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A joint statement of IPPNW physicians in Russia and Ukraine

March 16, 2022

The conflict between Russia and Ukraine continues, leading to human casualties. And in the case of escalation of the conflict it may cause more severe consequences, involvement of other countries, nuclear facilities and even nuclear confrontation.

It is a great tragedy in the center of Europe caused by the inability of authorities to speak to and understand each other, and who desire to have unilateral benefits for one country while not taking into consideration the rights and security of other countries.

The work of any doctor in this world is closely related to the principles of equality and non-judgmental approach in their work. The recent COVID-19 pandemic has shown to everyone how vulnerable medical workers can be as healthcare systems become overwhelmed by a disaster on such a scale. Widespread sickness, death and burnout among medical workers has underscored the need for major reinvestments of time, money and resources to educate and prepare competent and qualified professionals in the field of medicine.

Russia and Ukraine have been closely connected with each other since the very beginning of their history. It’s hard to find a person in Russia who (or whose friends) doesn’t have relatives in Ukraine. Both countries are a part of Eastern Europe and share close economic and cultural connections. All these facts make all the doctors feel much more concerned about the current situation in the region. And the most dangerous of all possible threats is, of course, the nuclear one.

We are deeply aware of the humanitarian consequences of nuclear disasters for health, the environment and the climate. Nuclear war could endanger all of human civilization. Even a single nuclear detonation would cause hundreds of thousands of deaths and the long-term consequences would last for decades. Hospitals would be destroyed and medical personnel killed or wounded. There is no cure for victims of a nuclear war. There is nothing medical services could do to help people. The only option is prevention.

In a world that has not only suffered from the health consequences of the pandemic, but also the isolation and division among people, families, communities and entire nations, the use of nuclear weapons would be the final threat to healthcare system and for all of humanity. The time has come to act now and do everything possible to save lives and find wise way to collaborate.

We call authorities of confronting parties and USA authorities to make everything to speed up constructive and effective negotiations to establish peace in Ukraine in order to save the lives of Ukrainian and Russian people.

  1. April 24, 2022 3:10 pm

    This joint statement fails to list any IPPNW physicians in Russia and Ukraine.

    This anonymous statement also fails to point to Russia’s initiation of and continued agency in this unprovoked war. It also fails to address Russia’s violation of international law.

    Russia has also bombed Ukrainian hospitals, schools, and government institutions, not to mention housing complexes, even rural villages. In addition, it has performed summary executions of civilians.

    Reductionism is not persuasive and diminishes the credibility of IPPNW.

    Russians must take responsibility for their government’s and military’s actions. Russia’s war against Ukraine will continue. Without such Russian courage, this war will not end. Russia will continue to destabilize the global world order and its own international standing. As a permanent UN Security Council, Russia is destroying the credibility and effectiveness of the United Nations.

    At the very least, the Russian physicians here must condemn the Kremlin’s repeated mentions of nuclear weapons.

    The world needs the courage of Russians. Russians must find a way to hold their government accountable for its warmongering. Without such Russian courage, there can be no global peace.

  2. Howard Kornfeld permalink
    March 18, 2022 3:10 am

    Dear IPPNW Physicians of Russia and Ukraine:

    Thank you deeply for your statement.

    I was a Delegate at the First Congress of IPPNW in 1981. I want to reach out to all of you or to one of you at a time. We need to enlarge our dialogue while keeping our message laser focused on the massive risk escalation of nuclear catastrophe growing exponentially at this moment. We need to remind our people immediately of the concentric miles wide circles of – vaporization, incineration, crushing and dismemberment, thermal and radiation burns, fractures, wounds, panic, grieving, radiation sickness, and climate catastrophe/nuclear winter – that is the dreaded but ever more likely consequence of the current unchecked cascade of events.

    Please visit my blog which will be posted on the website of our medical practice:

    I hope to elaborate on this letter tomorrow. We must refine and raise the level of this discussion without delay.

    With profound concern,

    Howard Kornfeld, M.D.
    Mill Valley, California
    March 18, 2022


  1. A joint statement of IPPNW physicians in Russia and Ukraine — IPPNW peace and health blog « Antinuclear

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