SWEDHR board of directors deliberated on the situation in Ukraine. The following is the statement by the organization’s chairman, Professor Emeritus Marcello Ferrada de Noli.
My position on the Russian Military Operation in Ukraine
By Prof Marcello Ferrada de Noli, SWEDHR founder & chairman
The utmost human right is the right to life, hence, per definition, Swedish Doctors for Human Rights has always opposed war as means to solve geopolitical conflicts. The international community should extreme its efforts to seek and found solution of geopolitical conflicts in the negotiation table.
In my analysis, that negotiation approach was exactly what the Russian Federation has intended to do, proactively and repeatedly. The RF supported and participated in the Minsk agreements and other negotiations initiatives –and did respect those agreements accordingly. It presented, over and over again, formulas to solve the conflict with Ukraine in propositions done directly to European governments, to the NATO leadership, and to the US. However, over and over again, those powers refused to consider those propositions done by the RF. Moreover, the participation of Ukraine in NATO –a crucial issue for the national security of the RF– was even declared by the US and allies as a non-discussible item.
We in the SWEDHR board have unanimously agreed in the past to denounce the interventionist activities conducted by NATO and partners in Ukraine all since the coup of 2014. And we still view as best contributory to peace, a diplomatic negotiated solution aimed to the status of neutrality and non-alignment of Ukraine. The same status we advocate regarding Sweden.
The Russian military intervention could have been avoided. Principally, if NATO and ‘partners’ –during the talks Dec 2021 – Feb 2022– would have honoured the documented guarantees given previously to Russia’s about no expanding eastwards.
As I have put forward in previous statements in the Professors’ Blog (The Indicter´s predecessor), an earlier contribution to peace in the region would have been either the recognition by the UN of the democratic republics of Donetsk and Lugansk as independent, or as forming part of the Russian Federation. And the recognition of Crimea as Russian.
As the utmost human right is the right to life, Swedish Doctors for Human Rights, per definition, opposes war.
Further, our SWEDHR founding manifest explicitly call for respecting the United Nations chart. This principal international agreement has been systematically broken along the last decades, for instance in the Balkan wars, the Iraq invasion, etc. Numerous coup d’état with foreign direct intervention have been implemented in contravention to the UN principles and infringements of international law. Human rights, as defined by the UN, have constantly been unheeded –both regarding nations and individuals– by many governments, inclusive West powers and those members of NATO and the EU.
Based on the same principles, I have condemned, and still do, the Ukrainian military operations against the republics of Donetsk and Lugansk, which declared their independence via plebiscite.
Concomitantly, I propose that we should continue opposing the military and political-interventionist activities by NATO and partners, conducted in Ukraine all since the coup of 2014. Therein we also shall oppose current behaviours by governments, that, using the Ukraine crisis, have embarked in a series of provocations, which not only further destabilize the security of the region, but –most conceivable– ultimately may lead to an extended war, and possibly nuclear.
Let me be very clear in this discussion: I regard the Russian military operation in Ukraine as an act of self-defence. Therefore, I do not condemn it.
Besides, the two SWEDHR directory members which during this discussion at the board have regarded the Russian intervention as inappropriate, and thus condemnable, seems to ignore several facts. For example:
- Ukraine is not any longer a democracy which abides the United Nations rules. Supported by West foreign powers– which, in my opinion, have taken the ideological and cultural control of Ukraine, that country has indulged in severe violations to the civil rights and human rights of its citizens. In the junta imposed by the US with help of some EU governments, including Sweden (ex- foreign minister Carl Bildt) figured notorious neo-Nazi political leaders. The Russian special military operation (SMO) is an enterprise aiming to neutralize the Nazi forces.
- In numerous documents from 1990 and onwards, (See “National Security Archive”, in section References, down below) NATO-government leaders clearly given guarantees to Russia that NATO would not expand eastwards.
- The sanctions which the US –followed subserviently by EU governments– impose to Russia under the pretext of the Russian military operation, are clearly devised to strength their own economies. There are economic reasons for which Western powers did not pursue, and ultimately opposed, negotiations with Russia that could have prevented the SMO.
In serious analyses of this conflict, the following issues are to be considered. It is about facts that merely deserve attention in West media. As per nowadays in Sweden, they are practically concealed:
- The political outcome of the 2014 Ukraine putsch was engineered by the U.S. (See transcript of leaked tape published by BBC, on the exchange between Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland and the US Ambassador to Ukraine, Geoffrey Pyatt), with the collaboration of EU-governments representatives, prominently the Swedish minister of foreign affairs Carl Bildt. 
Incidentally, those were the times –already in 2014– where Carl Bildt anticipated that no positive of talks with Russia on the Ukraine issue would ever occur.  Dialogue was not on the table, but to entangle Russia into a war was apparently already emerging in the plan.
- The ethnic-cleansing against the ethnic-Russian population of Donbass– called “subhuman” by then Ukraine PM Yatsenyuk–  ensued soon after the putsch. Meanwhile, Carl Bildt had official talks with the putsch-born Ukraine government in which participated the leader of Svoboda. This is a political party founded 1991 as the Social-National Party of Ukraine,  and whose emblem is shared by the military neo-Nazi “Azov”, a regiment within Ukraine’s National Guard. The U.S., as well Swedish military and from other NATO countries, have participated all along –including February 2022 –in the training of the National Guard.  The afore mentioned neo-Nazi formations are not the only ones operating in Ukraine. E.g., another large aggrupation is the pro-Nazi far-right. 
A further illustration of the proactive neo-fascist ideology of Ukraine political elites, is found in a report by Reuters (March 17, 2015), quote: “Ukraine’s parliament, the Supreme Rada, passed a draft law last month honouring organizations involved in mass ethnic cleansing during World War Two.” 
- The UN had estimated  that around 14,000 fatalities (more than 3,000 civilians) occurred during the so-called “ATO” –the “anti-terrorist” operation waged by the Poroshenko regime against the Donbass populations. That, and no other, was the actual death-toll in Ukraine at the moment Russia decided the military operations in the country, with the aims –as it was declared– the denazification of pertinent Ukrainian forces that Russia held responsible for the killings of the Russian-ethnic populations in Donbass. Instead, Western governments and their media do the death-toll counting in the “Ukraine war” starting only 24 February 2022.
- The significancy of the Maidan coup d’état in February 2014 in Ukraine –particularly in what human-rights monitoring is concerned– with the ensuing ethnic cleansing and documented crimes on the humans rights of Donbass populations. E.g. the “Three massacres in one month”,  referred to the Mariupol   and Odessa  bloody events in May 2014, and the aerial bombardment on the Lugansk civilians in June 2014.  In July 2014, the US State department went as far as publicly endorsed “Ukraine’s every right” to aerial bombing the Russian-ethnic population in Donbass. 
Since the February 2014 coup’s immediately aftermath, SWEDHR have recorded how NATO and partners have waged a war by proxy in Ukraine, sacrificing Ukrainians lives on behalf of their geopolitical expansionism and global economic interests. In the denouncing of those ethnic-cleansing related crimes and outrages to the human rights in Ukraine, we also saw the need to fill the gap that Amnesty International as well HRW had left –according to a well-known routine of protecting NATO interests with their silence.
We have, at early stage, agreed with the independence of the Donbass republics, as resolved by their main ethnic populations. It was precisely the documented widespread violations of the human-rights against the Donbass population by the Ukraine and Nazi forces [See above], which led our stance.
Information, war, and human rights
SWEDHR stands for transparency of information. In the context of West propaganda, fake news,  and arbitrarily selected information about Ukraine, we also denounce the censure and suppression of free speech by MSM and corporate social-media, and by the US / EU governments, as clearly against the UN Human Rights Chart. These authorities have adopted a type of extraordinary censure as if their countries, their troops, would be directly participating in the war. Which, paradoxically, is a thing they vehemently deny.
These prohibitions, accompanied with the persecution of independent voices, portrait EU “democracy” system as navigating back into dangerous waters, towards the dark times of totalitarian systems around mid 1930s in Europe.
Russia has also severed freedom of information, and even more drastically so with regards to its domestic public. All limitations of free broadcasting / publication is condemnable, anywhere. Nonetheless, a difference with the West current freedom of speech limitations, is that, in for instance EU countries, different opinions are not currently a threat to these countries’ national security. Divergent opinions, like SWEDHR’s, only show the inconsistency of the actions of those in power. But are not a threat to, i.e., Sweden’s national security.
When Western powers –while “not in war”– close the broadcasting or annulate the access online to Russian or Chinese news sites, they do infringing the rights of their citizens to select and receive information from the channels they have the right to choose, according to the UN chart of human rights. Obviously, this flagrant trespassing on basic human rights of our citizens is not problematized at all by the media in this country –otherwise self-proclaimed as “defenders” of democratic principles and the “rule of law”.
Russia is instead openly at war. If any of NATO countries and “partners” like Sweden decided to enter the war by means of a casus bellis entailed by ostensible provocations (see arms to Ukraine, below), inexorably shall their governments also dictate emergency states comprising as drastic measures like in Russia, or perhaps even more so. During WWII, Sweden, even considering itself a ”neutral”, non-belligerent country, detained without trial leftist oppositional voices such as “communists”, “anarchists” and confined them in concentration camps called “internment camps”. 
Fake news is also the omitting of important information. For instance, and from the perspective of fairness and objectivity in information, it is unacceptable that Western corporate media nowadays purposedly occult or whitewash  the existence of the pro-Nazi military formations we have mentioned here.
Defensive arms to Ukraine? Not at all the case
We, the European peoples, are witnessing a veritable race among the NATO’s EU countries to provide Ukraine with “defensive” weaponry. In the middle of that competition we see Sweden’s and Finland’s governments and military elites –supposedly non-aligned and “neutral”– advocating and finally providing arms to Ukraine.
First, they claimed it was about defensive weapons. Not at all. From Finland, the sent weapons and respective ammunition are called precisely “assault arms”. The anti-tanks launchers provided by Sweden are per definition attack weapons. It is not, as common people is led to think, a weaponry designed to defend oneself if a tank decides to attack. That simply does happen in combat. For the simple reason that every soldier know that if the tank fires, the soldier and the “anti-tank piece he is carrying are instantly demolished. In true terms, those weapons are to be used as soon an enemy tank is on sight at distance. They are truly attack weapons aimed to destroy tanks and armoured cars and kill its crews. Used even to destroy troops transport vehicles with soldiers packed inside.
Nevertheless, the main argument for our criticism on the pro-NATO elites in power is not based in these military-technical issues. It is instead the political fact –exactly related to the issue, or mantra, of “national security” that perennially recurs in the narrative of warmongering Swedish political and military personalities.
Russia said that if NATO and EU governments would not consider their demands on guarantees that NATO would not expand further with the inclusion of bordering Ukraine, they would respond militarily and technically. They did.
Russia also has recently said that if countries in e.g. the EU would interfere with their “military operations” in Ukraine, specifically sending arms and the like, Russia shall consider those countries in belligerent status against their armed forces. They did.
Russia has announced that, in view of the current situation (not in Ukraine, but regarding the position of NATO and “partners”) would put their nuclear might in alert status. They did.
At the same time, incongruently, the EU politicians and their media accuse Russia’s president of “barbarism”. And on top of that, pseudo psychiatric diagnoses of the type “mad man”, “totally crazy”, “out of balance” are also widespread in these countries media, notably in Sweden –which is just a couple of hundred kilometres from the Russian Iskander missiles in Kaliningrad.
So, our question is, why is Sweden, and some few other countries in Europe trying so desperately to provoke a military response from Russia? Particularly if such decision would be taken by a man “out of his mind”?
Who, really, is out of his mind here?
In sum, the world is witnessing how corporate West and their political puppets in the EU leadership have created this confrontation with Russia a) for the purposes of escalate their military budgets (e.g., Germany, Sweden, etc.), meaning a drastic increasing of their arms-industry profits. b) to replace the Russian oil piped to Europe with US- companies oil-producers,  as well other ‘international actors’ also in financial association with corporate West.
In my analysis, which SWEDHR is ready to debate with any other NGO, the present war in Ukraine would have perfectly been avoided if NATO and ‘partners’ would have demonstrate a minimum required openness to the Russia’s security concerns.
It is a matter of historical fact, proved in 30 different documents from 1990 and onwards,  that NATO government leaders, including US presidents, US secretary of state, NATO general secretary, the governments of the UK and France, and particularly Germany, have given guarantee after guarantee that NATO would not expand eastwards. In those regards, we deem Russia’s concern about a currently NATO expansion –now with Sweden’s and Finland’s “NATO-option” admissions and the impending incorporation of Ukraine– quite legitim.
Nowadays, after Russia initiated military operations in Ukraine beyond Donbass, the US (not the EU) is signalling that Ukraine’s incorporation to NATO could wait at least 5-6 years. But that was not conceded in the negotiations table. It was all the time a blunt no to Russia’s proposition. NATO and EU refused to give any assurance whatsoever. The West powers knew that their obstinate refusal it would cost war in Ukraine –they announced that all the time during the negotiations. They wanted war and war they got, thinking that one post-war exhausted Russia is exactly in the Western geopolitical design –read, increasing global market dominance.
What the uneducated, history-deniers, or simply ignorant European Russophobic elites in power have irresponsibly forgotten, is that Russia possesses the absolutely most effective nuclear capability of the world. Not only in number of nuclear warheads, but also regarding weapons of deliverance. One example is the unstoppable hyper-sonic generation missiles.
SWEDHR was founded in 2014, precisely against the backdrop of the events referred above in this statement. Precisely, it was the horrendous, and literarily, the bloody attacks on the human rights and the human lives of the people in Donbass one potent reason which motivated the initiation of our SWEDHR’s denouncing enterprise, aimed to the betterment of human dignity.  
West provocations have put humanity on the brink of total destruction. SWEDHR call to resist the army of fake-news makers of Western corporate media, nowadays instigating a deepening in the Ukraine conflict. Let’s instead increase the appeals for peace.
In those regards, we view as best contributory to peace, a diplomatic negotiated solution aimed to the status of neutrality and non-alignment of Ukraine. The same regarding Sweden.
Stockholm, March 7th, 2022.
Half of the members in the SWEDHR board of directors, was of the opinion that a contribution to peace in the regions would be the recognition of the democratic republics of Donetsk and Lugansk, and of Crimea as a Russian territory.
 M Ferrada de Noli, “A Swedish Extremist Right-wing “Diplomacy”? Or Bildt’s Solo Support To Ukraine Nationalists?“, 6 Mar 2014 https://professorsblogg.com/2014/03/06/bildtsukraineextrem/
 M Ferrada de Noli, “Carl Bildt at Swedish TV: “Ahead, we don’t know if there are possibilities for a political solution with Russia”, 8 Dec 2014 https://professorsblogg.com/2014/12/08/carl-bildt-are-there-possibilities-for-a-political-solution-on-russia/
 CNN, 15 June 2014, “Primer Minister wows Ukraine will wipe the killers”
 Wikipedia article https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Social-National_Party_of_Ukraine
 M Ferrada de Noli, 20 Feb 2022 https://twitter.com/ProfessorsBlogg/status/1495404412805779463
 Reuters, ” Vladimir Putin calls Ukraine fascist and country’s new law helps make his case” https://www.reuters.com/article/idUS208024656920150514
 United Nations. Human Rights. Conflict-related civilian casualties in Ukraine, 8 Oct 2021
 M Ferrada de Noli, “Ukraine Fascists: Three massacres in only one month”. 3 Jun 2014 https://professorsblogg.com/2014/06/03/ukraine-fascists-3-genocides-per-month/
 M Ferrada de Noli, ““The Ukraine Army’s slaughter of Mariupol civilians 9 May 2014: unarmed civilians shot at & killed at close range”, 9 May 2014 https://professorsblogg.com/2014/05/10/ukraine-armys-slaughter-of-mariupol-civilians-9-may-2014/
 M Ferrada de Noli, “The Odessa massacre of 2 May 2014. Updated evidence”, 15 May 2014 https://professorsblogg.com/2014/05/15/odessa-massacre-firebombs-thrown-by-pro-junta-actvists-burn-alive-43/
 M Ferrada de Noli, “The Ukraine Junta’s Air Force massacre of unarmed civilians in Luhansk, 2 June 2014“, 3 Jun 2014 https://professorsblogg.com/2014/06/03/what-responsibility-does-sweden-have-in-the-massacres-of-civilians-perpetrated-by-ukraine-junta/
 M Ferrada de Noli, “U.S. State Department publicly endorsing Ukraine’s every right to aerial-bombing the ethnic Russian population in Donbass”, 8 Jul 2014 https://professorsblogg.com/2014/07/08/the-us-state-department-publicly-endorses-ukraines-every-right-to-aereal-bombing-the-ethnic-russian-population-in-donbass/
 Fake news have been plenty in the West media narrative. One example is the reporting in Swedish media that Turkey had stopped the Russian navy ships in the Black Sea. https://twitter.com/ProfessorsBlogg/status/1497653614638252032
 “Internment camps in Sweden during World War II” https://military-history.fandom.com/wiki/Internment_camps_in_Sweden_during_World_War_II
 Atlantic Council goes as far as defending Azov Battalion against accusations of terrorism put forward even by political personalities in the US. “Why Azov should not be designated a foreign terrorist organization”, 24 Feb 2020. https://www.atlanticcouncil.org/blogs/ukrainealert/why-azov-should-not-be-designated-a-foreign-terrorist-organization/
 M. Ferrada de Noli, “What the Ukraine Crisis is All About” . The Professors’ Blog 11 June 2014 https://professorsblogg.com/2014/06/11/what-the-ukraine-crisis-is-all-about-u-s-b-2-stealth-strategic-bombers-now-landing-in-europe/
 National Security Archive, “NATO Expansion: What Gorbachev Heard”, 12 dec 2017 https://nsarchive.gwu.edu/briefing-book/russia-programs/2017-12-12/nato-expansion-what-gorbachev-heard-western-leaders-early
 We wrote in our founding manifest: “We shall begin with an engagement regarding the effects of war crimes on the civilian population of Gaza and Eastern Ukraine”. https://swedhr.org/swedish-professors-doctors-for-human-rights/swedhr-manifest/
 M Ferrada de Noli, “War Crimes in Ukraine”, 25 Jan 2015 https://professorsblogg.com/2015/01/25/war-crimes-in-ukraine/