu in Estonia. He has served in various capacities in the U.S. State Department, the Central Intelligence Agency and the International Broadcasting Bureau as well as at the Voice of America and Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty and at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. Mr. Goble maintains the Window on Eurasia blog and can be contacted directly at [email protected] .

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